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Why is HSI Important?

HSI is one of the vital links that optimizes the design of systems to achieve total system performance, maximizing human capabilities and accounting for human limitations. HSI provides an integrated approach to considering the human on a par with the hardware and software he/she is expected to operate, maintain, and support. It applies common sense to the acquisitions process with three distinct results:

  1. Minimize total ownership costs (TOC)

    Depending on the HSI-related decisions that are made during the acquisition process, total ownership costs could either be a financial success or a costly burden. DoD cost studies show the areas where potential savings and benefits can be achieved with good HSI:

    • After a system achieves initial operational capability, 80% of its Life Cycle Costs (LCC) are HSI-related.
    • Forty to sixty percent of a system's LCC relate to manpower, personnel, and training.
    • Eighty percent of environmental problems result from decisions made during acquisition.
    • Data on the effectiveness of HSI application report a 25% reduction in the incidence of human error.

    Design changes made early in materiel solution analysis, technology development, and early product development are far less expensive compared to later stages of system development where the same changes are more difficult and costly because they involve changes to actual hardware and software.

  2. Optimizes total system performance

    The total system includes not only the prime mission equipment and software, but also the people who operate, maintain, and support the system; the training and training devices; and the operational and support infrastructure. Human Systems Integration (HSI) practitioners assist program managers by focusing attention on the human part of the system and by integrating and inserting manpower, personnel, training, human factors engineering, environment, safety, occupational health hazards, and personnel survivability considerations into the Defense acquisition process.

  3. Advocates for the end user

    The human is recognized as an essential component of the system and it’s our responsibility to ensure the system is built to accommodate the characteristics of the user population that will operate, maintain, and support the system. Through effective and efficient HSI, the Coast Guard can ensure systems are built around the people who will operate them, rather than the people having to adapt in order to make the equipment work.