Zen and the Art of Systems Thinking

On June 21, 2017, I had the privilege of speaking to the INCOSE Chesapeake Chapter on the topic of Systems Science, Systems Engineering and Systems Thinking.  That's a lot of Systems. Anyway, I called it by the catchy title, "Zen and the Art of Systems Thinking."  The slides and references are included here (below the video) for those who want to explore my talk in more detail.

Read More

Systems Science — an oxymoron?

How is Systems Science an oxymoron? It may come from the fact that studying Systems requires a holistic perspective whereas the fundamental concept of Science is looking at things in a reductionist manner. So how do you reconcile these two fundamentally different approaches into one discipline?  Maybe the key is looking and seeing “systems’ everywhere.

Read More

The Science of Systems Engineering

Where is the Science for Systems Engineering? Every engineering discipline has its science — Electrical Engineering has its Ohm's law — Mechanical Engineering has all of Newtonian Physics — Civil  Engineering has Material Science — Chemical Engineering  has its periodic table of elements — and so on and so forth. But what about Systems Engineering? Where is our science? We need something to help us with the emergence of system level properties that can not be explained by the individual component level properties.

Read More

A fun time at the SEP Gala in Baltimore

Every year for the past 7 years the INCOSE Chesapeake Chapter has held a Systems Engineering Professional (SEP) Gala to celebrate local INCOSE members who have gotten the INCOSE SEP Certification (ASEP, CSEP & ESEP). It’s held at the prestigious Engineer’s Club  at The Garrett-Jacobs Mansion, Baltimore, MD. It really is a wonderful night of luxury and gourmet dining, in the company of friends, peers and colleagues of your chosen profession.

Read More

Failure and the Importance of Lessons Learned

I want to do a follow-up on a blog post I did back in 2010, called “The Value of Failure”  In that article I argued that you should “embrace the failure as a part of the price to be paid towards the road of a positive outcome. It’s OK to fail, just don’t let it stop you from going forward.” A while back I attended one of the INCOSE Chesapeake Chapter’s  Annual SEP Gala. One of the speakers was giving a list of attributes of a good Systems Engineer. And on the list that included standard characteristics such as “Breath across domains” ; “Depth in experience and expertise” ; “Capability of leadership” was this one criteria that kind of shocked me. It was, “A good Systems Engineer must have one failure.”  The speaker explained that failure is a price of experience and should not be discounted when considering the worth of a Systems Engineer.

Read More