Is It Time To Revamp Systems Engineering?

While not about Space per se, this article in Aviation Week & Space Technology, Is It Time To Revamp Systems Engineering?, in light of the past issues with programs for space access undertaken by the Air Force, NRO, SpaceX and NASA, it is a good read.

    “There are two exponential trends, in software and network communications, that mean a lot of elements of a system can now impact each other. The result is incredible complexity: millions of lines of software and hundreds of nodes.

    “Historically, systems engineering has been successful in bringing order to the development of systems as they have become increasingly complicated. But there is a big difference between complicated and complex. Complicated is decomposable, which is what systems engineering is based on. Complex systems are no longer strictly decomposable, and systems engineering has to adapt.”

    Jeff Wilcox, Lockheed Martin vice president for engineering

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