Human Systems Integration (HSI) is a comprehensive, interdisciplinary management and technical approach applied to system development and integration as part of a wider systems engineering process to ensure that human performance is optimized to increase total system performance and minimize total system ownership costs. HSI enables the systems engineering process and program management effort that provides integrated and comprehensive analysis, design, and assessment of requirements, concepts, and resources for seven domains: human factors engineering (HFE), manpower, personnel, training, safety and occupational health (SOH), force protection and survivability, and habitability. These HSI domains are interrelated and interdependent and must be among the primary drivers of effective, efficient, affordable, and safe system designs. HSI integrates and facilitates trade-offs among these domains and other systems engineering and design domains but does not replace individual domain activities, responsibilities, or reporting channels. (Adapted from Defense Acquisition University definition)

The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) establishes HSI strategy through the Joint HSI Steering Committee (JHSISC). This forum enables the Military Departments and Services, Joint Staff, Combatant Commands (CCMDs), OSD, and other DoD Components to apply HSI more effectively to introduce new capabilities and to experiment with new operational concepts in support of DoD’s warfighting missions and business functions.

In collaboration with the JHSISC, the acquisition community develops and applies the HSI body of knowledge (BOK) to incorporate the critical role of the HSI discipline for a Warfighter-centric development approach within mission engineering, systems engineering, and digital engineering.

Human systems integration (HSI) is an aspect of systems engineering that seeks to ensure the human component of a system enhances that system’s effectiveness and minimizes total ownership cost. Incorporating HSI early in system design promotes more successful and effective transition of capability to the Warfighter.

Human Systems Integration Guidebook

This guidebook addresses Human Systems Integration (HSI) in DoD acquisition.

HSI seeks to consider the human element in all phases of system acquisition and can provide significant benefits including improved use of manpower, reduced training costs, reduced maintenance time, and improved user acceptance.

For each of seven DoD HSI domains, the guide provides best practices and explains how HSI can help minimize total ownership cost and optimize total system performance.

The JHSISC chartered the Joint HSI Working Group (JHSIWG) in 2012 as a Cross-Service collaboration forum for defense and federal agencies to develop recommendations for DoD HSI planning, policy, and guidance; oversee and encourage effective and proactive HSI process management; and support the DoD HSI initiatives. The JHSIWG conducted an HSI needs analysis, resulting in a Capabilities-Based Assessment (CBA) that addresses the following:

  • Institutionalize an HSI body of knowledge
  • Standardize HSI best practices across the Services
  • Develop career certification and career paths/billets for HSI workforce supported by a persistent training function
  • Provide and maintain tools, databases, and processes to support HSI analyses early in acquisition
  • Implement a professional, coordinated HSI outreach and marketing function

Strategic Direction


Continuously and cost-effectively improve HSI program development and execution to positively impact Warfighter performance and safety across the HSI enterprise to achieve Joint Force advantages


Prioritize and recommend HSI research and application to have multi-Service impact on joint interest acquisition programs


Strengthen human performance research into DoD acquisition programs


Provide HSI recommendations on matters related to all HSI domains for weapon system programs


The HSI community works to address the CBA and supports S&T capability development areas such as the following:


Human‐machine designs for mission effectiveness and optimal Warfighter interactions


Inclusion of machine learning and artificial intelligence for advanced teaming


Sensory, cognitive, and physical workload impacts to Warfighter performance and measurement approaches to assess and improve team effectiveness and survivability for multi‐domain operations


Assessment, education, and training advancements, to include synthetic environments


Send an email to Engineering/HSI



Deputy CTO for Mission Capabilities
The Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301