Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

John M. Colombi, PhD.


In the current environment of military operations requesting faster delivery schedules to counter insurgent tactics, the engineering team often searches for how to quickly deliver the 80% solution, typically in 6-12 months. These are labeled rapid development projects. A content analysis of best practices in commercial product development literature, where time to market is often a driving factor, was accomplished showing varying emphasis of systems engineering technical and technical management processes. Technical Planning, Stakeholders Requirements Development, and Architecture Design were identified as important processes. This analysis confirms preconceived notions of plan upfront and early by emphasizing the SE processes of Stakeholder Requirements Definition, Architecture Design and Technical Planning. A purposive sampling of AFRL rapid development program managers and engineers was conducted to identify important SE processes and compared to the literature content analysis. The results of this sampling did not strongly emphasize one process over another however Architecture Design, Implementation scored higher among Technical Processes. Decision Analysis, Technical Planning, Technical Assessment and Data Management scored slightly higher among Technical Management Processes. Anecdotal evidence also emphasized iterating prototype designs based on early customer feedback, focusing mostly on critical risks and holding more reviews early in a project schedule until a trust in the team is built.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number