Architectural Design

A course presented over five days

presented by Mr. Robert Halligan FIE Aust CPEng or Mr Alwyn Smit Pr Eng CSEP


This five-day course addresses the principles and methods of designing, regardless of what is being designed. Historically, design errors have been a major cause of loss of value in technical projects, or worse, major disasters involving substantial loss of life. This course provides an integrated approach to the set of technical design process disciplines to minimize errors and maximize value. These disciplines combine with technology knowledge and creativity to achieve solutions that satisfy requirements and maximise system effectiveness, enhancing project success and reducing risk to the enterprise.

The course is strong in Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) methods supported by substantial workshop activity. The course provides insight into the realities of current modeling languages and tools, and the directions in which model-based design is evolving. Participants gain experience in workshop format with both functional and state-based design, and their relationship to physical design. The third major aspect of design, the basis of decision-making between feasible design alternatives (i.e., the conduct of trade-off studies) is thoroughly exercised. Trade-off studies are then integrated into a very effective three-stage approach to design optimization. The course also provides introductory, yet significant, coverage of the disciplines of reliability engineering, safety engineering, maintainability engineering and producibility engineering.

Who Should Attend This Architectural Design Course?

This design course is designed for personnel who perform or manage the development of small to large technology-based systems, products, capabilities, etc. The course will be of particular value to people with job titles such as:

  • System architect
  • Enterprise architect
  • Design engineer
  • Systems engineer
  • Business analyst
  • Systems analyst
  • Software systems engineer
  • Software engineer
  • Specialty engineer - reliability, safety, maintainability, producibility
  • Hardware engineer
  • Research engineer
  • Project engineer
  • LSA specialist
  • Industrial engineer
  • Other engineering job titles
  • R and D manager
  • Engineering manager.

Training Methods and Materials

The course makes extensive use of course workshops to put into practice the techniques covered in theory sessions.

The course is delivered using a mixture of formal presentation, informal discussion, and extensive workshops that exercise key aspects of a systems approach to design, using a single system throughout. The result is a high degree of learning, as evidenced by workshop work products, and the extensive commendations received from past participants.

Delegates are provided with:

  • comprehensive course materials containing presentation material and supporting reading material
  • a Workbook containing workshop exercises, with worked examples also distributed
  • numerous supplementary descriptions, checklists, forms and charts which you can put to use immediately
  • complimentary access to PPI's evolving Systems Engineering Goldmine.

Course Availability

This course is available worldwide for public and on-site delivery (i.e. at client-provided facilities).

Architectural Design Training Objective

It is expected that, on completion of the course, participants will:

  • understand the overall concepts which are characteristic of a systems approach to design
  • understand the overall process elements, and their relationships, that collectively constitute the process building blocks of design (verb)
  • be able to perform techniques of development of physical solution, supporting development of logical solution, evaluation of solution alternatives (trade-off studies) and design iteration, within the constraints of their technology knowledge
  • have some basic capability to tailor the application of design principles and methods to different application scenarios
  • have introductory skills in designing for reliability, safety, maintainability and producibility, and
  • be capable of extensive further learning in the field, within a sound conceptual framework.

Key Questions

  • What is architecture?
  • Is architecture different to design?
  • What is a systems approach to design and how is it relevant?
  • What is the relevance of waterfall development, incremental development, evolutionary development, agile, spiral development, lean, simultaneous/concurrent engineering?
  • What is the timing relationship between logical and physical design?
  • What is logical design, and what forms can it take?
  • Why do we care about logical design?
  • What is model-based architecting? Model-based design? Are model-based and model-driven different?
  • What is object-oriented design and how does it relate?
  • What languages and tools are applicable for model-based work?
  • Where does FMEA figure?
  • Is FMECA different to FMEA?
  • What about FTA and ETA, where do they figure?
  • Are model-based techniques limited to certain technologies?
  • How can we be sure we have come up with the best design?
  • Everywhere I turn there seems to be uncertainty. How can I make design decisions in the presence of such uncertainty?
  • Is there a reliable and efficient way to optimize design?
  • How do I design for reliability?
  • How do I design for safety?
  • How do I design for maintainability?
  • How do I design for producibility?
  • What are the skills, knowledge and attitudes (SKAs) conducive to success in being a designer?


