Using TRLs and system architecture to estimate technology integration risk

Year: 2017
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Garg, Tushar; Eppinger, Steven; Joglekar, Nitin; Olechowski, Alison
Series: ICED
Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States of America
Section: Product, Services and Systems Design
Page(s): 301-310
ISBN: 978-1-904670-91-9
ISSN: 2220-4342


Risk estimation is a key activity for product development and technology integration programs. There are a number of decision support tools that help project managers identify and mitigate risks in a project, however few explicitly consider the effects of architecture on risk. We propose a novel risk estimation framework that includes considerations of the system architecture. By starting with traditional project management literature, we define risk as a combination of likelihood and impact. We use Technology Readiness Levels as our measure for likelihood, and given that change propagates through interfaces, we used measures that relate to connectivity to estimate impact. This framework is applied to an industry example and we visualize the data in different formats to aid in analysis. The insights gained from this analysis are discussed, and we conclude that the risk estimation framework provides estimates that are in line with the experience of engineers at the company.

Keywords: Risk management, Uncertainty, New product development, Systems Engineering (SE), Project management

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