What are Leading Indicators?
A leading indicator is a measure for evaluating the effectiveness of a how a specific activity is applied on a program in a manner that provides information about impacts that are likely to affect the system performance objectives. A leading indicator may be an individual measure, or collection of measures, that are predictive of future system performance before the performance is realized. Leading indicators aid leadership in delivering value to customers and end users, while assisting in taking interventions and actions to avoid rework and wasted effort.
Who Developed the SE Leading Indicators?
Subsequent to the June 2004 workshop, the “SE Leading Indicators Action Team” was formed under the auspices of LAI, comprised of engineering measurement experts from industry, government and academia, involving a collaborative partnership with INCOSE3 . Mr. Garry Roedler of Lockheed Martin and Dr. Donna Rhodes of MIT co-led the effort. Leading SE and measurement experts from LAI member companies, INCOSE, SSCI4, and PSM5 volunteered to serve on the team. The team held periodic meetings and used the ISO/IEC 15939 and PSM Information Model to define the indicators. To date, thirteen SE leading indicators have been developed, as summarized in Table 1.
What Problem do SE Leading Indicators Address?
To effectively manage programs, leaders need access to leading indicators. Leading indicators provide insight into potential future states to allow management to take action before problems are realized. While there are some leading indicators that cover the management aspects of program execution (e.g., earned value, etc.), we lack good leading
indicators specifically for systems engineering activities.