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Determining systems engineering value in competitive bids




Dawson, Sandra Lynn, author
Batchelor, Ann, advisor
Arenson, David, committee member
Adams, James, committee member
Simske, Steve, committee member
Wise, Dan, committee member

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Corporations need a methodology to determine existing and new Systems Engineering (SE) effort costs in a more relevant context through deepening its connection within the competitive bidding process. The impact of Digital Engineering (DE) on SE within competitive bids is evolving as the industry is maturing its DE transition and implementation. The state of the field does not consider the impact of the current transition from traditional document-based SE (TDSE) to digital engineering (DE) and the impact on SE value. This paper examines the effectiveness of the SE costing models that are available in the literature by introducing a process to compare completed projects using metrics of actual SE hours expended and project performance against recommended SE effort and project results. Analysis of this comparison provides justification for SE effort bid ranges and associated project results. This research endeavors to enable a more holistic and SE-centric view of SE costing with considerations of project characteristics and the ongoing DE transition. Finally, this research provides a new framework for the analysis results and references useful in the bidding of SE projects where SE bid options can be associated with project performance, DE transition progress, and references relevant to the competitive bid approach. By applying systems thinking, using feedback loops and data from multiple organizations, understanding SE-DE impact, and empowering engineers in the DE transition, these research results enable data-driven decisions to determine SE value in competitive bids and to optimize SE using risk management. Following this process and using an organization's data (for competitive bids and projects) will yield results specific to competitive bids, bid technical approach, and DE transition progress. These results are communicated to the competitive bids teams using a SE focused framework.


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Embargo Expires: 05/26/2025


systems engineering
digital engineering


Associated Publications