Application of Systems Engineering Principles in the Design of Acquisition Workforce Curricula
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The Navy M&S Office in conjunction with the Defense Acquisition Modeling and Simulation Working Group presented the Naval Postgraduate School with an enormous challenge in 2006: design and deliver an educational program by 2008, for 20,000 or more acquisition professionals, focusing on the effective use of modeling and simulation in acquisition. The acquisition workforce is central to force transformation, and education is the key to transforming that workforce. This paper describes the processes, lessons learned to date, and assessment plan for this project. We applied a systems engineering approach to the problem of curricular design. The resulting solution consists of four spirals. The first spiral focused on defining the problem. We developed our analysis based on factors such as our market segmentation of the acquisition workforce, the current resources available, the state of the modeling and simulation body of knowledge, the desired educational outcomes for each market segment, and the gaps that existed between those outcomes and the existing resources. At each step in the process, we involved key stakeholders from the acquisition, test and evaluation and training communities. We describe the results of this process. In the second spiral, our goal was to construct a learning architecture to cover the gaps identified in the first spiral. We describe the course content, scope, and delivery methods that we determined based on those needs from the first spiral. The results of the first and second spirals, and subsequent lessons learned, will be the focus of our discussion herein. We will also briefly summarize the third and fourth spirals, which are currently underway, that involve course design and testing in the case of spiral three, and delivery and assessment of the curriculum for spiral four.
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