Using a System Maturity Scale to Monitor and Evaluate the Development of Systems
STEVENS INST OF TECH HOBOKEN NJ SCHOOL OF SYSTEMS AND ENTERPRISES
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The readiness of a system under development cannot be adequately measured by using traditional project management tools that focus predominantly on cost and schedule. An alternative principally utilized by NASA, the DoD and the DoE to address this has been the prescriptive metric known as Technology Readiness Level TRL. However, TRL is only meant to measure the readiness of technology elements and does not address their integration or some other challenges of systems development. To address integration, the Systems Development Maturity Laboratory SDML at Stevens Institute of Technology introduced another prescriptive metric called Integration Readiness Level IRL. Combining TRL and IRL scales, SDML has formulated a System Readiness Level SRL. SRL is an aggregate measure that characterizes the progress that has been accomplished by a system under development based on the observable readiness characteristics of the technology and integration elements, not the cost and schedule values. This paper describes the application of SRL to a constrained resource optimization model to determine an optimal development plan that identifies which technologies and integration elements should be matured to which levels such that a specific level of system readiness is achieved by a certain time. This optimal plan can be used to monitor and evaluate the actual progress of the systemit can be the basis of a systems lifecycle maturity management approach called System Earned Readiness Management SERM. A simple example is used to illustrate SERM.
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