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How I used OMG Essence modification during my work at local
MathWorks distributor
Alexander Efremov
former application/tra...
4. Essence for customer meetings
As stated in section 3, Essence helped me to define what the solution is, collaborate wit...
5. Essence and ISO 24748
I was familiar with the System-of-Interest and Support System metaphor from ISO 15288 and ISO 247...
Keeping that in mind, I have to admit that I didn’t have a specific knowledge to encourage all the team
to adopt the appro...
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How I used Essence during my work at local MathWorks distributor

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This paper describes how author used OMG Essence modified by Russian INCOSE chapter (named further simply Essence for short) during his work as application engineer at MathWorks CIS distributor based on one particular customer relationship example. Paper gives a short description of an application engineer activities and required deliverables.

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How I used Essence during my work at local MathWorks distributor

  1. 1. How I used OMG Essence modification during my work at local MathWorks distributor Alexander Efremov former application/training/support engineer at Softline, MathWorks distributor member of INCOSE alexander.efremoff@gmail.com 1. Abstract This paper describes how author used OMG Essence modified by Russian INCOSE chapter (named further simply Essence for short) during his work as application engineer at MathWorks CIS distributor based on one particular customer relationship example. Paper gives a short description of an application engineer activities and required deliverables. 2. Introduction MathWorks is a company which created and develops computer-aided engineering software. The most famous brands which belong to MathWorks are MATLAB and Simulink. MathWorks has a relationship with a distributor—company named Softline—with headquarters in Moscow, Russia, which is responsible for sales in Russia and some other CIS countries. Despite the employees’ role names are quite the same in Softline and MathWorks, their activities are quite different, so I would like to emphasize that the information provided is relevant to Russian MathWorks distributor during my work for it. I discussed Essence with some MathWorks employees, but there is no much information about its adoption there. 3. Softline Application Engineer Application Engineer of Softline (named further AE for short) is responsible among others for pre-sale support. To provide this support AE collaborates with Sales Representative (SR). As far as Softline pretends to provide solutions based on MathWorks software, I decided to define a solution according to Essence. According to this understanding a system which Softline has to provide is a combination of software and knowledge on how to use it. The software itself is a development environment based on some of many (about 100) products, each of them is supposed to fulfill a specific customer’s task, so it’s important to gather customer’s requirements (opportunities in terms of Essence) for this software and choose the appropriate products. It is also important to understand who produces these requirements and not to forget important stakeholders, so there is a need of stakeholder analysis. Based on the stakeholders list and related opportunities I produced a system definition, negotiated with stakeholders to find out if this definition is correct and tried to provide a system realization according to the definition and customer’s needs. Fig. 1. Alphas from Essence. I used them with their relations, but removed them from this drawing to keep it clear.
  2. 2. 4. Essence for customer meetings As stated in section 3, Essence helped me to define what the solution is, collaborate with my colleagues (SR mostly) better. In this section I’m going to explain how I used Essence during customer meetings – one of the activities AE has to take part in. According to the solution definition provided in section 3 AE has to negotiate with the customer at least to identify what kind of stakeholder group he belongs to, what opportunities he has. I noticed that it’s pretty much difficult to explain to the customer that I have some kind of specific understanding of my work (section 3), so that is the reason he has to answer some of my usually unexpected questions. That is why I decided to focus on customer’s solution (solution which a customer has to provide to his stakeholders). Fig. 2. Combination of Alphas used during customer meetings. I started with a statement that something that Softline has to provide is my conversation partner’s Way of working. I used all the relations from Essence to explain that Way of working has lots of dependencies, so I can’t just give something right away, that is why I have to ask my conversation partner something about his team, what they do (Customer’s solution), their customer (Customer’s customer). That approach helped me to produce a list of questions and to explain a customer why it’s important to answer them. I used a paper and pencil (or a whiteboard in case of a big audience) to draw alphas and their relations to support my speech. One of the last cases I worked with was for a customer which wanted to use my solution as his way of working (see fig. 2) to produce a kind of system (customer’s solution) which has to be a way of working for lots of potential customer’s customers. I don’t provide a specific figure for this case, but you can imagine that placing another one combination of alphas in a third column near what you can see in fig. 2. Again, this Alphas metaphor helped me to provide a good solution based not only on customer’s opportunities, but on customer’s customers opportunities; I also managed to provide some recommendations to my customer on how to negotiate with his customers to provide better solution.
  3. 3. 5. Essence and ISO 24748 I was familiar with the System-of-Interest and Support System metaphor from ISO 15288 and ISO 24748. It appeared that it’s easier to stay with Essence in case mentioned in section 4. It was easier to talk to the conversation partner using Essence. The conversation partner wasn’t familiar with ISO 24748, ISO 15288 or Essence (though the conversation partner was familiar with GOST 34—soviet standards for automation systems— and TRIZ). It was also easier to provide a solution for this case using Essence. I was also able to take into account three levels of systems of interest (my system of interest, customer’s system of interest and customer’s customer system of interest, their relations) using Essence. From now I can hardly see how this could be done using ISO 15288 and ISO 24748 having the same time limits. Fig. 3. ISO 24748 Figure 8. I have to mention that I never tried to use the ISO 24748 in any other cases except the one mentioned in section 4, sticking with Essence for all other cases. 6. Conclusion Despite the clear description of AE role (or a way to describe a role) made with Essence it was decided by the team management not to implement the Essence approach teamwide. Unfortunately, the way of negotiation with the customers using Essence approach wasn’t captured as a best practice and wasn’t implemented teamwide also despite the good results provided for various cases. Still, the Essence approach was recognized by team management as a good one, but too difficult and risky to implement in given reality.
  4. 4. Keeping that in mind, I have to admit that I didn’t have a specific knowledge to encourage all the team to adopt the approach.

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