Date: October 25, 2008 – 8:00 am – 3:30 pm

The intent of this mini-conference is to provide a forum for Systems Engineers to:

  • share lessons they have learned in their application of common tools,
  • hear from tool vendors,
  • ask questions of other  professionals to solve problems you may be encountering in the field.

This is a great opportunity for systems engineers and other interested parties. All are welcome.  Please solicit questions from your fellow engineers and bring them to the mini-conference so we can address them either to individual presenters or at the panel discussion.


8:00 –   8:30            Registration, Continental Breakfast

8:30 –   8:35            Welcome, Introductions and Announcements

8:35 –   9:05           Keynote Address “System Engineering Tools for Interoperability Testing” by Frank C. Alvidrez [Presentation]

9:05 – 11:05            “Tool Expectations”  by Jeff O. Grady, JOG Systems Engineering, Inc [Presentation]

“Applications of SE Tools / Practical Examples of SE Tools” by Rodney Buckham, Booz Allen Hamilton

“Hately-Pirbhai Methodology using DOORs for Requirements Tracking” by  Ed Fields, Raytheon [Presentation]

11:05 – 11:20            Vendor Introductions

11:20 – 12:15            Lunch, networking, discussions with vendors

12:15 – 2:15              “Robust Architecture Development: SysML Usage across Industry Tools” by Geoff Martin/Rick Steiner, Raytheon [Presentation]

“ARTiSAN Software’s Perspective on Industry Adoption of SysML” by Lonnie VanZandt, Predictable Response Consulting [Presentation]

“Find It All, Find It Fast – Knowledge Management Made Easy” by Michele Engel Edwards, The Insightrak and Ken Wolsey Knowledge Systems Solutions

2:30 –   3:30            Panel Discussion


Frank C. Alvidrez CEA – Keynote System Engineering Tools for Interoperability Testing

Throughout the transition for platform centric programs to joint interoperable, NetCentric programs has taxed the capabilities and capacities of the DoD Enterprise.  This epic movement in the “way we do business” encompasses all aspects of the development and acquisition process, from contractor/Government R&D to fielding of systems.  From individual combatants to Joint Forces Commands, all levels of war fighters are affected by the rapid developments in interoperability.   For the System Engineering community our engineers have been coping with the new challenges of system of system engineering; that is to say, expanding our domain from making sure that our systems of interest work together to ensuring that we are totally interoperable in a much larger context.  Testing is only one part of the domain that system engineers are responsible for.  This address will examine some of the tools available to help our community ensure interoperability testing can be planned for early in our programs.

Rodney Buckham, Booz Allen Hamilton – Applications of SE Tools / Practical Examples of SE Tools

Confederate Cavalry General Nathan Bedford Forrest once remarked that military victory most often goes to “…whoever gets there firstest with the mostest…”

Since the value of Systems Engineering practices are realized most the earlier they are applied, it makes most sense for the government to apply good requirements related practices long before solicitation.  Are INCOSE engineers surprised when they receive near worthless products from which to build specifications? Does the specter of requirements litigation cause flight from fun and fortune?  There are moves afoot to teach and apply requirements development practices “firstest” –to government acquisition offices–so that we can provide the “mostest” value across the contractual threshold.  Products of this effort are a better acquisition and contracting strategy, better performance specifications, and a less squishy pre-solicitation handshake between government procurers and Industry.

One of our brand new INCOSE members only put a name to his passion in the last half decade.  A full-circle communicator, he was concerned for the loss of critical communications within government teams.  Since then he has worked with common requirements tools in uncommon ways.  More than quality performance specifications are at stake.  Strategy capture, early budgeting, mitigating congressional reclama cuts—all are conceived as the highest level of requirements gathering.  All involve human communications that impact quality opportunities for Industry.

Several examples will be presented of using the Dynamic Object Oriented Requirements System (DOORS) by IBM/Telelogic, Inc. and Artisan Studiofor SysML modeling to enhance quality communications at several levels of human thought. As much a request for interaction with industry systems engineers and requirements management experts the speaker intends a lively discussion wherein he hopes to inform and be informed.

Geoff D. Martin/Rick Steiner, Raytheon – Robust Architecture Development: SysML Usage across Industry Tools

Rapid technology growth coupled with increasingly dynamic missions of modern military operations calls for solutions that exercise multiple systems.  Understanding the capability requirements of these System of Systems solutions is best realized through a sound and robust architecture.  And as the development of an architecture is typically iterative in nature, and in order to be the master the iterations vice be the slave thereto, the author recommends construction of a systems architecture model.  While such an effort is rewarding by supplying effective order and re-use time savings, care is required when selecting a tool for such an effort and structuring the model itself.

Ed Fields, Raytheon – “Hately-Pirbhai Methodology using DOORs for Requirements Tracking” – Discussion of Systems Engineering design methodology for tracking decomposition of requirements to Data Flow Diagram processes utilizing DOORs for the tracking of decomposed and derived requirements.

Jeff O. Grady, President, JOG System Engineering, Inc. – “Tool Expectations

Toolmakers have apparently accepted, perhaps sub consciously, the limits determined by the models they implement resulting in tools that are not comprehensive and must be cobbled together with other incomplete tools on the job. The assertion isput forward that tools should comprehensively cover the problem and solution space modeling needed to completely describe the system under development and provide the basis for the complete requirements analysis task. There is no such tool today. There has occurred a downsizing of the tool company numbers and a concentration of tool building capabilities into a fewer number of companies supporting a broader attack on the problems faced by system developers.

It is possible to couple together existing models as a basis for a comprehensive tool set and three are mentioned to encourage acceptance of the existence of these structures. Also, we will explore another tool capability that would add to tool utility.”

Michele Engel Edwards, The Insightrak and  Ken Wolsey, Knowledge Systems Solutions –  Find It All, Find It Fast – Knowledge Management Made Easy

Research indicates that the average company loses over 12% productivity annually from recreating explicit knowledge and data that they already possess but cannot find.  Typically, organizations lose both implicit and explicit knowledge:

Implicit knowledge: Knowledge, information, and skills that are created and carried about in people’s heads. This knowledge is lost when people leave projects or the organization.

Explicit knowledge: Knowledge, information, and skills that have been officially documented. Often, this knowledge is so hard to find that people spend large amounts of time looking for it or having to recreate it.

Knowledge Systems Solutions tools provide an immediate solution to the problem of lost knowledge. Workers can easily capture implicit knowledge and convert it into explicit knowledge that can be easily found and reused. By using episTree, organizations can dramatically reduce the amount of lost knowledge, as well as support the proliferation of best practices, standard operating procedures, and continuous improvement.

episTree is a knowledge management tool with applications to systems engineering, e.g., a tool for capturing all the significant information about a system – requirements, specifications, capabilities, functions, architecture, structure, appearance, etc. – in a complete, organized, and easily retrievable manner.

Location:  National University’s Torrey Pines  Campus 11255  North Torrey Pines Road La Jolla, CA 92037

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