Systems Engineering Management (Decision Making (Planning for a decision…
Systems Engineering Management
Decisions are of different weights and scope e.g.
decision on what to eat for breakfast compared to decision on best
location to site a nuclear plant.
Decision making can be regarded as simple when e.g.
relatively low degree of risk.
require mild information and intuitive reasoning with
less technical and almost deterministic in nature
We make decisions every day from the moment we are awake up until
we go to bed.
Input, output, organization, integration and processing of information
differentiates simple decisions from hard or complex decisions.
Planning for a decision making process
Goals and objectives
The stakeholders must be kept at heart. Priority must be given to
the top-level stakeholders and down the ladder.
First understand the type of decision required
Try to understand who and what will be affected.Is the
decision purely technical or some personal elements are
Binary decision types (yes or no) or making a decision between
two or more alternatives.
Who needs to be part of the decision team.
Who needs to approve the decision.
Understanding the scope of a decision. Scopes can be
technical, financial, processes, personnel, legacy involving past
decisions, programmatic (resource allocation).
You need to understand who your stakeholders are.
Previous decisions on same or similar issue must be
reviewed before embarking on a new decision.
Accuracy and timeliness of data to back the decision is
of a high significance.
Trade off Analysis
Trade-off analysis is basically a set of procedures utilized to make
decisions amidst alternatives.
Performing a trade - off is what we do whenever we make a decision, large
When we speak, we subconsciously select words that fit together to
express what we mean hence, rejecting alternative combinations of words
that might have served the purpose.
what to wear to a picnic or what flight to take on a business trip.
Basic Trade - Off Principles
Identification of Alternatives (Concept Exploration)
Comparing the Alternatives (Concept Definition)
Defining the Objective (Requirements Analysis)
Sensitivity Analysis (Concept Validation)
Proposal Development and Statement of Work (SOW)
System development often starts with someone who has a need, a customer,
who requests support often in the form of a request for proposal (RFP)
A critical element of the proposal is the Statement of Work (SOW). It is a
narrative description of the work that is needed to develop the system to meet
the customer’s needs.
WBS also known as project or system breakdown structure.
Defines the whole system to be developed, produced, tested, deployed and
supported, including hardware, software, services and data in terms of a
It defines a skeleton or framework on which the project is to be
Elements of a Typical WBS
This is the total effort required to develop, produce and integratethe system itself,
together with any auxiliary equipment required for its operation.
System Support (or integrated logistic support)
provides equipment, facilities and services necessary for the development
and operation of the system product. These items can be categorized :
Transport and handling
Personnel and training
Support comes both at the development process and system operation
This begins after the design of the individual components have been validated via
component tests. They include:
Integration System Testing.
Bringing together components and subsystems to achieve an overall
system tests and the evaluation of test results.
This category provides for factory and installation tests of delivered
systems [focusing on performance].
Operational Testing and Evaluation.
This category tests the effectiveness of the entire system in a realistic
the management of the WBS
costing and scheduling
all activities associated with project planning and control
tasks include: guiding the engineering of the
system through all its conceptual and engineering phases . These
test, requirements and evaluations
system design requirements,
trade-off studies (analysis of alternatives)
integration of specialty engineering into the early phases of the