February 26, 2020

Systems Engineering Articles

Study Finds 268% Higher Failure Rates for Agile Software Projects – Richard Speed | June 20243 | The Register

In praise of knowing the requirements before you start cranking out code.

21 engineering KPIs and metrics to monitor in 2024 – Flow Transformation Team | May 2024 | PluralSight.com

Engineering Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are metrics that enable your team to measure and understand its performance. Here are 21 engineering KPIs to consider.

How Do You Know When You Need a Systems Engineer? – Software Engineering Institute (SEI) | Jan 2024 | SEI

Youtube video of ways to recognize when and how to effectively add systems engineering to the mix.

Software Isolation: Why It Matters to Software Evolution, and Why Everybody Puts It Off – Mario Benitez Preciado | March 2023 | Carnegie Melon University Software Engineering Institute

The changes required to improve and evolve software to allow organizations to work efficiently can be invasive and long-lived (i.e., months, if not years). Making these changes this often requires software isolation — the segregation of software capabilities to achieve a specific goal. Software isolation remains a labor-intensive activity, however, with little or no help from tools that can speed up the process.

Designing the Wright Way – Brian Self, freelance UI/UX & Visual Designer

From a humble bicycle repair business in Dayton, Ohio – to the historic flight at Kitty Hawk – the Wright Brothers’ story inspires with lessons about the power of incremental successes using imagination, innovation, iteration and invention.

DARPA-Funded Research Leads to Quantum Computing Breakthrough – DARPA | DARPA.mil

Harvard-led team develops novel logical qubits to enable scalable quantum computers.

Thinking in Systems: A Sociotechnical Approach to DevOps – Tao Hansen | Oct 2023 | Garden

We need a holistic approach to DevOps, one that treats tools, workers who use them and the wider organizations as contributing parts of an interdependent whole.

The Rise of AI in Systems Engineering: Exploring the Potential and Implications – Marcin Frąckiewicz | Aug 2023 | TS2

The rise of AI in systems engineering is not just a prediction, but a reality that is rapidly unfolding. As we delve into the potential and implications of this technological revolution, it is evident that AI is transforming the way we design, manage, and optimize complex systems.

Data interoperability: A case study in complex systems engineering – Marlene R. Williamson | New England Complex Systems Institute

DOD Data Interoperability is an ideal case study for complex systems engineering (CSE). It is becoming increasingly clear that complexity is the true problem. This paper reports on the some preliminary issues and insights on Complex Systems Engineering.

The Rise of AI in Systems Engineering: Exploring the Potential and Implications – Marcin Frąckiewicz | Aug 2023 | TS2

The rise of AI in systems engineering is not just a prediction, but a reality that is rapidly unfolding. As we delve into the potential and implications of this technological revolution, it is evident that AI is transforming the way we design, manage, and optimize complex systems.

Generative AI’s Hidden Cost: Its Impact on the Environment – Chris Noble, CEO and Co-Founder of Cirrus Nexus | Cirrus Nexus

When it comes to training generative AI models, the process consumes a staggering amount of computing power and energy.

Why Systems Thinking Is Strategy – Jim Schleckser | The CEO Project

The world is becoming more complex every day. The rate of change is also increasing, which means that the speed of commerce and globalization only adds to the complexity we need to cope with. You need to develop this muscle to help your company deal with increasing complexity.

Five Unintended Consequences of Regulation and Government Meddling – Robert P. Murphy | Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)

Voters frequently support measures that sound noble and beneficial but end up causing serious mischief — and often hurt the very groups the measures were intended to help.

What’s Going On in My Program? 12 Rules for Conducting Assessments – William E. Novak | June 2023 | Software Engineering Institute

The goal of a review, investigation, evaluation, or appraisal is to produce objective findings about the state of a program, and provide recommendations for improving it. This blog post provides 12 useful rules to follow to make sure it gets done right, based on our experience at the SEI in conducting system and software assessments of large defense and federal acquisition programs.

Why Zero Trust Needs Systems Engineering – Gina Mihajlovska, Women in Security Magazine

A well-articulated strategy is a prerequisite for the introduction of the security architectures that underpin a zero-trust security organisation.

Cybersecurity of Quantum Computing: A New Frontier – Tom Scanlon | April 2023 | Software Engineering Institute

Future quantum computers will most likely be used as co-processors in hybrid systems, at least in the near term, meaning that they will depend on classical computers. How will we protect such quantum computers from cyber attacks in the future?

