Rapid Development: A Content Analysis Comparison of Literature and Purposive Sampling of Rapid Reaction Projects

Document Type


Publication Date



In the current environment of military operations requesting short development timelines to counter insurgent tactics, the engineering team often searches for ways to 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 (SE) technical and technical management processes. This analysis confirms a preconceived notion of “plan upfront and early” by emphasizing Stakeholder Requirements Definition, Architecture Design and Technical Planning. A purposive sampling of Air Force Research Laboratory rapid development project managers and engineers was conducted to identify important SE processes and then compared to the literature content analysis. The results of this sampling did not strongly emphasize one process over another, however Architecture Design and 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 managing critical risks and holding frequent early reviews until trust is built in the team.


This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

The "Link to Full Text" on this page opens or saves the PDF of the full published article, as hosted at the publisher website.

Source Publication

Procedia Computer Science