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Optimization of Cost and Performance in Complex Systems Using System Dynamics Modeling

Earned Value Management Track



Analysis of trade spaces between cost and performance is critical to win new contract pursuits in today’s highly competitive environment. The overall goal in a program is to design and produce a system that maximizes both performance and affordability.

In attempting to balance cost and performance, traditional cost models only allow for experimentation with one variable at a time. This can be very cumbersome on large systems, and inhibits how much of the trade space can be explored under time constraints. Altering one variable at a time also limits the number of cost estimating relationships that can be incorporated into the analysis.

System Dynamics Modeling (SDM) provides a framework under which cost and performance models can be integrated rapidly to provide a broader view of the trade space. It allows for multiple independent variables with their associated degrees of freedom to be analyzed dynamically using interdependent relationships and probabilistic outcomes. This approach results in a systems oriented outcome based on both individual trades and integrated results of multiple trades.

The ability to alter variables in a system and quickly analyze cost and performance impacts is of great importance in demonstrating design optimality. An analysis methodology is presented for integrating cost and performance in order to provide optimal designs for customer success.


Mike Polly
Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems
Mike is a Sr. Principal Systems Engineer and has been with Raytheon over 33 years working in various Ma. Locations. He started in Reliability Engineering, established the Software Quality Assurance Section at Equipment Division, worked in Software Engineering and Project Management at NCS and IDS. For 7 years he has been in the Affordability Engineering Section in the Whole Life Engineering Directorate and has performed CAIV and LCC on numerous programs. In addition, he has authored multiple standard practices and procedures in the disciplines of CAIV and LCC. Graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology with a BE in EE.

Benjamin Harris
Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems
Ben is an Operations Research Analyst and System Dynamics Professional and has been with Raytheon for 3 years. He graduated from Northeastern University in 2009 with an MS in Industrial Engineering, focusing on Optimization and Quality engineering. He is part of the Affordability Engineering section of Whole Life Engineering (WLE), and performs System Dynamics modeling and simulation on various programs in IDS.