Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

David R. Jacques, PhD


Concept selection is an important investment decision point in product development. The Department of Defense too often selects concepts based on insufficient data, resulting in projects that are over-budget, over-schedule, and not what the customer wants. Decision makers must select for further development only the concepts that are effective and suitable to meet the needs of the users and require mature concepts to make an informed decision. This research proposes a stage-gated framework as a tool to assess and increase the maturity of concepts by creating an information criteria baseline at each decision gate. The framework represents a developmental scale that allows a concept to be evaluated relative to its phase of development rather than to a complete material concept. The information criteria for each gate are derived from a four-step process using well-understood systems engineering and architecture principles that, when combined at early decision points, provide the right level of information at the right time. It is anticipated that the proposed stage-gated maturity framework will provide a useful tool to practitioners and decision makers involved in the development of concepts.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number