Attended a INCOSE seminar yesterday, on systems architecture. James N Martin shared his wealth of knowledge and experience in aerospace system development.
New insights I’ve learned:
- systems architecting is even less known than systems engineering
- architecting is not only about the technical system
- environmental, political, social, economical requirements also impact architectural design
- architecture provides the bridge between a company’s mission and the products it delivers
- enterprise architecture provides a ‘framework’ that constrains the solution space
- system architecture provides a ‘framework’ that constrains and supports the engineering solution
- models are needed to develop system architecture
- there are many ways (views) to look at system architecture, all serving different purposes
I also noticed that there are quite a few concepts that came across from software development where system architecture and modelling (e.g. using UML) is more established.
Modelling (e.g. using SysML) is being promoted within systems engineering as the way to go. Now if your working for NASA like companies like James does, you might be granted the time, budget and people to pull this off. But in many other cases it might be very difficult to find and convince sponsors within your company to get this going. Especially since it requires a strategic, long term view plus persistence to reap the benefits.
If you believe in, or can no longer deny, the digitization trend, the only way to go forward is to model whatever product you deliver. Read my posts on that subject: your Company s next Top Model
Alltogether: Systems Architecting is not new but only very few companies are aware of this aspect of system development. Of course all existing systems do have architecture, and it has emerged and evolved in a gradual manner. But next time when you consider your ‘next generation’, ‘new platform’, ‘extended product range’, it might be a good idea be more aware of what needs actually drive and shape the solution you want to offer to your customers. Systems Architecting does exactly that.
Want to learn more about Systems Engineering? Check out the Systems Engineering Concept.