SBA Pull (as we described at the beginning of the chapter) is the expectation and demand from others once they see the advantages of SBA
From program inception, the warfighter community will become an active participant in program design and development. Long before any physical prototypes are available, virtual prototypes of system concepts will be able to participate in exercises that demon-strate the battlefield effects. Logisticians will be able to quantify the cost effectiveness of making the system more supportable and work with the design team to find the most cost-effective mix of performance and support parameters. Using visualization tools such as three-dimensional solid modeling, people with real field experience can also provide real-time user feedback on design iterations, because they will be able to "see" and interact with the design as it matures.
This user feedback will begin to extend beyond the traditional service boundaries of the sponsoring organization. Programs will begin to look at how their system will interact with other systems on the battlefield by interfacing those system models on a virtual battlefield. The user will be able to begin using the new system in the expected environment and assessing any potential incompatibilities or unforeseen circumstances that could be averted in the design. Programs will be able to use each others' models to get the design information they need. The combatant commands can also be immersed at various intervals as the design matures and provide their assessment and feedback on how well the system is meeting their expectations. There will be better dialogue with the resource allocation community since the program will have much improved tools to keep the cost of the system affordable. In exploring the cost drivers over the entire system's life, they will also have much more accurate projections of the system's cost. Regardless of who is interfacing with the program, these outside agencies will have a much enhanced ability to see what the program is. Indeed, many programs noted that a significant side benefit was the great marketing tool this approach provides for visitors and oversight personnel, because program outsiders could instantly grasp the import of what they saw.
The Crusader field artillery program started a force effectiveness analysis even before the request for proposal was issued. The contractor conducted trade studies to optimize the system within the overall system, using multiple scenarios. They looked at the problems encountered (e.g. thermal analysis, ammunition capacity, reliability, maintainability, availability, etc.) in terms of cost per force effectiveness. They discovered that the Crusader could do things the current system (with upgrades) cannot. For example, the current Paladin system can not keep up with the Bradley armored personnel carrier or the M1 tank. In addition, the Crusader frees up the Multiple Launch Rocket System to hit deeper targets. In short, the Crusader increased the operational tempo of the battlefield. Some of these insights were intuitive, and some were not. The value of much of this information was difficult to explain, and the contractor was caught between satisfying the requirements stated in the request for proposal and making tradeoffs whose value to the user he could only guess at. For example, if he could decrease the size of the crew from five people down to three, what was the change in total ownership cost? Were the cost savings significant enough to justify spending money now to decrease the crew size? What were the operational tempo impacts on the Bradley and would it be able to get the necessary information quickly enough to the Crusader, which is 40 kilometers away? These are the types of issues that the requirement community needs to deal with early. The earlier in the design phase we find the answers to these questions, the better - in the past we've often not discovered these issues until operational testing, or even worse not until they're deployed to the first unit. By then we have already produced and fielded the system, when if the problem had been discovered earlier the cost to fix it would have been considerably less.
While SBA provides the capability to integrate back
into the requirements generation process, it can also reach forward into the
resource allocation process (the Planning, Programming, and Budgeting System),
by providing total ownership cost information for the out year budgets. For
example, there is an obvious extra cost associated with putting simulators on
board an aircraft carrier, but it may be worth that cost to counteract
deployed training atrophy.44 SBA provides a way to
explore those costs. Even low cost demonstrations are finding it
cost-effective to use a simulation-based approach. The Predator unmanned
aerial vehicle advanced concept technology demonstration creatively used
M&S to predict operational effectiveness and assess alternative force
structure options, and thereby determined an optimum system configuration.45
Many programs are expanding the envelope on what's
possible in SBA, and they are doing it cost-effectively. And although the
tools are still limited, these programs are beginning to address the bigger
implications of systems of systems issues, where in the past we did not have
the ability to address them at all. Larry Winslow, Director of Technology for
Boeing's Phantom Works, summed it up by saying "Now we're doing Program SBA.
In the future we'll be doing Systems of Systems SBA."46