Defence experimentation (DE) is increasingly being used to better understand complex defence capability development problems and support large systems engineering projects. While various publications cover the theory and practice of DE, very little empirical data is available. There is a distinct lack of literature to answer key questions of any Project Manager or Chief Engineer such as: ‘How much time needs to be allocated to better understand this complex problem?’ and ‘How many resources will I need to apply and for how long?’
This thesis addresses this deficiency by developing a DE cost-estimation method, based data collected from 50 DE activities in capability development programmes for the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence and the Australian Defence Force over the period of 2001 to 2010. The experiments were conducted by a variety of industry-based, government-based and consortia-based organisations. Some of the experiments were part of a larger experimental campaign, while others were stand-alone activities. They had a range of purposes, from concept development to project requirements definition and tactics development. A collection of variables were tracked concerning the experiment’s nature, the DE method employed, simulation technology utilised, and human resources used across the experiment life cycle, as well as the effort and schedule expended in the completion of, and within the phases of, an experiment.
A DE cost-estimation model was developed using a mixture of parametric and expert-judgement based techniques. This thesis describes the development of the model, called the Defence Experimentation Cost Model (DECOMO). The reliability of its effort and schedule estimation is evaluated for different DE methods (namely Human-in-the-loop, Analytic Wargames and Constructive methods). The resultant formulae and method are expected to help DE planners improve estimation and scheduling of human resources, enable DE design trade-off analysis, assist in schedule risk management and provide a benchmark for DE process improvement initiatives. Ultimately, this is expected to facilitate the delivery of more effective defence-capability development and systems-engineering projects.