The journal Systems Engineering has given its 2009 Outstanding Journal Paper Award to Senior Lecturer Dr. Donna Rhodes and Research Associate Dr. Ricardo Valerdi, along with co-author Garry Roedler, engineering outreach program manager at Lockheed Martin Corp. The paper, “Systems Engineering Leading Indicators for Assessing Program and Technical Effectiveness,” appeared in the spring 2009 issue of the journal.
Systems Engineering, the scientific journal of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), is considered the primary vehicle for disseminating scholarship in the field of systems engineering to practitioners and academics. Both Rhodes and Valerdi hold appointments in MIT’s Engineering Systems Division, within which the System Design and Management Program (SDM) resides.
The award was announced at the closing plenary session of the 20th Annual International Symposium of INCOSE, held July 15 in Chicago.
The award-winning paper discusses a six-year initiative, led by Roedler and Rhodes, to transform classical systems engineering measures into leading indicators, and describes the guidance information and research directions that have emerged from the work. Systems engineering leading indicators are measures for evaluating the effectiveness of a program’s systems engineering activities in a manner that provides information about impacts that are likely to affect the system or program performance objectives. Leading indicators are intended to provide insight into the probable future state, allowing practitioners to improve the management and performance of complex programs.
used within the systems engineering community.
The work described in the journal paper has continued to evolve, and has spawned thesis research at several universities, Rhodes said. At MIT, research extending from this paper is ongoing within the MIT Lean Advancement Initiative and the MIT Systems Engineering Advancement Research Initiative. Several SDM students have performed or are presently performing related research.