Original Post Date: Friday, July 29, 2011

PRICE Systems is integral in the INCOSE Design for Affordability Initiative as a vital member of the Working Group Internationally.

The INCOSE Affordability Working Group’s definition of Affordability is:

Affordability is the balance of system performance, cost and schedule constraints over the system life while satisfying mission needs in concert with strategic investment and organizational needs.

The INCOSE Affordability Working Group’s definition of SE Design for Affordability is:

Design for Affordability is the Systems Engineering practice of balancing system performance and risk with cost and schedule constraints over the system life satisfying system operational needs in concert with strategic investment and evolving stakeholder value.

To meet the Affordability Working Group goals we need to move from the conceptual to the concrete (i.e., how do we demonstrate that the affordability of a system has been improved; or define the trade space).  To do this, we can decompose the definitions into their potential constituent parts.  The definitions lead to considering three constituents for affordability:


Which represent the central concept of affordability as “Cost of Capability over time.”


a.     Required Capability – what does the system contribute to the mission or the next higher System Context, or How does the system generate operational value? e.g., search, detection, rescue, transport

b.      Required Capability Performance – How well must the system perform the required capability, e.g., defeat X% of the threats, detect Y% of the targets, or top speed of N kts. How do we measure?

c.      Budget, Risk and Schedule – Resources, technical, financial & temporal available to provide the capabilities and needed performance (system value). How do we measure?


System Life Cycle or Affordability over time

It is important to note that there is a significant difference between the INCOSE approach and the Gate’s definition.  That is, INCOSE is addressing the entire system life cycle while Gate’s considers “conducting a program”.  This is a significant difference as the B-52 is a single system; however, there have been many programs over the life of B-52 system.  Since INCOSE is considering the total life of the system, the traditional Development Engineering V must be expanded to account for the life of the system beyond Initial Operational Capability.The Affordability Working Group recognizes that IOC is:


·        The initial release of both the Primary and Enabling system; and

·        The initial release of a successful system continues to evolve to meet environmental changes.


Further, monitoring and feedback by PRICE Systems as a member of the INCOSE Working Group are integral parts of the evolutionary process.