Design and Evaluation of a Cyber Protection Team Planner Work Aid


  • Kristen Ligg
  • Arielle Stephenson
  • Meghan Strang
  • Geoffrey Dobson



cyber protection teams, work aid design, situation awareness metrics


Cyber Protection Teams (CPTs) are responsible for providing mission assurance by ensuring that mission-relevant cyber terrain is secure and protected for operations. In order to do this effectively, CPT planners must correlate and integrate information regarding customers’ missions with information about the systems and networks required to perform those missions. To support this challenge, a CPT Planner work aid was designed and evaluated to assess its effectiveness. The evaluation compared the work aid with current CPT planning methods. Ten participants with varying planning expertise performed four planning tasks (managing approvals, assigning resources, managing accesses, and scheduling meetings). To test the efficacy of the proposed work aid, participants were tasked with planning a fictional mission utilizing both the traditional planning method and the work aid method. Data was collected from objective metrics to include time and task performance score, as well as subjective perception of workload. In addition, participants were asked a series of situation awareness (SA) questions after each task to measure their understanding of the mission-relevant information. Score and time to answer SA questions were also recorded. While CPT planning experience did not have a significant effect on performance, results revealed significant improvements in task time, SA question response time, and perceived workload when using the work aid versus the baseline condition.