Move over 10x engineers — it’s time for the supercharged ChatGPT engineers to take over – Harsh Rana | Dec 2022 | Level Up Coding

What started out as a personal experiment, has quickly become a tool in my toolbox as a senior software engineer. Whether you’re a junior engineer or a seasoned vet, you need to learn how to collaborate effectively with ChatGPT

Navy applies lessons from costly shipbuilding mistakesDavid Sharp, The Associated Press, Feb 2023

The U.S. Navy appears to have learned from its costly lessons — after cramming too much new technology onto warships and speeding them into production — as it embarks on building new destroyers that are the backbone of the fleet.

Cutting Pentagon Jobs Won’t Stop the Real Waste, Union SaysErich Wagner, DefenseOne, Feb 2023

American Federation of Government Employees legislative director Julie Tippens, whose union represents a quarter million Pentagon employees, described a civilian workforce reduction tactic proposal as wrongheaded, arguing that wasteful spending at the Defense Department is actually concentrated in investments in underperforming weapons systems and service contracts.

Mysterious Dark Galaxy Emits No Visible Light, Scientists Say – Michelle Starr, Science Alert, Feb 2023

A newly discovered dwarf galaxy named FAST J0139+4328 is not emitting any optical light. In fact, it’s barely emitting any light at all. FAST J0139+4328 appears to be what is known as a dark galaxy. Aside from a small smattering of stars, the galaxy seems to be made up almost entirely of dark matter.

What will ChatGPT Mean for the US Defense Industrial Base? , DefenseNews, Feb 2023

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence-enabled chatbot tool developed by U.S.-based AI lab OpenAI. The extent to which ChatGPT (or its technological successors and relatives) will have an impact on national security and defense acquisitions is still unclear, as the technology has yet to replace humans in any meaningful capacity. However, based on initial use cases and reactions to the tool, ChatGPT is already creating benefits as well as risks for defense professionals.

The crucial role of systems engineering in the biotech and healthcare industry – Hannah Martin, www.talentedladiesclub.com, Oct 2022

In the 21 century, technology has revolutionized every aspect of our society, including many of our industries. As a result, technical breakthroughs that allowed medical institutions in the United States to continue operating during a pandemic have impacted healthcare.

Defense Department Launches Innovation Pathways Website – Defense.gov, Dec 2022

This site serves as a gateway for industry, small businesses, students, universities, and other organizations within the Department itself to discover opportunities with DoD organizations and affiliate programs involved in research and development.

The Dawn of Artificial Imagination – Matteo Wong, Atlantic Magazine. Dec 2022

OpenAI says programs like DALL-E 2 will “democratize” art.

Agile success: Don’t settle for metrics that tell half the story – Michael Hermus, October 17, 2017

Measuring agile development results? Prioritize the impact on business outcomes, says DHS CTO Michael Hermus.

You Don’t Speak DoDAF? – Jason Miller, Federal News Network, Sept 27, 2022

Among the first words out of Don Yeske’s mouth last Friday was “I hate architects.” The Navy feels your pain with its new plain language design concept.

Technology Reboot Would Beam Space-Based Solar Power to Earth – Pat Davis Szymczak, JPT, July 2022

NASA, the European Space Agency, and the British government are reconsidering an old idea to beam space-based solar energy to Earth in light of new technologies that might lead to commercial feasibility.

The idea of pumping water from Mississippi to the West – John Homer, Yahoo News, July 2022

A look at the idea of solving the shortage of water in the Southwest by bringing water from the Mississippi River.

Will electric vehicles really create a cleaner planet? – www.thomsonreuters.com

Exploring what it might take to get to 100% electric vehicle adoption, and the ripple effects the revolution will bring across industries and governments.

Water’s effect on GPS signals – Clara Chew, Physics Today, Feb 2022

A Colorado research group began investigating whether the ground-reflected signals could be used to infer the moisture content of the soil. Their goal was to effectively repurpose the GPS antennas into soil moisture sensors, which could help monitor droughts and validate data from satellites that are designed to retrieve soil-moisture data.

A Method for Assessing Cloud Adoption Risks – Christopher Alberts, Software Engineering Institute (SEI), May 2022

This blog post presents a prototype set of cloud adoption risk factors and describes a method that managers can employ to assess their cloud initiatives against these risk factors.

