View Of Systems Architecting

Any discussion of architecting large and complex systems would not be complete without reference to the extraordinary and landmark treatise by E. Rechtin on systems architecting [9.1]. Rechtin's view is that ''the core of architecting is system conceptualization'' and that there are four basic approaches to the process of architecting:

1. The normative (pronouncement) methodology

2. The rational (procedural) method

3. The argumentative approach

4. The heuristic approach

The approach delineated in this chapter is a combination of the rational and the heuristic approaches. The rational method is exemplified by the evaluation framework discussed later in this chapter; the heuristics lie mainly in how alternative systems are defined and also how a rating scheme is established in order to assess the strengths and weaknesses of these alternatives. In seeking the appropriate mix between these approaches, Rechtin suggests that ''the scientist, engineer and architect follow the heuristic: simplify, simplify simplify.''

Another key observation made by Rechtin is:

The essence of systems is relationships, interfaces, form, fit and function. The essence of architecting is structuring, simplification, compromise and balance.

The balance is achieved by the appropriate compromise between the following types of factors:

• System requirements

• Simplicity

• Affordability

• Complexity

• Environmental imperatives

These factors can be said to represent a high-level set of evaluation criteria for all types of systems.

In addition, Rechtin provides an interesting citation of notably successful systems as well as a rather long list of heuristics, chapter by chapter. The latter list is must reading for any and all Project Managers (PMs) and Chief Systems Engineers (CSEs).

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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