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The Role Of Systems Engineering In Global
 

The Role Of Systems Engineering In Global

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    The Role Of Systems Engineering In Global The Role Of Systems Engineering In Global Presentation Transcript

    • <Agenda Item> The Role of Systems Engineering in Global Standardisation John Harauz Prepared for IEEE CS SAB, 28 Mar 2008 For Computer Society Internal Use Only
    • The role of systems engineering in global standardisation, Jon Holt & Paul McNeillis, 2006 ( British Standards Institute downloadable Paper ).
      • Standards are an integral part of the work of engineers, but the technical and business systems in which standards are deployed are becoming ever more complex.
      • In applying standards, engineers and other professionals face decisions which may have consequences far beyond their immediate context in time, space and scope.
      • The rise of systems engineering demonstrates the commitment and capability of the engineering professional to tackle these issues.
      • The paper presents a logical extension of that work by demonstrating how the same systems engineering approaches are now being applied to the actual development of standards.
      • The benefits of using systems engineering in this context are set out on three levels:
        • application to the development of single standards;
        • to groups of inter-related standards
        • entire global standards making system.
    • MODELLING APPROACH
      • In order to solve the problems mentioned above, the BSI have adopted the use of a process framework, or meta-model, that defines how any process (which encompasses standards) should be defined.
      • A framework defines a set of views which, when consistent and read together, defines a complete model of a system. Many examples of such frameworks exist, such as Zachman, MODAF, etc.
      • The framework adopted by the BSI comprises seven basic views:
    • MODELLING APPROACH
      • Requirements view – captures the requirements of the process and the stakeholders involved. The requirements view of the process framework is essential to the process model, as without the requirements, there is no means of process validation. In systems engineering terms, this view represents the output of applying classic requirements engineering processes.
      • Information view – captures the artefacts (deliverables) that are produced and consumed by the process, and also shows the relationships between the artefacts. This view is essential for traceability of the standard. One of the selling points of a particular type of ‘fast-track’ standard is that the stakeholders need only work towards compliance with that standard since it is mapped back to all relevant standards.
    • MODELLING APPROACH
      • Stakeholder view – captures the stakeholders involved in the process. Consideration of stakeholder interests and ways of involving them are perennial themes in standards development, and recent projects like the development of an ISO standard for Social Responsibility have raised the profile of this issue even further. The value of having a clear and transparent view of stakeholders and relating this back to their requirements has never been more important.
      • Process structure view – captures the structure and terminology of the process; forms the basis for any kind of mapping between different processes and standards, which is important when performing audits and assessments. Clearly when many sources are being used for information, there is going to be a lot of communication issues and this view aims to address these.
    • MODELLING APPROACH
      • Process content view – defines the content of a process in terms of the artefacts and activities that make up that process. The process content view forms the heart of the standard and may be thought of as the process library.
      • Process behavioural view – defines the behaviour of the process: how the activities are sequenced, the artefacts entering and leaving the activities and the stakeholders involved in the process. This is the view that most people associate with process modelling and is often compared to flowcharts or RACI tables.
      • Process instance view – captures a sequence of processes and defines a scenario that can be used to validate the requirements of the process. This view shows how processes are executed to meet the original requirements.
    • Benefits of Extending Systems Engineering Techniques to the Development of Standards
      • Complexity
      • Clarity of structure: The resulting models make standards simpler by revealing their core structure and allow us to strip out unnecessary complexity.
        • Beyond templates: Traditional standards writing techniques rely on the use of templates to give structure – but there is the potential for text to baffle that structure and compromise it unless the concepts within it have been logically modelled and inter-related. UML modelling is a more rigorous tool to structure standards.
      • Understanding
      • Clearer requirements: By adopting a requirements gathering and modelling approach the rationale behind the standard becomes explicit and traceable. This is invaluable in responding to enquiries, looking back at the logic after the original project has completed, and in making changes and updates as requirements change.
        • Congruence: a well engineered standard is congruent in its scope, processes and aims. Systems engineering gives the ability to test, understand and validate that congruence and to correct it if it proves faulty.
