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System Readiness Assessment: A Framework for Linking User Requirements to Technology & Integration Readiness

By James C. Dowd, Dr. James S. Wasek, and Dr. Anna Y. Franz

Decision makers of large organizations that oversee procurement of systems need tools to help them quantify the amount of programmatic risk that is being assumed into a system design due to insertion of emerging technology. Within the United States (U.S.) Department of Defense (DoD) Systems Engineering Process there are tools to assess various types of readiness [e.g., Technology Readiness Level (TRL), and Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL)]. Additionally, academia has introduced Integration Readiness Level (IRL), System Readiness Level (SRL), and technology and integration readiness level (ITRL). The ITRL has been defined as a roll up of the TRLs and IRLs based on the architecture of the system. The SRL has been defined as the averaged of those ITRLs. This paper will focus on an additional factor that should be added to the SRL. This additional factor is the technologies impact on the user requirements as defined by the system’s primary and secondary mission(s), Key Performance Parameters (KPPs), Key System Attributes (KSAs) and other attributes. This improved SRL will be a quantitative tool for decision makers to understand the readiness of system designs based on the technologies that are incorporated, their readiness to be integrated, and their impact on the systems ability to meet user requirements.