Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) is a key enabler and necessary entry point to go faster in defining, acquiring, and operating as a space enterprise. Integrated models developed with close government–industry coordination can replace a document-centric approach with a model-centric one that provides better capabilities and offers an enterprise solution.
Advancing the practice of MBSE has been cited numerous times by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and by our government partners in addressing near-term and end-state approaches to enable the enterprise, improve acquisition execution, institutionalize evolved systems engineering, and advance MBSE tools.
Here are the top six things leaders should do to drive MBSE adoption:
Get smart—self-educate and benchmark to prepare for organizational change. Identify MBSE subject matter experts and recognized project leaders to coach and engage them on upcoming decision opportunities. Benchmark with like organizations and give something to get something.
Set the stage—not the implementation. Explain the motivation for the move toward MBSE, the reasons for desiring change, the urgency, and how to demonstrate being onboard. Set modeling objectives to cap the amount of modeling and assess its effectiveness. Create an MBSE deployment roadmap to organize efforts contributing to the MBSE vision.
Be the change—be the role model. Set visible examples by participating in classes, asking for model demonstrations, and above all using the MBSE language to demonstrate that culture change is underway.
Build the culture and stakeholder commitment—not the product. Establish the organization’s MBSE vision, goals, objectives, roadmap, and resources with stakeholders. Have conversations to learn from resistant voices. Get stakeholders’ commitment to get it done—find leads to get it done even if it takes going the extra mile.
Provide the right capabilities—align needed capabilities to the organization’s transformation objectives. The resultant plan should be unique to the organization and may be roadmaps, digital engineering compliance plans, enterprise architecture development plans, acquisition plans, system engineering plans, etc.
Start small—the right pilot project. This could be a research project or a shadow on an existing effort that assists a project on a noninterference basis to show value. The idea is to build capabilities, understand when/how to apply MBSE, and to build trust by using the MBSE results with decisionmakers.
Hoheb, A., Leading Model-Based System Engineering (MBSE) Adoption—Top Six Things Leaders Can Do to Drive MBSE, OTR-2019-00913, The Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, CA (2019)
Noguchi, R., Lessons Learned and Recommended Best Practices from Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) Pilot Projects, ATR-2016-02309, The Aerospace Corporation (June 14, 2016)
This story appears in the September 2019 issue of Getting It Right, Collaborating for Mission Success.