Systems Engineering FAQ

Read interesting and informative short articles relevant to systems engineering and projects.

Q. How do we assess whether our design (problem-solving) processes are already good enough?


Answered by Robert Halligan

A quick test to get an indication is to ask yourself the following questions:

1. do we make solution decisions that are significant to the success of our organisation? YES
2. do our designs (solution decisions), when implemented in development, normally work the first time? YES
3. do we have a significant incidence of rework in design due to errors made arising from design complexity? NO
4. are we challenged to meet development schedule and cost imperatives and targets? NO
5. faced with feasible design alternatives, do we have a quantitatively based, objective way of evaluating and selecting between these alternatives? YES
6. for a given solution concept, do we have a quantitatively based, objective way of converging in design on an optimum balance of product qualities such as various measures of performance, unit cost of production, reliability, etc.? YES
7. do we have a quantitatively based, objective way of factoring risk into design decisions? YES
8. is system integration (bringing our solution elements together to build in development a working solution) normally trouble-free? YES
9. do our products/systems almost always compare favourably with those of our competitors or allies? YES

If the answers to these questions are mainly as shown, opportunities for improvement will lie mainly in technology improvements and breakthroughs, not in the organisation’s approach to design. If not, the course will benefit your organisation in the area of design.




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