Screening for Real Options “In” an Engineering System: A Step Towards Flexible System Development
Author(s)Bartolomei, Jason E.; Hastings, Daniel E.; de Neufville, Richard; Rhodes, Donna H.
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The goal of this research is to develop an analytical framework for screening for real options “in” an engineering system. Real options is defined in the finance literature as the right, but not the obligation, to take an action (e.g. deferring, expanding, contracting, or abandoning) at a predetermined cost and for a predetermined time. These are called "real options" because they pertain to physical or tangible assets, such as equipment, rather than financial instruments. Real options improve a system’s capability of undergoing classes of changes with relative ease. This property is often called “flexibility.” Recently, the DoD has emphasized the need to develop flexible system in order to improve operational, technical, and programmatic effectiveness. The aim of this research is to apply real options thinking to weapon acquisitions in order to promote the ability of weapon system programs to deftly avoid downside consequences or exploit upside opportunities.
engineering systems, real options, flexibility, design structure matrices (DSMs), engineering system matrix (ESM)
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