System-of-Systems Acquisition: Alignment and Collaboration

Report Number: NPS-AM-11-194

Series: Acquisition Management

Category: Systems-of-Systems

Report Series: Sponsored Report

Authors: Thomas V. Huynh, John S. Osmundson, Rene G. Rendon

Title: System-of-Systems Acquisition: Alignment and Collaboration

Published: 2011-11-01

Sponsored By: Acquisition Research Program

Status: Published--Unlimited Distribution

Research Type: NPS Faculty

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Keywords: System of systems (SoS), inter-program collaboration, inter-organizational collaboration, web-based collaborative system, contracting structures, SoS acquisition, attractor mechanism, emergent behavio


System-of-systems (SoS) acquisition research has identified lack of alignment and lack of collaboration as two important issues leading to problems in SoS acquisition. This report captures the exploratory work toward improving alignment between and collaboration among the individual system programs in the development of an SoS. An SoS inter-program collaboration approach is proposed. It is inspired by some existing web-based collaborative systems, such as eBay, Facebook, and Eureka, and suggests an attraction mechanism to effect SoS inter-program collaboration. In addition, a web-based collaborative system is also suggested. Based on an architecture for distributed and interoperable management of multi-site production projects, it allows personnel of all programs associated with an SoS to input need points for component system inputs and retrieve information required to align the individual programs. Furthermore, contracting structures for facilitating collaboration among the system programs are also considered. Finally, this work forms a basis for implementing a web-based SoS collaborative system to support Department of Defense (DoD) SoS acquisition programs.