Architecture Design Course Outline

0. Introduction - Architecture Design Within Systems Engineering

  • the business case for a systems approach to design
  • definition of terms
  • design interactive exercise - basic
  • systems engineering process overview - the football diagram
  • design within a systems engineering process model

1. Design-Related Principles of Engineering

  • system views
  • workshop - design-related principles

2. Styles of System Development

  • the solution domain: key concepts, relationships, and work products
  • waterfall, incremental, evolutionary and spiral development approaches
  • workshop - development strategies

3. Concepts of Architecture and Detailed Design - Physical and Logical

  • physical architecture (structural view) - basic concepts
  • logical architecture - basic concepts
  • logical architecture related to physical architecture
  • useful forms of logical representation - functional, state-based, mathematical, ...with examples
  • model-based design in practice - MBSE/MBA/MBD/MDA/MDD

4. Initial Physical Conceptualization

  • the role of technology and innovation
  • architectural design driver requirements
  • Workshop 3 - identification of architectural design driver requirements
  • techniques for stimulating innovation: brainstorming, Triz
  • perspiration engineering: configuration items
  • criteria for selecting configuration items
  • design complexity trade-off
  • relationship of CI definition to system integration
  • workshop 4 - physical conceptualization of solution

5. Functional Design

  • functional analysis in design - how to do it
    • functional analysis/architecture process
    • item flow and control flow
    • un-allocatable and allocatable functions
    • pitfalls in defining functions
    • common pitfalls in functional design
    • interactive exercie - a simple functional design
    • workshop 5 - physical and functional design, part A
    • workshop 6 - physical and functional design, part B
    • Coupling, cohesion, connectivity
    • FMEA/FMECA in design
    • performance thread analysis
    • relationship to object orientation
    • allocation of functionality between hardware and software
  • Fault Tree Analysis
  • Event Tree Analysis
  • behavior modeling languages
  • other languages incorporating functional modeling: SysML, ...
  • software tools supporting functional and physical design
  • pitfalls in functional design

6. State-Based Design

  • state-based design - how to do it
    • Workshop 6 - a simple state-based design
    • relationship to object orientation
  • SysML, and alternative languages incorporating state-based modeling
  • software tools supporting state-based design
  • pitfalls in state-based design

7. Object Process Methodology (OPM)

  • background to OPM
  • OPM description
  • relationship to object orientation
  • software tools OPM

8. Design For Six-Sigma (DFSS)

  • what is Six-Sigma
  • Lean
  • Lean Six-Sigma
  • lean Enablers for Systems Engineering
  • the DFSS toolset

9. Return to Physical Design

  • functional to physical allocation
  • facilities, procedures, people, and other types of system element
  • use of a specification tree
  • system elements not designated as configuration items
  • some common pitfalls in developing system physical architecture
  • use of architectural design driver requirements
  • adding the detail to the design
  • design creates requirements - the duality of requirements and design
  • interface engineering
  • interface requirements specifications versus interface design descriptions/ICDs
  • the OSI 7-Layer Model and similar in interface engineering
  • relationship to system integration
  • evolution of interfaces in systems having levels of structure
  • some common pitfalls in interface engineering
  • artifacts created in design

10. Design Decision Making and Optimization - Trade-Off Studies

  • designing for feasibility
  • designing for effectiveness: approach to design optimization
    • the role of MOEs and goals
    • the origin of a system effectiveness model
    • designing for the company versus designing for the customer - handling conflict of interest
  • using a sys effectiveness model
      • taking account of risk relating to goals
      • taking account of risk relating to satisfaction of requirements
      • event-based uncertainty
      • risk-aversion
      • workshop 7 - using a system effectiveness model
      • cost/capability, return on investment and like concepts
      • iterative optimization of design - an effective methodology
  • other techniques - Quality Function Deployment
  • software tools supporting design decision making
  • some common pitfalls in design decision making

11. Engineering Specialty Integration

  • what makes an engineering specialty special?
  • common engineering specialties
  • a generic approach to ESI
  • organizational issues of ESI
  • pitfalls, and specialty engineering examples

12. Concurrent (Simultaneous) Engineering

  • system of interest - enabling system relationships
  • why concurrent (simultaneous) engineering
  • organizational aspects of implementation
  • process aspects of implementation
  • pitfalls in implementation

