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Systems Engineering: A 21st Century Systems Methodology

Systems Engineering: A 21st Century Systems Methodology

Derek K. Hitchins

ISBN: 978-0-470-51875-5

Aug 2008

528 pages


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This book conceives, presents and exemplifies a contemporary, general systems methodology that is straightforward and accessible, providing guidance in practical application, as well as explaining concept and theory. The book is presented both as a text for students, with topic assignments, and as a reference for practitioners, through case studies.

Utilizing recent research and developments in systems science, methods and tools, Hitchins has developed a unified systems methodology, employable when tackling virtually any problem, from the small technological, to the global socioeconomic. Founded in the powerful ‘systems approach’, Hitchins’ systems methodology brings together both soft and hard system scientific methods into one methodological framework. This can be applied when addressing complex problems, issues and situations, and for creating robust, provable solutions, resolutions and dissolutions to those problems – supposing such to exist.

This book details and explores:

  • the systems approach, using theory and method to reveal systems engineering as applied systems science, bridging the gulf between Problem and Solution Spaces;
  • a ‘universal’ Systems Methodology (including an extensive view of systems engineering, embracing both soft and hard systems) which encompasses all five stages of Hitchins’ 5-layer Systems Engineering Model (artifact, project, enterprise, industry and socio-economy);
  • case studies illustrating how the systems methodology may be used to address a diverse range of situations and issues, including conceiving a new defense capability, proposing a feasible way to tackle global warming, tackling enterprise interventions, how and why things can go wrong, and many more.

Systems Engineering will give an immeasurable advantage to managers, practitioners and consultants in a wide range of organizations and fields including police, defense, procurement, communications, transport, management, electrical, electronic, aerospace, requirements, software and computer engineering.

It is an essential reference for researchers seeking ‘systems enlightenment’, including graduate students who require a comprehensive reference text on the subject, and also government departments and systems engineering institutions



Part I: Systems: Advances in Systems Science and Thinking.

1. Systems Philosophy.

2. Advances in Systems Science.

3. Advances in Systems Thinking.

4. Systems Engineering Philosophy.

5. System Models.

Case A. Japanese Lean Volume Supply Systems.

Part II: Systems Methodology.

6. Overview of the Systems Methodology.

7. SM1: Addressing Complex Issues and Problems.

Case B. The Practice Intervention.

8. SM2: Exploring the Solution Space.

9. SM3 and 4: Focusing Solution System Purpose.

Case C: The Total Weapon System Concept.

10. SM5: Architecting/Designing System Solutions.

11. SM6: Optimize Solution System Design.

12. SM7: Create and Prove Solution System (SOS).

13. The Systems Methodology - Elaborated.

14. Setting the Systems Methodology to Work.

Case D: Architecting a Defense Capability.

Part III: Systems Methodology and Systems Engineering.

15. Systems Engineering - The Real Deal.

16. Systems Creation: Hand of Purpose, Root of Emergence.

Case E: The police Command and Control System.

Case F: Fighter Avionics System Design.

17. SOS Engineering Principles and Practices.

Case G. Defense Procurement in the 21st Century.

18. Systems Engineering: Intelligent Systems.

Case H: Global Warming, Climate Change and Energy.



"This book is recommended for administrative and technical staff in industry and government agencies and for graduate students in engineering programs. It would be a good addition to academic, corporate and governmental library collections." (E-Streams, December 2008)