This Systems Engineering Return on Investment (SE-ROI) research project explored the quantifiable relationships between systems engineering (SE) activities and program success. The work discovered statistically significant relationships between SE activities and three success measures: cost compliance, schedule compliance, and stakeholder overall success. SE-ROI is discovered to be as high as 7:1 for programs with little SE effort and 3!:1 for median programs. Optimum SE effort for median programs is 14.4% of total program cost; the work provides an a priori estimation method to determine this optimum for specific programs based on 14 characterization parameters. These findings address a significant state-of-the-art gap in that SE effort levels have typically been based on subjective heuristics rather than quantified success parameters.
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