Value of Systems Engineering : SECOE Research Project Progress Report

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This paper is a progress report on the results of a SECOE research project to collect and analyze data that describes project cost, schedule, and quality with systems engineering cost and quality. The original hypotheses to be tested were that (a) at low levels, increasing systems engineering effort results in better project quality, and (b) there is an optimum above which further increases are detrimental. The collection of data is much more difficult than anticipated. The preliminary results are presented in an attempt to encourage more individuals to submit data. Analysis of the preliminary data (25 project submissions) supports the hypotheses. The data suggests that dimensionless ratios of actual to planned cost and actual to planned schedule correlate with an independent variable defined as an index of systems engineering effort (product of systems engineering cost and systems engineering quality divided by total project cost).