Content Analysis in Systems Engineering Acquisition Activities
Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States
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This paper examines the role of content analysis in systems engineering technical evaluation processes. Content analysis is a qualitative data analysis methodology used to discover consistencies, inconsistencies, themes, and trends within datasets. This methodology is particularly useful when evaluating Contract Data Requirements List documents, as well as deficiency reports from test and evaluation activities examples of such analyses are provided. Factors that can impact a systems engineers ability to effectively and efficiently use this analysis method are also discussed. Research into the development of valid, relevant, and repeatable analysis criteria promises to define 1 how content analysis can be used consistently across different system baselines and 2 how content analysis results generated during the Production and Deployment and the Operations and Support acquisition lifecycle phases can be used to shape requirements definitions for system upgrade or modification contracts and new baseline contracts. Finally, content analysis training and skill development for systems engineers in the acquisition workforce is discussed.