An Enterprise Framework for Operationally Effective System of Systems Design

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This paper proposes a transformation of traditional engineering design methods for Enabling System Design from “influence” to “synthesis” through an enterprise focus of both the primary system functionality as well as the required enabling systems, concurrently during design. An architectural transformation is required to improve the affordable, full life cycle operational effectiveness of customer solutions. Challenged is the notion of the primary and enabling support systems as separate in achieving enterprise operational effectiveness. Enterprise-level, integrated requirements and trade studies drive optimal user performance while still embracing the independent development of each system. This work proposes that operational effectiveness can be enhanced through leverage of an enterprise framework of primary and enabling systems entitled: Systems of Systems – System Design for Operational Effectiveness (SOS-SDOE). The initial driver of this research began with improving the Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition and sustainment of complex and network-centric systems. The description of traditional approaches to design are framed by industrial and commercial methods, the International Council on Systems Engineering methods and the recent evolution for sustainment represented by System Design and Operational Effectiveness (SDOE) model from military and academic literature. The framework proposes performing a System of Systems (SOS) trade-space analysis as a logical extension of proven traditional methods. To convey this message, a soft system analysis, using systemigram methods developed by Dr. John Boardman, is implemented to examine the transition from the traditional practices to address customer and user needs with SOS-SDOE. The SOS-SDOE enterprise framework emerges from expanding the system design boundary to capture the causal relationships, which are relevant to system operational effectiveness. There is a shared contribution of primary and enabling systems and in the framework, creates a more complete trade space that facilitates improved long-term user effectiveness. The SOS-SDOE architectural framework embraces and captures the emergent system behaviors of the combined enterprise in addition to the traditional behaviors of the independent systems. In an attempt to address the historically persistent problem of measuring and improving operational effectiveness, this approach embraces the fundamentals of an enterprise system framework: 1. Structured and explicit relational views, through the use of Systemigram representations, which provide an accepted methodology for communicating information about the relationships, which are relevant to the architectural objective of managing the causal mechanisms which effect operational outcomes of an enterprise; 2. Explicit methods and trade space definitions which enable the system design discipline to gather and organize the data and construct the design solution in ways that help ensure integrity, accuracy and completeness of the design over its life cycle; and 3. Abstracting of empirical and heuristic phenomenon (system behaviors) in support of the method and as a utility verification of the framework.


Enterprise Framework, System of Systems, System Design, Operational Effectiveness, Affordability, Sustainment

About the authors

Joseph S. Bobinis PMP, M.E. Lockheed Martin Sr. FellowCurrently a Sr. Fellow for Lockheed Martin focused on transformational engineering methods. Twenty Five years, Engineering Professional, 23 years with Lockheed Martin. Fifteen years in project/functional management roles. Thirteen Years was in Acquisition Logistics, and Product Support Functional Management roles. Six years as Sr. Manager and then Director in Engineering Project Management as an Advanced Engineering Leader. Keynote Speaker, Aircraft Airworthiness & Sustainment Conference (2010). M.E. Systems, Stevens Institute of Technology; B.A. Philosophy, Ithaca College. Joe has a monograph entitled Meta logistics: A System of Systems Exploration of Design for Operational Effectiveness soon to be released by Lambert Academic Publishing.

Thomas Herald ESEP, PhD. Lockheed Martin Sr. FellowWith industrial experience at IBM and now Lockheed Martin, Tom is a Senior Fellow with the Global Training and Logistics business unit in Orlando, FL. His interests include the linkage of system engineering with support systems leading to high performing customer solutions. Tom earned a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology, an M.S. Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. Tom’s doctoral research was published (SSE Press) in 2008: An obsolescence forecasting methodology for strategic system sustainment decision-making. The focus of this research is to leverage supportability parameters to improve obsolescence and technology insertion considerations proactively influencing affordable system designs and life cycle sustainment.


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Journal of Enterprise Architecture