With their ability to cross traditional boundaries and achieve a level of functionality greater than their component elements, mega-systems have helped corporations and government organizations around the world resolve complex challenges that they otherwise couldn't address with stand-alone systems. Engineering Mega-Systems: The Challenge of Systems Engineering in the Information Age provides a clear understanding of the engineering of this class of systems-a process that demands consideration of increasing program scale and the rapid change of underlying technologies.
Written by Renee Stevens, a Senior Principal Engineer at The MITRE Corporation with decades of experience analyzing, engineering, and acquiring large-scale systems for the U.S. Department of Defense and other government agencies, this book explains how the engineering of mega-systems is inherently different from that of large-scale monolithic systems. It supplies the vocabulary and framework needed to explore the issues relevant to mega-systems. This framework then evolves into the Profiler diagnostic tool that helps� you understand the nature and context of the system at hand and, on that basis, select the most appropriate processes, tools, and techniques.
Stevens examines commercial and government applications of mega-systems to provide insight into the contemporary challenges of engineering these systems in three critical dimensions: engineering processes, management processes, and the larger context in which these systems are developed and deployed. Complete with two case studies in engineering mega-systems that illustrate valuable lessons learned and highlight emerging practices, this book supplies the understanding and the tools needed to begin engineering, characterizing, and acquiring mega-systems across multiple dimensions.
Renee G. Stevens is a Senior Principal Engineer at The MITRE Corporation. She has 30 years of experience in the analysis, engineering, and acquisition of large-scale systems for the U.S. Department of Defense and other government agencies. Her current interests lie in research and practice contributing to the development of an enterprise systems engineering discipline. Stevens has developed the well-received Profiler tool for use in characterizing the environment and context in which a system will be developed and will operate. It serves as both a diagnostic tool and the basis for a situational model. Results have been widely briefed to government, academic, and professional audiences. She is applying the model to the assessment of several large-scale programs and is conducting research on innovative strategies and practices to improve the acquisition of information technology systems. Stevens received her bachelor's degree in political science from Hunter College, City University of New York, in 1966, and a master's degree in public and business administration from George Washington University in 1981. She is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and the Academy of Management.
SETTING THE STAGE List of Acronyms Introduction The Trend Toward Large-Scale, Richly Interconnected Systems Why This Book? Organization of the Book Context and Trends Changing the Strategic Environment in the U.S. Department of Defense The Imperative to Share Information across Agencies Enabling Conditions Institutional Trends: Enterprisewide, Top-Down Perspective Implications for Systems and Programs A Look Ahead CONCEPTS AND FRAMEWORKS Mega-System Concepts What Is a System? Mega-Systems Summary A Framework for Exploring Mega-Systems Basis for the Framework Elements of the Basic Framework Tame versus Wicked Problems Engineering and Acquiring Mega-Systems What Is Systems Engineering? Mega-System Challenges for Systems Engineers Troubled Large-Scale Systems Levels of Systems Engineering Enterprise Systems Engineering Profiler CASE STUDIES IN ENGINEERING MEGA-SYSTEMS Introduction to Mega-System Case Studies A Note about Case Studies Approach to Mega-System Case Studies Single Integrated Air Picture Motivation: Moving from Independent Systems to a Theater-Wide Integrated Capability Standing up a System Engineering Organization SIAP System Engineering Process Building the IABM Formalizing the SIAP Summary SIAP Mapping to the Systems Engineering Profiler Insights for Engineering Mega-Systems Developing the Electronic Product Code Network Background The Auto-ID Center The Vision: An Internet of Things Concept and Technologies RFID Design Process and Implementation Transition from Research to Commercialization EPC Adoption Summary EPCglobal Network Mapping to the Extended Framework Insights for Engineering Mega-Systems Observations from the Case Studies Case Study Recap Observations THE WAY AHEAD The Way Ahead Emerging Tenets Matching Practice to Circumstances An Emerging View of Systems Engineering as a Continuum of Practice Refining the Engineering Tenets: A Way Ahead An Emerging View of Next-Generation Practice Concluding Thoughts POSTSCRIPT: PROFILING A COMPLEX ACQUISITION PROGRAM Multiple Purposes of the Study Approach Findings The Profile as an "Uncertainty Map" Recommended Practices for Dealing with Uncertainty Conclusion