When Google set out to find what makes the ‘perfect’ team – Gary Burnison, CNBC, Feb 2019

Teams don’t just happen by bringing people together in the same room or connecting them via Skype. What Google found when they embarked on a quest to discover how to build the “perfect team.”

From Model-Based Systems and Software Engineering to ModDevOps – Jerome Hugues and Joe Yankel, Nov 2021

We introduce ModDevOps as an extension of DevSecOps that embraces MBSE technology. By making the integration between DevSecOps and MBSE explicit, ModDevOps enables developers to benefit from both the speed of DevSecOps and the risk reduction of MBSE.

Digital Transformation Is a Cultural Problem, Not a Technological One – Brandon Leshchinskiy and Andrew Bowne, May 2022

Digital transformation presents an adaptive challenge for the Department of Defense. To make progress on the challenge of digital transformation — and to maintain technological superiority — the Department of Defense should reexamine and reshape its deeply held values, habits, beliefs, and norms.

A Model-Based Tool to Assist in the Design of Safety-Critical Systems – Sam Procter, March 2022

The design of critical systems—those used in aircraft, medical devices, etc.—is becoming increasingly challenging as they increase in sophistication and complexity. A recent research project at the SEI aims to improve the way these systems are designed by allowing engineers to evaluate more design options in less time than they do now.

Machine Learning a Systems Engineering Perspective – Daniel Patzer, Towards Data Science, Jan 2021

An holistic approach to a machine learning using elementary Systems Engineering principles. Enabling you to understand and manage the fundamental building block in most machine learning systems. You will learn how to get form data to predictions.

Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) Explained – Moira Alexander, www.cio.com, Feb 2021

If your organization is seeking efficient project delivery, decreased time-to-market, and increased stakeholder value, then the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) may be right for you.

Can Systems Engineering be Agile? – Bruce Douglass, PhD, MITRE, April 2021

What do we even mean by the term agile in this context? What are the key practices that can make systems engineering agile? What is the relation between agility and model-based systems engineering (MBSE)? What benefits can be gained through the use of agile practices for systems engineering?

Don’t get locked up into avoiding lock-in – Gregor Hohpe, Sept 2019

A significant share of architectural energy is spent on reducing or avoiding lock-in. That’s a rather noble objective: architecture is meant to give us options and lock-in does the opposite. However, lock-in isn’t a simple true-or-false matter: avoiding being locked into one aspect often locks you into another.

Do the costs of the cloud outweigh the benefits? – Ishwar Kimmins, California News Times, July 2021

Continuing to write a blank check to a cloud provider is unsustainable. The more companies that adopt cloud computing, the more carefully they need to manage their costs. The biggest users, such as Apple, are negotiating big discounts. The smaller ones lack influence. To keep costs down, you may need to run basic storage in-house, distribute computing across multiple clouds, diversify into a “multi-cloud”, and have engineers take charge of cloud spending.

How a cheap Swedish submarine ‘ran rings’ around a US aircraft carrier and its sub-hunting escorts – Sebastian Roblin, 19fortyfive, July 2021

Diesel submarines in the past were limited by the need to operate noisy, air-consuming engines that meant they could remain underwater for only a few days. However, the 200-foot-long Swedish Gotland-class submarines, introduced in 1996, were the first to employ an Air Independent Propulsion system — in this case, the Stirling engine. A Stirling engine charges the submarine’s 75-kilowatt battery using liquid oxygen.

Are Radioactive Diamond Batteries the Solution to Nuclear Waste? – Aug 2021

These batteries are made from nuclear waste and could last thousands of years.

Metallic Glass Gears Up for ‘Cobots,’ Coatings, and More – July 2021

Bulk metallic glass could slash prices of collaborative robots and lead to advanced 3D printed metals.

Wanted: Millions of cybersecurity pros. Salary: Whatever you want – May 2021

Experts have been tracking the cybersecurity labor shortage for at least a decade — and now, a new surge in companies looking to hire following recent attacks could exacerbate the problem. The stakes are only growing, as technology evolves and bad actors become more advanced.

Fusion: Ten Times More Expensive Than Nuclear Power – May 2021

Is there no hope for attractive fusion power? The answer is yes, because there are a number of other fusion fuel cycles that could be economically and environmentally attractive. We will not know if one of these fuel cycles could prove viable unless we try.

