|Dr. Howard Eisner, Professor Emeritus, The George Washington University|
After Action Report:
On February 15th, INCOSE Chesapeake members and guests were treated to a workshop given by Dr. Howard Eisner, Professor Emeritus at GWU. At 40 attendees, the workshop was one of the most well-attended in recent memory, and Dr. Eisner didn’t disappoint. His thoughts, gathered throughout 30+ years in industry and 24+ in academia, generated a lively dialogue throughout the course of the workshop.
In “Thinking Outside the Box in Systems Engineering and Integration,” Dr. Eisner presented 12 “Inside the Box” thought processes, followed by his 9 tenets of “Outside the Box” thinking. I won’t elaborate here on the former (watch the video if you want to know!) – let’s get to the good stuff. Dr. Eisner’s 9 tenets are: Broaden and Generalize, Crossover, Question Conventional Wisdom, Back of the Envelope, Expand the Dimensions, “Obversity,” Remove Constraints, Thinking with Pictures, and finally, The Systems Approach. Dr. Eisner facilitated much discussion with the attendees while explaining the benefits of each tenet. We even reached somewhat of a mutual agreement to include “Truly Understand the Problem,” as additional principle. The dialogue surveyed several major systems engineering topics, including DoDAF’s limitations as a guide to actual architecture, how to find the proper level of stovepipe integration, and striking a balance with customers to allow cost-effectiveness via requirement relaxation. The depth of the dialogue certainly reflected the level of interest, and the quality of the presented material.
Glean the specifics of Dr. Eisner’s workshop by viewing his presentation, now available (with audio!) in our video library and on YouTube, using the link below.
Bio: Dr. Howard Eisner has retired as Professor Emeritus of Engineering Management and Distinguished Research Professor in the Engineering Management and Systems Engineering Department at the George Washington University. He spent 30 years in industry and 24 years in academia. In industry he served as research engineer, manager and executive at ORI, Inc. and the Atlantic Research Corporation. At the George Washington University he introduced and taught courses in systems engineering, architecting, and technical enterprises and issues. Dr. Eisner has written seven books on various aspects of systems engineering and related technical and management areas. He is a Life Fellow of the IEEE and a Fellow of INCOSE and the New York Academy of Sciences. He received BEE, MS and Doctor of Science degrees from CCNY (1957), Columbia University and The George Washington University.
Thinking outside the Box – In INCOSE Video Library here