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Validating the Use of Performance Risk Indices for System-Level Risk and Maturity Assessments Open Access

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With pressure on the U.S. Defense Acquisition System (DAS) to reduce cost overruns and schedule delays, system engineers’ performance is only as good as their tools. Recent literature details a need for 1) objective, analytical risk quantification methodologies over traditional subjective qualitative methods – such as, expert judgment, and 2) mathematically rigorous system-level maturity assessments. The Mahafza, Componation, and Tippett (2005) Technology Performance Risk Index (TPRI) ties the assessment of technical performance to the quantification of risk of unmet performance; however, it is structured for component- level data as input. This study’s aim is to establish a modified TPRI with systems-level data as model input, and then validate the modified index with actual system-level data from the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAPs). This work’s contribution is the establishment and validation of the System-level Performance Risk Index (SPRI). With the introduction of the SPRI, system-level metrics are better aligned, allowing for better assessment, tradeoff and balance of time, performance and cost constraints. This will allow system engineers and program managers to ultimately make better-informed system-level technical decisions throughout the development phase.

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