Introduction

Chapter 9 presented the basic principles of systems architecting with the following key elements, a subset of the thirty elements of systems engineering:

• Requirements analysis/allocation

• Functional analysis/ allocation

• Architecture design/synthesis

• Alternatives analysis/evaluation

• Technical performance measurement

• Life-cycle costing

• Risk analysis

• Concurrent engineering

In this appendix, we show some short case studies of systems architecting to more clearly demonstrate the process and some of the requisite outputs. These cases are drawn from assignments given in graduate courses in systems engineering at The George Washington University. This author gratefully acknowledges the efforts and insights of a variety of students in the graduate program in systems engineering [A.1].

The cases presented simulate the architecting process rather than going through all elements in detail. In particular, the technical performance measurement element is limited because it is usually a long and difficult procedure to truly assess all important elements of performance, including trade-off stud ies and sensitivity analyses. In one of the cases, sensitivities were analyzed, utilizing a decision support system that is particularly well-suited to an examination of how parameters vary and cause changes in the overall architecture evaluations.

The instructions given for the development and assessment of architectures were rather broad. The first assignments started with the definition of requirements, which was left for the students to formulate. After considerable discussion, these requirements were responded to with the synthesis of alternative architectures. The procedure (presented in Section 9.5.3) recommended was to develop three architectures:

1. A low-cost, minimum-effectiveness alternative

2. A ''baseline'' alternative

3. A high-performance (high-cost) alternative

Not all alternatives mapped precisely into these three situations, but in all cases, at least three alternatives were defined. From this point, the alternatives were evaluated based on a well-defined set of evaluation criteria. Weighting and ranking ''systems'' were most often set forth as a means of carrying out the evaluations. In some cases, systems engineering elements beyond the scope of architecting were also considered.

Some systems turned out to be software-based, with varying functionalities and host computers. The four cases described in the remainder of this appendix deal with:

1. A logistics support system

2. A decision support system for software defects

3. A systems engineering environment (SEE)

4. An anemometry system

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Project Management Made Easy

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