“Nuclear Batteries” Offer a New Approach to Carbon-Free Energy – David Chandler, MIT, June 2021

Jacopo Buongiorno and others say factory-built microreactors trucked to usage sites could be a safe, efficient option for decarbonizing electricity systems.

Systems Engineering Approaches to Address Cybersecurity Challenges of the Electric Grid – Kay Stefferud, Enernex

Like many systems of systems, the electric grid is facing challenges as devices and applications originally intended to be either standalone or locally networked are now being connected to the Internet.

What Is Containerization? – Tatum Hunter, Dec 2020

This cloud-native innovation is taking tech by storm.

What is a Zero Trust Architecture? – www.infradata.com

An architecture based on the principle that nothing can be trusted.

The Future of DevOps: 21 Predictions for 2021 – Robert L. Mitchell, TechBeacon

So what comes next as DevOps evolves?

Systems Engineering in the Hospital – Richard Quinn, TheHospitalist.org, May 2017

Systems-engineering expert James Benneyan, PhD, doesn’t want hospitalists to look at poorly working processes in their institutions and think, “I should try to tweak this process to improve it.”

3 Ways Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) Will Help You – Michelle Boucher, Aug 2016

MBSE can help in three ways: address complexity, encourage reuse, and manage product lines.

How Systems Engineering Can Help Fix Health Care – Peter Pronovost, Alan Ravitz and Conrad Grant, Feb 2017

The way we build hospitals and clinics typically happens in a piecemeal, patchwork approach. We need a new approach.

Why it is a great time to be a Systems Engineer (and how to become one) – formalmind

The demand for Systems Engineers is going up steadily. And there are now systematic career paths for becoming a Systems Engineer.

There’s No Such Thing as DevSecOps – Offir Zigelman, June 2018

While DevOps workflows are heavily automated, security checks for application and infrastructure code are often manual.

IT Revolution: Industrial DevOps White Paper – Sept 2018

This paper provides an extended definition for DevOps as it applies to large, complex cyber-physical systems, and offer some recommendations on how to effectively leverage continuous delivery and DevOps these systems.

Creating Flow & Value in Product Development (7 minute Video) – John Cutler, 21 Feb 2020

Demonstrates how easily an engineer’s week, in a waterfall environment, can quickly turn into just 15% of valuable work!

SAFe at Travelport: The Power of Program Increment (PI) Planning (2 1/2 minute video) – scaledagileframework.com

This SAFe shop discusses how they successfully delivered a critical need to the business by removing items off their PI backlog. Transparency & WIP reduction lead to predictability and happy clients and PR.

Leadership on Submarine (~9 minute video)

How does one make the transition from a command and control leader to a lean/agile leader- and what benefits can you expect? Ask this submarine captain.

SERC TALKS: “Can DevOps Practices Be Applied to Cyber-Physical Systems Development?”

Dr. Steve Mayner, SAFe Fellow and Principal Consultant at Scaled Agile, shares a brief overview of the top ten DevOps practices that can be adapted to produce faster time-to-delivery and higher quality with cyber-physical systems.

Top 3 Challenges to Produce Level 5 Autonomous Vehicles

Will we eventually be able to buy fully autonomous vehicles (Level 5 autonomy)?

Making a Road Map to Success

Product development programs all start with great optimism regarding their potential to provide an excellent product to customers, along with excellent profits to the company. But research shows that a majority of product developments end in failure. The reasons for each failure are unique, but the overarching reason often can be described as the lack of systems engineering.

Preparing for the Transition to DevOps Engineering

But what really is DevOps? What skills are necessary to be a successful DevOps, site reliability, infrastructure or data platform engineer?

Systems Engineering Approach to Industrial Cybersecurity

Asset identification and management, patch management, threat assessment, and so on are all parts of a broader response that must address all phases of the life cycle.

How to Fail at MBSE

Things NOT to do when adopting MBSE.

Everything You Need to Know About Cloud Computing

What is cloud computing? Everything you need to know about the cloud, explained.

Model-Based Systems Engineering for Autonomous Vehicle Development

Autonomous vehicles will require a radical transformation of the tools and processes for overall vehicle development. The industry can address the challenges with an integrated vehicle architecture complemented by a model-based systems engineering approach.