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Breakthroughs in Applying Systems Engineering to Technology DevelopmentforInternational Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE)Systems Engineering Conference in DC (SEDC) Ms. Melanie Klinner US Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic CommandMr. Jeffrey Craver Defense Acquisition UniversityMr. Mike EllisSenior Systems Engineer(Formerly with Intrepid)


Describe the problem space of managing the maturation of technology for transition from the perspective of the Program Manager, User, and the Technologist

Provide an overview of the Technology Program Management Model (TPMM) solution set in terms of Processes, Systems Engineering, and Transition Management

Describe the Breakthrough in terms of the Systems Engineering Module (SEM)that provides online implementation of TPMM

Describe how the SEM exists within an S&T Enterprise and for the Management of Technology Programs/Portfolio’s/Project’s

Describe how the DTRA TPMM Project has applied the model to improve current processes and add-value to the enterprise

Provide the Way Forward and the extension of the TPMM process into the Technology Development Domain from Basic Research to Program Management.


the problem
The Problem

Fact: There are diminishing resources and belt tightening ongoing in DoD

Unfortunate Reality: Warfighter Needs are increasing at a significant rate in an attempt to outpace an Asymmetric Threat

faced with this reality what needs to be done
Faced With this Reality, What Needs to Be Done?
  • If we can't get adequate funding,
    • We need to make smarter choices in what to fund.
  • If we can't build things faster,
    • We need to build them more efficiently with less re-work.
  • If we can't afford the full set of performance,
    • We should focus on the highest priority needs.
  • If we can't afford to fail,
    • We must effectively identify and manage the risk.

Culture Change:Adopt a Stage-Gate Process in the Development Phase and Incorporate a Systems Engineering-Based Criteria Set for Assessing Technology Maturity

Consistency in Technology Development Planning

Requirements definition and plans for maturity advancement are not developed consistently or effectively.

No common set of tools and standards to gauge technology maturity.

Improve the rate for Transitioning of Technologies

Transition not always considered as a part of Technology Development

Limited Customer/User identification/involvement

Technology Development Challenges

Establish “a management methodology that balances the portfolio by Incorporating Discipline and Rigor through the use of clear, well-defined and Measurable Metrics!”

J. Heusmann DTRA-J9 (7 May 09)




If you “Push” long enough – they will come!

Your next chance for funding is 5 years down the road – stud!

Hey Buddy - I OWN The Requirements!

You don’t understand - This project is different from everyone else

Gotta be small,


and 99.99% reliable

My prime can do that!!



I Want it All!!

I Want it Cheap!

I Want it Now!

I am governed by DoD 5000.02

S&T does not require a process – I have been doing it for years

I’m governed by the JCIDS

You forgot about the “illities”!!!

Customer role is to integrate

  • Value Added
  • Capability
  • Probability of Success
  • Acquisition Strategy
  • Budget (LLC/POM)
  • Schedule - WBS
  • The System “ approach”
  • Technical “break-through”
  • Performance Goals
  • Risk
  • Cost Estimate.
  • Program Plan
  • Build a prototype
  • Threat Driven
  • Soldier-Proof
  • Fieldable
  • Meets Mission Needs




tpmm collaboration
TPMM Collaboration

The TPMM Collaboration was formed to improve and expand the TPMM methodology and jointly develop a tool-based process intent on reducing the risk to technology development.




smdc dau dtra collaboration project breakthroughs
SMDC/DAU/DTRA Collaboration Project Breakthroughs

DAU has recommended TPMM as a Systems Engineering best practice since 2008.




DTRA Process Improvement effort has been recognized by AT&L Value Engineering Achievement Award.

