Complex Acquisition Requirements Analysis Using a Systems Engineering Approach Open Access

Over the last several decades the technology revolution has compounded system complexity with the integration of multi-spectral sensors and interactive command and control systems. These complexities create additional challenges for requirement developers to produce an encompassing set of requirements. As a result, beginning programs with effective requirements has become imperative. Research indicates there is a gap in requirement attributes (e.g. holistic, adaptable, achievable, or verifiable) for a family of systems and complex systems, and the acquisition community lacks consistent knowledge as to which attributes would best enable more informed trade-offs.This research provides prioritized key requirement attributes to account for integration, globalization, and revolutionary technology complexities using expert judgment of a diverse panel of acquisition professionals from the Air Force, Army, and Navy, as well as industry and additional government organizations. This research evaluates requirement attributes and provides a select group of attributes tailored specifically for simple systems, family of systems, and complex systems. Comprised of industrial, academic, and governmental personnel, each with over 25 years of experience in acquisition, systems engineering, development, logistics, and operations, this panel uses its expert judgment by employing a Bradley-Terry pairwise comparison. This expert judgment methodology allows the panel to rank the selected requirement attributes by their relative importance in systems, family of systems, and complex systems requirement development. Utilizing surveyed data from experts verifies the Bradley-Terry model and provides rankings of requirement attributes for the acquisition community to consider. Sensitivity analysis further verifies the robustness of the Bradley-Terry model analysis and approach.Data for systems, family of systems, and complex systems, using a 5% null and a 90% confidence interval, show tiered grouping of data. For systems the top tier of attributes is correct, achievable, and verifiable. For family of systems the top tier of attributes is achievable and correct. For complex systems the top tier of attributes is technical, holistic, interdependent, and adaptable. This paper provides a guide for today's acquisition leaders to establish effective requirements using validated requirement attributes for family of systems and complex systems needed for informed cost, schedule, and performance trade-off decisions.

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