Publication:
Optimal Selection of Organizational Structuring for Complex System Development and Acquisitions

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Authors
DeLaurentis, Daniel A.
Subjects
Advisors
Date of Issue
2017-06
Date
2017-06
Publisher
Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
Research suggests that product designs tend to reflect the structure of the organization in which they are conceived (i.e., "Conway's Law"). The development and acquisitions of a complex military system is strongly affected by communication mechanisms, resource channels, and the underlying incentives among constituent groups within the acquisition organization. Inefficient setups in this context often result in poor requirements being set, poor understanding of interfaces between elements of the complex systems, and potential failure to achieve the desired return on investment. Prior studies on this topic, especially in the context of acquisitions, have been largely descriptive rather than prescriptive; in other words, they do not provide direct guidance for ways to reduce the inefficiencies resulting from possible misalignments between a productメs structure (and ultimate performance) and the structure of the organization that designs/generates the product. While it has been demonstrated that the complexity of a product reflects the complexity of the producing organizationメs structure, there has been little effort to provide a quantitative support to assist decision-makers in forming organizational structures that best fit the desired complex systems development. Motivated by this gap, the research conducted under this NPS Acquisition Research Program grant sought to address inefficiencies in the development and acquisition of complex systems by quantitatively modeling the interplay between aspects of an acquisition organization leadership and complex system architecture. Our research combined techniques from operations research and psychological sciences, infused with survey data on program manager competencies, to produce a prototype computational model. Initial exercise of the model targeted ways to improve alignment between organizational performance measures and incentives to accurately reflect the modularization architecture of the systems to be acquired. The model represents a pilot quantitative decision-support framework that, if developed further, could assist acquisition practitioners in determining an optimal modular complex system architecture, and, organizational structure (to include program manager competencies) to support the successful system development.
Type
Report
Description
Department
Identifiers
NPS Report Number
PUR-AM-17-207
Sponsors
Naval Postgraduate School Acquisition Research Program
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Citation
Distribution Statement
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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