  • A paradigm shift in Project and Portfolio Management has begunwith the use of a SharePoint capability to :
    • Plan
    • Execute
    • Communicate progress
    • Assess technical maturity
    • Manage risk
  • A significant advance in the consistent SE product set(SE artifacts, metrics, Exit Criteria, & online SEM reports).
  • Revolutionary changes to cultural normsevident by Increasing interest from (Senior-DoD) early-adopters to a software tool that can overcome resistance from the S&T community to apply SE principles.
  • Enterprise Adoption facilitated by the pervasiveness of SharePoint throughout the DoD which allows for easy adoption and simplified IA requirement.
recipient of a usd at l 2012 value engineering achievement award
Recipient of a USD(AT&L) 2012 Value Engineering Achievement Award

TPMM-based SharePoint Solution Application:

Systems Engineering Module (SEM)

Savings/Cost Avoidances:

NTD’s use of TPMM and the tenets of BBP have both potential and direct savings implications. Specifically, over $30 million has been saved both directly (~$8M) and through cost avoidance (~$22M) by the implementation of this best practice systems engineering method to develop and assess a technology’s maturity.


A TRL-Based, Stage Gate Model Designed for Technology Development and Transition

Functions Performed by TPMM

  • Program Definition
    • Identify Activitiesto consider
    • Identify Deliverable Documents
    • Provide guidance for Tailoring
    • Employ “Best Practice” Tools
    • Identify and Mitigate Risk
  • Transition Management
    • Technology Transition
    • Technology Transfer
    • Technology Marketing
  • Maturity Assessments
    • Establishes Entry/Exit Criteria
    • Provides a Framework for
    • Technology Maturity Assessments(TMA)


TTA = Technology Transition Agreement TDS = Technology Development Strategy


Systems Engineering in TPMM

  • Lab Test Strategy
  • Operational Prototype Validation
  • IDD
  • Updated Technology Development Strategy (TDS)
  • Preliminary System Spec
  • Final TTA (Commitment)
  • Breadboard Laboratory Test Results
  • TDS/Acq Strategy Roadmap
  • Updated TTA - Technology Transition Agreement (Intent)
  • Final System Spec
  • Relevant Environment Test Design
  • Manufacturing Plan


& Qualification

  • Update Tech Requirements


& Design

  • “-ilities” Documented
  • Functionality Analysis
  • CTE Identification
  • Initial “-ilities” Plan
  • System Configuration formally controlled and documented
  • Design Codes
  • Exit Criteria
  • Risk MitigationStrategy
  • Interface Spec
  • Brassboard Relevant Environment Test Results

Systems Engineering principles are embodied in the activities and associated documentation in each stage of maturity development

way ahead

Use Systems Engineering-Based (TPMM) process to change the culture:

Balance Technology Portfolio’s so that Priorities are aligned to Mission Strategy and Customer Needs are clearly identified and understood

ImproveProject Management Performancein the areas of requirements traceability, system engineering rigor, transition focus, maturity assessment, and in planning/execution/reporting

Exchange “informational” calendar-driven Project Technical Reviews with “decisional” event-driven Reviewswhere technical progress is examined "as-needed" in accordance with a Project’s Lifecycle Plan.

Increase Successful Transition of Technology byengaging Early Systems Engineering and aligning with Acquisition Authorities.

Promote consistency in technical interpretation of TRL Maturity levels throughout the DoD S&T Enterprise and with Program Managers.

Extend SE-Based practices for use in SBIR and IRAD Programsby tailoring the TPMM as applicable to that purpose.


us government personnel can request a link to the tpmm web site at http www tpmm info


US Government Personnel can request a link to the TPMM Web Site at:

Mr. Jeffrey CraverDefense Acquisition UniversitySouth Region

Huntsville, ALE-mail:

Ms. Melanie Klinner


TPMM Product Manager

Technical Center/Cyberspace Technology Division

Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, AL


Mr. Mike EllisSystems Engineering Consultant

(Formerly with Intrepid)E-mail:

Mr. Alan BarclayTPMM Industry Project Manager



portfolio reports views
Portfolio Reports/Views






capability needs coverage matrix
Capability Needs Coverage Matrix




Gaps NOT Covered

Gaps Partially Covered

Gaps Potentially Duplicated