Managing Complex Systems

Wiley Series in Systems Engineering and Management

Book 34
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Nine innovative methods to think outside the box and solve complex system problems

Managing Complex Systems provides specific tools and guidance needed to be a more creative and innovative thinker. Following the author's methodology, the reader will be better able to devise and implement nontraditional solutions to seemingly intractable complex problems. By challenging the reader to think in new and creative ways, the book offers a road map to success, whether measured in terms of competitive advantage, greater market share, improved productivity, or higher profits, all based upon better solutions to difficult problems.

The first four chapters set the foundation for creative thinking by exploring the nature of large-scale systems and complexity, thinking inside and outside the box, and examples of how an inventive mind solves problems in both management and scientific domains. Subsequent chapters address nine focused methods that the author has formulated to help the reader think outside the box:
* Broaden and generalize
* Crossover
* Question conventional wisdom
* Back of the envelope
* Expanding the dimensions
* Obversity
* Remove constraints
* Thinking with pictures
* Systems approach

Real-life examples are provided for each method that demonstrate how the approach enhances problem solving and decision making in system development and management. Following the discussion of the nine methods, the author examines group decision making as well as additional creative thinking procedures devised by other researchers, including references that assist in exploring these methods in greater detail. The author ends with a wrap-up chapter that includes a test to help readers practice their tendencies toward creative thinking skills and action with respect to solving real-world problems.

The nine methods discussed in this book have broad applicability and can be used successfully by managers with a wide range of responsibilities in business and technology. For anyone who is tired of the same old approach with the same old results, this book is essential reading.
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About the author

HOWARD EISNER, DSc, has managed and carried out research and development programs in systems and software engineering for more than forty-five years, in both industrial and academic environments. He served as executive vice president of ORI, Inc. and vice president of Atlantic Research Corporation (ARC). Currently, he is Professor at The George Washington University. Dr. Eisner has given tutorials for INCOSE (International Council on Systems Engineering), has over 100 papers to his credit and has had many of his articles published in the Washington Business Journal.
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Additional Information

Publisher
John Wiley & Sons
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Published on
Jan 6, 2011
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Pages
216
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ISBN
9781118006696
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Language
English
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Genres
Technology & Engineering / Electrical
Technology & Engineering / Electronics / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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The tools needed to make a better, more informed decision.

Decision analysis (DA) is the logic of making a decision using quantitative models of the decider's factual and value judgments. DA is already widely used in business, government, medicine, economics, law, and science. However, most resources present only the logic and models rather than demonstrating how these methods can be effectively applied to the real world. This book offers an innovative approach to decision analysis by focusing on decision-making tools that can be utilized immediately to make better, more informed decisions. It uses no mathematics beyond arithmetic.

Examining how deciders think about their choices, this book provides problem-solving techniques that not only reflect sound modeling but also meet other essential requirements: they build on the thinking and knowledge that deciders already possess; they provide knowledge in a form that people are able and willing to provide; they produce results that the decider can use; and they are based on intimate and continuous interactions with the decider. The methods outlined in this text take into account such factors as the use, the user, the organization, available data, and subjective knowledge.

Replete with exercises, case studies, and observations from the author’s own extensive consulting experience, the book quickly engages readers and enables them to master decision analysis by doing rather than by simply reading. Using familiar situations, it demonstrates how to handle knowledge as it unfolds in the real world. A term project is presented in the final chapter, in which readers can select an actual decision-making problem and apply their newfound tools to prepare a recommendation. A sample report is provided in the appendix.

Beginning with qualitative structuring, the text advances to sophisticated quantitative skills that can be applied in both public and private enterprise, including:

· Modeling decision-making under conditions of uncertainty or multiple objectives

Risk analysis and assessment Communicating and justifying controversial decisions Personal life choices and political judgments Adapting decision aid to organizations

The book's broad applicability makes it an excellent resource for any organization or as a textbook for decision-making courses in a variety of fields, including public policy, business management, systems engineering and general education.

An Instructor's Manual presenting detailed solutions to all the problems in the book is available from the Wiley editorial department.

This book provides an overview of systems engineering, its important elements, and aspects of management that will lead in the direction of building systems with a greater likelihood of success. Emphasis is placed upon the following elements: - How the systems approach is defined, and how it guides the systems engineering processes - How systems thinking helps in combination with the systems approach and systems engineering - Time lines that define the life cycle dimensions of a system - System properties, attributes, features, measures and parameters - Approaches to architecting systems - Dealing with requirements, synthesis, analysis and cost effectiveness considerations - Life cycle costing of systems - Modeling, simulation and other analysis methods - Technology and its interplay with risk and its management - Systems acquisition and integration - Systems of systems - Thinking outside the box - Success and failure factors - Software engineering - Standards - Systems engineering management Together, these top-level aspects of systems engineering need to be understood and mastered in order to improve the way we build systems, as they typically become larger and more complex. Table of Contents: Definitions and Background / The Systems Approach / Systems Thinking / Key Elements of Systems Engineering / The Life Cycle Dimension / System Properties, Attributes and Features (PAFs) / Measures and Parameters / Architecting / Functional Decomposition / Requirements Engineering / Synthesis / Analysis / Cost-Effectiveness / Life Cycle Costing / Modeling and Simulation / Other Analysis Relationships / The Role of Technology / Risk Management / Testing, Verification, and Validation / Integration / Systems Engineering Management / Project Management / Software Engineering / Systems Acquisition / Systems of Systems / Thinking Outside the Box / Ten Failure Factors / A Success Audit / Standards
"This is teaching at its best!"

