System Architecting: A Strategy and Decisions Perspective
Mark Kaczmarek – Secretary, INCOSE Chesapeake Chapter
After Action Report:
On Saturday, July 12, 2014, Dr. Mark Maier delivered an excellent tutorial on “Systems Architecting: A Strategy and Decisions Perspective”. Dr. Maier is co-author along with Eberhardt Rechtin (1926 – 2006) of the book “The Art of Systems Architecting” 3rd edition, which is the primary reference for this tutorial. The 3rd edition is a significant improvement over earlier editions. Dr. Maier is currently at the Aerospace Corporation in Chantilly, VA.
The tutorial began by explaining the many conflicting “Faces” or perspectives of Systems Architecture. The DC-3 development (Case Study #1 in the above book) was presented to show the importance of including problem definition as part of the architectural tradeoffs. The Diagram of Phases (table P.1, pg xviii in the book) was explained, showing differences between systems architecting and systems engineering. There was a group exercise to review DARPA’s “Grand Challenge” with insights gained for the analysis of the vague requirements provided. Additionally, the 7 Dimensions of Problem Complexity table was explained for various engineering categories. GPS – Global Positioning System (Case Study #5 in the book) was also presented showing the key decision points and the architecting of the staged deployments of the system.
A top notch event with a top notch audience. I hope that a repeat and follow-on can be on the Chesapeake Chapter’s slate in the near future. Also, special thanks to JHU/APL for hosting and providing the facilities for the tutorial.