The Systems Requirements Analysis (SRA) and System Architecture Design (SAD) (often combined into one acronym SRAD) phases of projects in the waterfall development cycle often pass-through design gates without proper pass/fail criteria. In addition, completion of project designs is often put off onto later design phases (Preliminary Design and Critical Design) in favor of meeting schedule/budget early in the project lifecycle. Currently in industry, schedule, and budget dictate project phase completion over proper metric tracking/utilization. This is normally due to the fluidity of the design in early phases of project development. This thinking can be dangerous for organizations/industry as it consistently leads to defects late in the development cycle where fixes are costly. It is cheaper to change designs and defects as early in a design as possible. This paper will outline the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) process to help track completion of the SRAD phases for proper completion of design review phase gates. By using DMAIC, projects will also be able to reduce latent defects in designs that can become costly to projects in later design phases such as testing, and production. These phase gate completion metrics can be implemented and refined, as the DMAIC process is an ongoing methodology.
DMAIC, Waterfall, SRAD, Systems Engineering, Project Management.