Author: Fran McCafferty

Doin SysML

I speak with people in the systems engineering community all the time. When I hear systems engineers say, “Yeah, I’m doin’ SysML,” it makes me cringe. I’m not bashing SysML views in any way, shape, or form. I think SysML 1.5 diagrams are a great communications tool. But they don’t …

Are We Done Yet? In Search of Goldilocks

Recently, I was involved in a discussion about when it is that a project transitions from systems engineering to detailed engineering. My answer was, “It depends.” One of my mentors suggested that a specific design level encompasses between three and five levels of decomposition. From experience, I tend to agree, …

Requirements Management vs. Requirements Engineering

As long as I’ve been an engineer, people have spoken about requirements management. I agree that requirements management is important to keep a program in compliance with stakeholder objectives. By stakeholder, I mean our own internal organization, the customer, the manufacturing team, the test team, the installation team, the lifecycle …

The Law of Conservation of Systems Engineering

Recently, I’ve heard organizations take the position that systems engineering is an unnecessary expense, and that engineering efforts should push directly to mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and software engineering. This philosophy espouses that problems will be corrected during the integration and testing phases of a project or program. It says …