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Using Value Engineering to Propel Cyber-Physical Systems Acquisition

Conference Paper
This paper was initially presented at the 18th annual Acquisition Research Symposium, hosted by the Naval Postgraduate School in May 2021.

Software Engineering Institute



The DoD's approach to building and deploying software-intensive systems is constantly under revision. In parallel, the tools and methods to model and test architecture representations of candidate products have also evolved. We will investigate the adaptation of Value Engineering (VE) methods into the acquisition of software-intensive weapon systems where the candidate product architecture can be modeled and used to guide implementations throughout the lifecycle. Aligning model-based engineering with VE will accelerate innovation in the development process (Vogt, 2019). When used with a process performance baseline, this method can establish a comparison framework for cost/benefit analyses of alternative approaches.

VE is used to evaluate different approaches or processes to improve the end product cost (including future, unaccounted for, cost overruns), performance or quality. We believe that VE can be applied to the development of software intensive weapons systems as well. To date, the cost to perform system modeling and virtual integration in early product development stages has been traded off against showing early results. The benefits of virtual integration are significant, especially in the long-term value of being able to evaluate system upgrades and changes both while in development and after the system transitions to sustainment.

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