Human-System Integration in the System Development Process:
A New Look
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Industry and government face immense pressure to shorten the development cycle of their critical systems even as those systems increase exponentially in complexity. Many problems associate with these changes to the development cycle this can be traced to the significant challenge of analyzing human capabilities and needs from various perspectives (such as human factors engineering, manpower, personnel, training, safety and health, and, in the military, habitability and survivability) and integrating this data into the design process throughout the development cycle. This kind of activity has come to be known as human-system integration (HSI).
In 2005, the Army Research Laboratory and the Air Force Research Laboratory asked the Board on Human-Systems Integration to undertake a study of the current state of HSI methods, tools, and approaches and to develop a vision for creating an integrated, multidisciplinary, generalizable, human-system design methodology.
The resulting report, Human-System Integration in the System Development Process: A New Look, provides a comprehensive review of issues involved in design throughout the system life cycle that need to be addressed by a consideration of human cognitive and physical performance characteristics, including identification of five critical principles; proposes the incremental commitment model as a useful systems engineering approach and as a framework for examining more than 20 categories of methodologies and tools that provide information about the environment, the organization, the work, and the human operator at each stage of the design process; articulates a vision for an integrated, multidisciplinary, generalizable, human-system design support methodology and tool set; and recommends a research plan suggesting how to achieve this vision.
The report's recommendations are intended not only to be relevant to the project’s military sponsors, but also to other government departments and the private sector, including the process control, manufacturing, and service industries.