Technical Approach

The technical approach is a task-by-task description of how the project team intends to execute the tasks and subtasks in the SOW, from a technical perspective. The technical approach is usually formulated, in detail, in response to a request for proposal (RFP) if such an RFP is a precursor to the project. In such a situation, this technical approach can be abstracted and used in this section of the project plan.

The technical approach changes, of course, for each project and the domain of the project. The approach to building a management information system (MIS) is different from the approach to constructing a subway or transit system. However, some questions that might be common to all projects, with

1110 Technical management activities 1120 Resource management 1130 Financial management 1140 Configuration control 1150 Document control 1160 Document preparation

Architecture formulation


1310 1320 1330



Review external architectures Refine EosDIS system architecture Develop EosDIS Unique Level III architecture

Develop strawman Level IV architecture

Define Interfaces at Level III and IV

Perform trade studies Document

1360 1370 1380 Review

Requirements analysis and definition


1510 Develop operations scenarios 1520 Develop staffing plan 1530 Develop training plan 1540 Develop test plan 1550 Develop maintenance plan 1560 Document 1570 Review

Life-cycle estimate


1710 Initial cost estimate 1720 Final cost estimate

EosDIS unique design


1210 Refine Level I and Level II

requirements 1220 Develop Level III requirements 1230 Develop strawman Level IV

requirements 1240 Develop Initial operations concept 1250 Perform trade studies 1260 Document 1270 Review

1410 Refine operations concept 1420 Develop element level design spec. 1430 Develop component level design specification 1440 Develop Implementation plan 1450 Perform reliability/maintainability/

availability analysis 1460 Perform trade studies 1470 Document 1480 Review

1610 Perform study tasks 1620 Document 1630 Review

Figure 3.1. EOSDIS Phase B work breakdown structure.

TABLE 3.2 Cross-Walk Between SOW and WBS

Work Breakdown Structure

WBS 1.0

WBS 2.0

WBS 3.0

WBS 4.0

WBS 5.0

Task 1





Task 2





Task 3




Task 4





Task 5




Task 6



respect to the technical approach, are cited in Exhibit 3.7. These questions assist the project team in addressing a wide variety of technical issues.

Exhibit 3.7: Two Dozen Selected Questions for Technical Approach

1. How do we plan to execute this task/subtask?

2. How will we employ a systems approach and systems engineering process?

3. What is special or unique about our approach?

4. What technology do we plan to utilize or transition?

5. Is this technology at or pushing the state of the art?

6. How can we be most productive and efficient?

7. What computer tools will we be using?

8. How can we demonstrate that we will, as a minimum, satisfy all customer requirements?

9. Do we plan to exceed requirements in certain areas?

10. Are certain requirements vague, incorrect, or inconsistent?

11. What special facilities will we need?

12. What aspects of our previous work can be brought to bear?

13. Do we plan to use any special models or simulations in order to assess system performance?

14. How will we execute a coherent technical performance measurement program?

15. What is our approach to system and subsystem testing?

16. Do we have a unique knowledge base to support our approach?

17. Can our independent research and development (IR&D) program results be utilized for this project?

18. What specialty engineering capabilities will we be using?

19. How does our technical approach correlate with our Systems Engineering Management Plan (SEMP)?

20. Do we plan to use special processes such as concurrent engineering, business process reengineering, or Total Quality Management (TQM)?

21. How can we approach software development with the most up-to-date methods?

22. What types of technical support will be needed from the rest of the company?

23. How will we find the most cost-effective solution?

24. How will we prove that we have the most cost-effective solution?

Question 19 of Exhibit 3.7 raises the issue of the relationship between the Systems Engineering Management Plan and the technical approach. These two documents are not the same, but certain elements of the SEMP, as a minimum, should be addressed in the technical approach. These include the systems engineering process, technical performance measurement, methods of systems analysis, technology transitioning, and technical integration.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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