    • Benefits of Extending Systems Engineering Techniques to the Development of Standards
      • Communication
      • Visual communication can be more immediate than text and give the reader of a draft standard the ability to access a systems perspective on the standard at a glance. Models invite interaction and discussions in group situations. They can draw large groups of stakeholders into a productive development process that goes well beyond the usual committee facilitation. There is growing recognition of the need for high transparency in standards development projects and this approach offers a powerful new tool for communicating in traceable fashion precisely how stakeholder requirements are informing the development process.
      • The core deliverable of BSI Professional Services is the development of the ‘fast track standard’ known as the Publicly Available Specification or PAS. This is, in effect, an industry standard, with stakeholder consultation, that can be generated in a relatively-short time period (around eight months) and that could potentially then form the basis for a full consensus British Standard. This entire systems modelling approach has been systematically adopted as the best practice methodology for developing PAS’s and has been applied across all sectors including software systems, new technologies like nanotechnology and regenerative medicine, and established sectors like food and retail.
    • Benefits at Group Level
      • Applying the approach at the group level brings all the established benefits of application at the single standard level but starts to bring in other benefits realised when a standard is developed as an integral part of a larger system. These benefits can be summarised once again against each of the three major development issues:
      • Complexity – the complexity of a group of standards can be grasped, analysed and reduced by the systematic application of systems engineering techniques like UML modelling.
    • Benefits at Group Level
      • Understanding – The process of modelling a group of standards engages stakeholders in an examination of a standard as part of a wider system. The final result is not an isolated new item, that simply adds to the confusing quagmire of standards, but an integrated piece of the puzzle defined as much by its relationships to other standards as by the content itself.
      • Communication – As with single standards projects, communications between members of the group are enhanced by this approach, but importantly the communication starts to spread to others outside of the immediate project in order to relate to standards and systems that are physically remote. This lays the foundations for significant interaction within the global standards making system.
    • Key Concept of Importance to CS
      • Mapping .
      • One of the selling points of the PAS is to enable the end users of the standard to have a single source of reference that will comply with all relevant standards.
      • The key to this is to be able to map from the PAS back to the source standards. These mappings can be rather complex and are hidden in the appendix of the PAS.
      • They are hidden for several reasons: so that the end users will not get bogged down the detailed mapping; because standards do change and evolve; and so that when a new source standard appears or an existing one is changed then the main body of the PAS will remain robust and only the mappings will change.
      • In reality, like any other standard, the PAS will evolve over time and it is important that the PAS model can reflect this, but by keeping the mappings separate from the main body, the core standard will be as robust as possible.
    • Standards Quagmire
      • In the world of systems engineering, this problem of fragmentation is immediately apparent. Consider, for example, the plethora of systems engineering standards, such as: ISO 15288, ISO 15504, CMMI, EIA 632,EIA 742, IEEE 1220, Mil Std 499, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 15000, INCOSE big book of knowledge, etc. Also, bear in mind that these standards are all international ones, and there are many, many more industry- and application-specific standards that relate to systems engineering.
      • By the very nature of complexity, there are many questions that arise from such a view. Some standards are derived from others, for example both IEEE 1220 and EIA 632 are derived form Mil Std 499. Some organisations favour particular standards, for example, the MoD in the UK have mandated the use of ISO 15288 on all project and also the use of MODAF – how do these two relate together? How much time and effort should be put into standards compliance? Does the whole standard need to be met or just part of it?.
    • Standards Quagmire
      • Delays to market. Sometimes a disagreement or indecision concerning the release of a standard can impact the time to market a product. Take, as an example, the Sony PS3 which has been delayed for over 9 months. One of the main reasons for this is the lack of agreement over the Blue Ray standard that will be at the heart of the system. If Sony were to release the system and then not comply with the standard, then it would cost more money to recall, update and re-release than not to release.
      • Competition between standards. History is littered by examples of competing standards. Those people of a certain age will remember the classic VHS/Beta Max wars of the early 1980’s. Consider also the format of writable DVDs (DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD +) and so on.
