This investigative study demonstrates the benefits of addressing human considerations early in the system development life cycle that will bring long-term benefit to program managers and systems engineers. The approach used a retrospective content analysis of documents from weapon systems acquisition programs, namely Major Defense Acquisition Programs. Binary logistic regression analyses were conducted to predict the effect of the presence of words relating to Human Systems Integration on the success of programs. This investigative study corroborates the idea that some benefit may be derived from implementing Human Systems Integration during the weapon systems acquisition life cycle.
To print a PDF version of this article, click here.
Authors: Capt Gary Jones, USAF, Edward White, Lt Col Erin T. Ryan, USAF, and Lt Col Jonathan D. Ritschel, USAF
Recent legislation, such as the Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009, requires a renewed emphasis on understanding operating and support (O&S) costs. Conventional wisdom within the acquisition community suggests a 70:30 cost ratio with respect to O&S and acquisition of an average weapon system. Using 37 Air Force and Navy programs, the authors estimate the mean overall ratio of O&S costs to acquisition costs to be closer to 55:45, although many weapon systems displayed significant deviation from this 55 percent average. Contributing factors such as life expectancy and acquisition strategy (i.e., new system or modification) affect this variance. Their research advises against using a single “one-size‑fits-all” O&S/acquisition cost ratio for all major DoD weapon systems.