Adapting a Military System for Other Markets Early in the Development Lifecycle

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Operations Research Center, Systems Engineering

Publication Date


Publication Title

IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management

Document Type



Military technologies are typically the product of long-term development efforts. These technologies are often adapted late in the development process for use by other users, including other members of the defense enterprise, foreign militaries, or the commercial sector. The need to adapt a technology can arise from cost over-runs or changing operational requirements. This article describes a value-based methodology for developing a transition plan early in the development process, when the system is still in the conceptual phase. Performing this analysis early in the design phase allows for design choices that will support adapting the system for other users. Moreover, it provides a risk mitigation strategy against cost over-run and changes in operational requirements. The process begins by capturing the functional architecture of the technology and analyzing them against a set of tasks associated with different military positions. From there, the adapted technology is evaluated for its projected adequacy based on the value added and the effort required for adaptation. The end-state of this analysis is a value-based model that identifies a portfolio of possible alternative markets and/or uses, which can be comparatively analyzed. A case study is presented for adapting a military augmented reality system for a different market.

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