    • A Complex Adaptive System
      • These kind of systems have increasingly been viewed through the metaphor of a “global ecosystem”.
      • This is seen as a very appropriate lens through which to see a complex, social system and by which to introduce a link to the existing body of work on complex adaptive systems CAS.
      • The theory of CAS’s describes the behaviour of simple biological systems in the natural world. With such complexity the system is far beyond the reach of any single project or single infrastructure to manage and control it in a moment in time.
      • The aim then must be to influence the system and introduce structural elements that encourage the emergence of patterns and trends that will be beneficial and useful to its stakeholders.
      • Before looking at how this works in detail the general pattern for the complexity evolution of standards is presented as three phases below: Initial Emergence; Divergence; and then Convergence.
    • A Complex Adaptive System - Emergence
      • Some of the problems that beset the standards making system are associated with the fragmentation of standards making efforts.
      • When a new field which may benefit from standardisation, for example risk management, comes to light many diverse standards making efforts spring up.
      • These efforts may represent the efforts of specific stakeholders to address their local issues from their perspectives and to offer practical tools for response.
      • This initial round of emergent standards is highly valuable to get the issue or product in focus and to provide tools to use in a timely and appropriate fashion.
    • A Complex Adaptive System - Divergence
      • Often after emergence, there occurs a second phase of divergence and proliferation where different standards abound and increase in number.
        • This takes place without clear consideration of the relationship of the new standards to either stakeholder requirements or to existing standards frameworks.
        • Different standards may address the same issue but in different ways.
        • So standards may overlap, duplicate and possibly conflict. They may represent certain interests above others.
        • They may use different language to describe essentially the same things.
        • The legitimate interests and emphases underlying the original drive for standards, start to get tangled in an ever more complex web.
        • The impact on end-users then starts to become apparent.
    • A Complex Adaptive System - Divergence
      • Without any means of comparing standards end-users may make ill-informed choices.
        • They may risk following a standard which subsequently becomes obsolete – for example in technology product standards there are many well known examples of standards wars where the losers and their adopters pay a heavy price.
        • They may start to face demand for compliance to multiple standards and see their costs increase. This goes against the original aims of such standards to empower those poorest stakeholders at the beginning of the supply chain by giving them a mechanism to demonstrate value associated with their products.
        • End users may uncover incompatible features of diverse standards as they struggle to achieve integration into a single coherent system for their organizations during practical implementation.
    • A Complex Adaptive System - Convergence
      • When the peak of complexity and proliferation is reached demand for convergence increases. End-users and other stakeholders start to talk about integration and standards makers about harmonisation . But how are these goals to be achieved?
        • The widespread adoption of systems engineering methods in the global standards making system. The key dynamic that systems engineering can influence can be thought of as self-organisation. Simple systems that self-organise show several characteristics:
        • High surface structure
        • High energy and frequent interaction in the system
        • Macro-structures influenced by micro-level structures
    • A Complex Adaptive System - Convergence
      • A systems approach can contribute to each of these characteristics:
        • High surface structure – can be developed through adopting a systematic set of structural features in standards such as UML modelling.
        • High energy and frequent interaction – can be developed by adopting state of the art knowledge management approaches that search out existing and related standards and actively make comparisons.
        • Macro-structures influenced by micro-level structures – repeat cycles of interaction allow inter-related standards to develop, harmonise and transform into suites of standards that show convergence and consistency.
    • Conclusions
      • Systems engineering has value and application well beyond the bounds of traditional engineering. The complex human system of standards development is a great example of this.
      • Single standards can be developed using a robust design discipline that until now has been lacking.
      • Groups of standards can be inter-related and developed in an integrated way to create coherent standards systems with benefits for global organizations and whole industries.
      • Finally the whole global standards development system can benefit from the adoption of these techniques to change the current dynamics of fragmentation and encourage positive outcomes like harmonisation, inter-operability and integration.
      • This promises a pivotal role for systems engineering in the evolution of the whole complex standards ecosystem.