13. Reliability and Safety Engineering

  • Introduction to terminology
  • measures of reliability
  • probability theory related to reliability and safety
  • Reliability Block Diagrams
  • FMEA and FMECA
  • Workshop 8 - performing a basic DFMEA
  • Fault Tree and Event Tree Analysis
  • common cause/common mode failures
  • root cause analysis
  • Markov Analysis
  • Component failure and repair distributions
  • Monte Carlo simulation and Latin Hypercube samping
  • reliability data and analysis
  • Verification of reliability
  • Measures of safety
  • Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) Studies
  • Safety assurance
  • Workshop 9 - performing a basic HAZOP Study

14. Maintainability Engineering

  • measures of maintainability
  • principles of designing for maintainability
  • general techniques of designing for maintainability
  • modules
  • access and handling
  • part selection
  • verification of maintainability

15. Producibility (Manufacturability) Engineering

  • measures of producibility
  • Design For Manufacture (DFM) vs. Design For Assembly (DFA)
  • techniques of designing for manufacture
  • design for 3D printing
  • techniques of designing for assembly
  • verification of producibility
  • producibility risk analysis

16. Summary and Key Points

  • action plan

17. References and Recommended Reading

About the Presenters

Mr. Robert Halligan FIE Aust CPEng

An executive professional manager and engineering practitioner, Mr Robert Halligan is known worldwide for his role in the practice and improvement of major projects. His work was initially with government and major transnational companies. For the last 24 years, he has worked in a consulting and training capacity, delivering an extensive training program on six continents.

Robert worked extensively in the United States and the United Kingdom. He was an Australian delegate to the ISO SC7 WG7 developing the international system life cycle processes standard, ISO/IEC 15288 and was a key reviewer of EIA 632 (Engineering of Systems) and EIA 731 (Systems Engineering Capability Model). He was a member of a small team which updated IEEE 1220 (Standard for Application and Management of the Systems Engineering Process). Robert was a member of the Board of Directors of the 7000-member International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE).

He has worked extensively in the interests of government and industry clients, developing and implementing acquisition and development strategies which focus on cost-effectiveness and risk reduction. Robert has also conducted numerous acquisition-related studies and management audits. He has delivered IPT training and facilitation for over ten years, including very large projects such as Australia’s P3C Upgrade program and ANZAC Ships program.

View Full Robert Halligan Biography


Mr. Alwyn Smit B.Eng

Mr Alwyn Smit is a Principal Consultant with Project Performance International (PPI). Alwyn has a B.Eng. (Electr) degree from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, and is registered with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) as a professional engineer. He spent the bulk of his career working in the South African defence industry as systems engineer and project manager on technology-intensive projects, most recently as principal systems engineer with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

As a lead systems engineer, Mr Smit has contributed extensively to the development of complex technology demonstrators as well as the low volume production of weapon systems in the areas of anti-aircraft systems, radar systems, electronic warfare systems and specialised equipment for special forces application.

View Full Alwyn Smit Biography


Mr. Michael Gainford MAEng FRAeS MSc ESEP CEng MINCOSE

Michael Gainford is a Principal Consultant with Project Performance International, contributing in both the training and consulting roles to the success of PPI's clients. Michael comes to PPI with decades of experience in systems engineering, product and process development, programme management, and business change management, applied in complex international projects, including safety-critical situations. During his career Michael has worked across all the major life cycle phases, for example research & technology, concept definition, product development, legacy product replacement and in-service support.

Michael is an active member of INCOSE (the International Council on Systems Engineering), and has achieved the status of ESEP (Expert Systems Engineering Practitioner). He is also a past employer representative to the INCOSE UK Advisory Board.

View Full Michael Gainford Biography


For further information on how to register, or to download a copy of the registration form, please click here.

Architectural Design Course Schedule (Scroll to view full schedule)

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If you need any assistance with the registration process or have any queries, please call one of our friendly team members on Australia +61 3 9876 7345, UK +44 20 3608 6754, North America +1 888 772 5174, Brazil +55 11 3958 8064 or email us.

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Quote of the Day

Every requirement is a part of somebody's solution, until the buck stops at Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of five classes of human need. - Robert Halligan

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