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The Business Case for Systems Engineering: Comparison of Defense Domain and Non-defense Projects

Special Report
This report analyzes differences in systems-engineering activities for defense and non-defense projects and finds differences in both deployment and effectiveness.

Software Engineering Institute

CMU/SEI Report Number
DOI (Digital Object Identifier)


This report summarizes analysis of data collected from the 2011 Systems Engineering (SE) Effectiveness Survey performed by the National Defense Industrial Association Systems Engineering Division, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society, and the Software Engineering Institute. This analysis examined the differences in the deployment and impact of SE activities between defense-domain projects and non-defense projects. The analysis found significant differences in both the deployment of SE in the two domains and the effectiveness of the SE. The report identifies specific process areas where effectiveness in one domain is noticeably higher than in the other. Further research to understand these differences will benefit both domains by enabling them to share best practices.