Systems Engineering Leading Indicators Guide

Keywords lead indicators systems engineering

Within regard to base measures, an important assumption and implementation consideration is the additional associated attributes are also recorded with the base measurement values. These attributes are necessary to aid in categorization and analysis. Attributes are needed to convert the Base Measures into Derived Measures. This additional insight makes indicator data much more relevant to the information users. Without such data, users would find it difficult, if not impossible to appropriately interpret the indicator or to investigate, and potentially, take appropriate corrective action.

These categories should be selected by relevance to the organizational. As examples, some very useful attribute categories to consider include ISO/IEC 15288, IEEE 1220 and ISO/IEC 26702 Process Milestone, Stage, or Phases, Disposition Action (opened, started, approved, incorporated, rejected, stopped, closed, overdue), Maturity States (planned, interim, actual), Priority Levels (critical, high, medium, low), Cause (error, customer request, external), Impact Level (high, medium, low), Classification Type, and Dates & Times of Associated Events. This list of attributes is not exhaustive. It is simply a list of those attributes widely used in the existing leading indicators.

For example, “Requirements” must be converted to “% Requirements Approved” (‘Approved’ being a Disposition Action) for the user to get a sense of the system definition progress and maturity. Further, if at a monthly status review the “% Requirements Approved” is observed to be trending lower than established thresholds, then appropriate action can be taken. Ideally, additional associated attributes are also recorded, including but not limited to the Process Phases, Disposition Action, Maturity States, Priority Levels, Cause, Impact Level, Classification Type, and Dates & Times associate with the requirement approval events. Further uses of attributes are presented in the various analysis guidance sections of the leading indicator specifications.

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