The below content is information that the DAF Digital Transformation Office has provided for programs to use to assess their digital maturity. It is based on the 42 metrics within the INCOSE Model-based Capabilities Matrix and modified to apply beyond just systems engineering. Since each program is different, each program would first need to understand what its target is for digital transformation, then it would baseline itself on where it is as the starting point and use the information to chart a course to get to the program’s target for digital transformation. These maturity parameters were updated in May 2022. The guide text below, presentation slides and MS Excel maturity assessment file are included for download below. We are interested in your thoughts on this approach and ways to make program digital assessment for resource identification better.
The AF will lose technological advantage over its adversaries without drastic changes in the acquisition process, according to Dr. Roper’s Digital Acquisition Vision1,2 and the DoD Digital Engineering (DE) Strategy.3 The AF acquisition focus must change from highly specialized to agile solutions with shortened design-to-fly cycles to stay dominant. Digital Engineering is defined as “an integrated digital approach that uses authoritative sources of system data and models as a continuum across disciplines to support lifecycle activities from concept through disposal” (DAU). According to the DE Strategy (2018):
Digital engineering will require new methods, processes, and tools, which will change the way the engineering community operates; however, this shift extends beyond the engineering community with an impact on the research, requirements, acquisition, test, cost, sustainment, and intelligence communities. The digital engineering transformation offers similar positive changes for business operations including acquisition practices, legal requirements, and contracted activities.
The DE Strategy outlines five strategic goals for the DoD:
- Formalize development, integration, and use of models
- Provide an authoritative source of truth
- Incorporate technological innovation
- Establish infrastructure and environments
- Transform culture and workforce
The expected direct benefits of a comprehensive digital engineering strategy include:
- Informed decision making and greater insight through increased transparency
- Enhanced communication
- Increased understanding for greater flexibility/adaptability in design
- Increased confidence that the capability will perform as expected
- Increased efficiency in engineering and acquisition practices
POC for Questions & Reporting
The self-assessment system described in this guide is under development through a collaboration between SAF/AQR Digital Engineering Enterprise Office and the AFMC Digital Campaign. Line of Effort 3 / Objective 4 of the Digital Campaign is spearheading the development and deployment of metrics, and the POC is Dr. Steven Turek. Please direct all questions and results, as well as constructive feedback (recommendations, modifications, points needing clarification) to firstname.lastname@example.org. A team of personnel are working to improve this self-assessment for future deployments across the AF, and we would appreciate your feedback.
- 2020 SAF/AQ Digital Acquisition Vision – https://software.af.mil/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/There-Is-No-Spoon-Digital-Acquisition-7-Oct-2020-digital-version.pdf
- 2021 SAF/AQ Digital Acquisition Vision – https://www.af.mil/Portals/1/documents/2021SAF/01_Jan/Bending_the_Spoon.pdf
- 2018 DoD Digital Engineering Strategy – https://ac.cto.mil/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/2018-Digital-Engineering-Strategy_Approved_PrintVersion.pdf
- INCOSE MBSE Capability Matrix – https://aerospace.org/story/incose-model-based-capabilities-matrix