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Managing and Engineering Complex Technological Systems

ISBN: 978-1-119-06859-4
240 pages
October 2015
Managing and Engineering Complex Technological Systems (1119068592) cover image

Description

Presents the origins and evolution of the systems engineering discipline and helps readers gain a personal familiarity with systems engineering experts: their experience, opinions and attitudes in this field

This book is based on a qualitative study that includes dozens of in-depth interviews with experts in the systems engineering field. This book is broken into three main parts. The first part is a general overview of the systems engineering field. The second part discusses the changes the systems engineering discipline has undergone with the analysis as case studies of two significant Israeli defence systems projects: the IAI Lavi project and the Iron Dome project.

The third part of this book contains interviews with renowned experts in the systems engineering field. This part is divided into five sections: systems engineering as the answer to the challenges of a complex technological world – the aerospace industries; the development of systems engineering in the commercial and industrial worlds, and in complex civil systems; the impact of the accelerated development of the computing world on systems engineering processes; systems engineering and the academic world; and systems engineering in the world of training and consulting.

This book presents the main insights derived from the interviews, and an analysis and discussion of the question of the relevance of systems engineering to the management world. Some highlights of this book are that it

  • Integrates the technological aspects with the behavioural aspects of the field
  • Serves managerial needs of engineering and management in general, so managers with no technical background can derive knowledge from this book
  • Provides approaches for seeing beyond technology-understanding the mission

Managing and Engineering Complex Technological Systems is a great resource on management for managers as well as systems engineers.

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Table of Contents

WORDS FROM INCOSE PRESIDENT ix

WORDS FROM THE HEAD OF THE BERNARD M. GORDON CENTER FOR SYSTEMS ENGINEERING, TECHNION xi

WORDS FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE ISRAELI SOCIETY FOR SYSTEMS ENGINEERING INCOSEIL xiii

WORDS FROM THE WRITERS xv

PREFACE xix

LIST OF INTERVIEWEES (ALPHABETICAL ORDER) xxiii

PART I SYSTEMS ENGINEERING – A GENERAL OVERVIEW 1

1.1 The Origins, History, and Uniqueness of Systems Engineering 3

1.1.1 On The Essence of Systems Engineering, 5

1.1.2 The Different Types of Systems Engineering, 6

1.2 A Multidisciplinary, Systemic View 8

1.2.1 The Boundaries of a System, 9

1.2.2 Systems of Systems, 10

1.2.3 Managing the Human Factor, 11

1.2.4 Traits Derived From an Interdisciplinary, Systemic View, 11

1.3 The Systems Engineer as Manager and Leader 14

1.3.1 Systems Engineering and Technological Project Management, 17

1.4 The Evolution of a Systems Engineer 19

1.4.1 The Main Paths of Development of Systems Engineers, 20

1.4.2 The Evolution of Software Engineers Into Systems Engineers, 22

1.4.3 The Training of Systems Engineers, 23

1.5 Systems Engineering in Various Organizations 25

1.5.1 Who is a Systems Engineer? – A Question of Terminology, 28

1.6 The Future of Systems Engineering 29

PARTII AWORLD OF COMPLEX PROJECTS – THEN AND NOW 33

2.1 The IAI Lavi Project – The Dream and Downfall 35

2.1.1 The Feasibility Study, 36

2.1.2 The Project, 39

2.1.3 The End of the Project and Further Insights, 49

2.2 The Iron Dome Project – Development Under Fire 52

2.2.1 Background and Preparations, 53

PARTIII THE INTERVIEWS 69

3.1 Developments in a Complex, Technological World – The Aviation and Space Industries 71

3.1.1 Structured, Multidisciplinary Methods of Resolving Lateral Problems, 71

3.1.2 Planning Systems that Fit the Needs of Both Clients and Users, 79

3.1.3 Seeing Beyond Technology – Understanding the Mission, 86

3.1.4 Simplification Capabilities in a Complex Environment, 95

3.1.5 Complex Mega-Systems That Cannot be Supervised, 104

3.2 Developments in Industry and Commerce and in Complex Civilian Systems 111

3.2.1 The Ability to Identify Bottlenecks and Eliminate Them, 111

3.2.2 Well-Organized Work is Always Needed; the Problem is People Don’t Always Want to Make the Effort, 118

3.2.3 Management-Oriented Systems Engineers Also See The Business Aspects, 126

3.3 The Influence of the Accelerated Progress in the Computing World 139

3.3.1 When a Critical Mass of Processes and Methods is Formed, A New Profession is Born, 139

3.3.2 Looking at a Problem From Different Angles, 145

3.3.3 Venturing Beyond the Core-Subjects to Study New Areas, 152

3.3.4 The Abstract Level of Discussion is of Great Value, 157

3.3 Systems Engineering and Academia 166

3.3.1 Applying Holistic Thinking, 166

3.3.2 A Powerful Natural Curiosity and an Ability to Truly Like People, 171

3.3.3 Expanding the Boundaries of the System, 175

References, 188

3.5 Systems Engineering in the World of Training and Consulting 189

3.5.1 Combining Engineering and Management Skills, 189

3.5.2 Model-Based Systems Engineering, 195

3.5.3 The Main Requirement: Keeping Up With Schedules, 200

INDEX 207

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Author Information

Avigdor Zonnenshain is the Senior Researcher at The Gordon Center for Systems Engineering at the Technion, Haifa, Israel. He has a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from the University of Arizona, Tuscon.

Shuki Stauber is an author, researcher, counsellor, and journalist. He is also a senior management lecturer and has written twelve books and hundreds of articles.
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