The Insider

Griffin signs out DOD's 'Digital Engineering Strategy'

July 5, 2018 at 2:37 PM

The Pentagon's chief technologist has signed out a new document guiding how the Defense Department should leverage digital engineering to better deliver future defense systems.

Michael Griffin, under secretary of defense for research and engineering, signed out DOD's Digital Engineering Strategy in June, according to a DOD statement released today. The practice "promotes the use of digital representations of systems and components and the use of digital artifacts to design and sustain national defense systems," the department said.

In his foreword to the strategy, Griffin writes DOD can modernize its systems and prioritize speed of delivery by "incorporating the use of digital computing, analytical capabilities, and new technologies to conduct engineering in more integrated virtual environments to increase customer and vendor engagement, improve threat response timelines, foster infusion of technology, reduce cost of documentation, and impact sustainment affordability."

The document lays out five strategic goals for digital engineering:

  • Formalize the development, integration, and use of models to inform enterprise and program decision-making;
  • Provide an enduring, authoritative source of truth;
  • Incorporate technological innovation to improve the engineering practice;
  • Establish a supporting infrastructure and environment to perform activities, collaborate and communicate across stakeholders;
  • Transform the culture and workforce to adopt and support digital engineering across the lifecycle.

Military service leaders should take note of Griffin's expectation, written in his foreword, that "the services should develop corresponding digital engineering implementation plans during 2018 to ensure the department advances this timely and imperative effort."