--Hans Camenzind, inventor of the 555 timer (the world's most successful integrated circuit), and author of Much Ado About Almost Nothing: Man's Encounter with the Electron (Booklocker.com)

"A fabulous book: well written, well paced, fun, and informative. I also love the sense of humor. It's very good at disarming the fear. And it's gorgeous. I'll be recommending this book highly."

--Tom Igoe, author of Physical Computing and Making Things Talk

Want to learn the fundamentals of electronics in a fun, hands-on way? With Make: Electronics, you'll start working on real projects as soon as you crack open the book. Explore all of the key components and essential principles through a series of fascinating experiments. You'll build the circuits first, then learn the theory behind them!

Build working devices, from simple to complex You'll start with the basics and then move on to more complicated projects. Go from switching circuits to integrated circuits, and from simple alarms to programmable microcontrollers. Step-by-step instructions and more than 500 full-color photographs and illustrations will help you use -- and understand -- electronics concepts and techniques.

Discover by breaking things: experiment with components and learn from failure Set up a tricked-out project space: make a work area at home, equipped with the tools and parts you'll need Learn about key electronic components and their functions within a circuit Create an intrusion alarm, holiday lights, wearable electronic jewelry, audio processors, a reflex tester, and a combination lock Build an autonomous robot cart that can sense its environment and avoid obstacles Get clear, easy-to-understand explanations of what you're doing and why
An updated and timely new look at the theory and practice of risk management

Since the first edition of Risk Modeling, Assessment, and Management was published, public interest in the field of risk analysis has grown astronomically. Its adaptation across many disciplines and its deployment by industry and government agencies in decision making has led to an unprecedented development of new theory, methodology, and practical tools.

The Second Edition of this well-regarded reference describes the state of the art of risk management and its important applications in such areas as engineering, science, manufacturing, business, management, and public policy. The author strikes a balance between the quantitative and the qualitative aspects of risk management, showing clearly how to quantify risk and construct probability in conjunction with real-world decision-making problems. At the same time, he addresses a host of institutional, organizational, political, and cultural considerations. Incorporating real-world examples and case studies to illustrate the analytical methods under discussion, the book presents basic concepts as well as advanced material, avoiding higher mathematics whenever possible.

Some key revisions to the Second Edition include:
* A completely updated format with many new examples and problems
* A new chapter on Risks of Terrorism, including case studies in transportation, water supply, infrastructure interdependencies, food safety, and a National Research Council report on terrorism
* A new chapter on Risk Filtering, Ranking, and Management (RFRM), a technology co-developed by the author and supported by several case studies and examples
* A new focus on minimizing the high cost associated with today's more extensive risk management


Examining timely, multidisciplinary practical applications, this new edition offers an important resource for industry professionals as well as advanced graduate students in systems engineering.
The Third Edition of Essentials of Project and Systems Engineering Management enables readers to manage the design, development, and engineering of systems effectively and efficiently. The book both defines and describes the essentials of project and systems engineering management and, moreover, shows the critical relationship and interconnection between project management and systems engineering. The author's comprehensive presentation has proven successful in enabling both engineers and project managers to understand their roles, collaborate, and quickly grasp and apply all the basic principles.
Readers familiar with the previous two critically acclaimed editions will find much new material in this latest edition, including: Multiple views of and approaches to architectures The systems engineer and software engineering The acquisition of systems Problems with systems, software, and requirements Group processes and decision making System complexity and integration Throughout the presentation, clear examples help readers understand how concepts have been put into practice in real-world situations.

With its unique integration of project management and systems engineering, this book helps both engineers and project managers across a broad range of industries successfully develop and manage a project team that, in turn, builds successful systems. For engineering and management students in such disciplines as technology management, systems engineering, and industrial engineering, the book provides excellent preparation for moving from the classroom to industry.
This book provides an overview of systems engineering, its important elements, and aspects of management that will lead in the direction of building systems with a greater likelihood of success. Emphasis is placed upon the following elements: - How the systems approach is defined, and how it guides the systems engineering processes - How systems thinking helps in combination with the systems approach and systems engineering - Time lines that define the life cycle dimensions of a system - System properties, attributes, features, measures and parameters - Approaches to architecting systems - Dealing with requirements, synthesis, analysis and cost effectiveness considerations - Life cycle costing of systems - Modeling, simulation and other analysis methods - Technology and its interplay with risk and its management - Systems acquisition and integration - Systems of systems - Thinking outside the box - Success and failure factors - Software engineering - Standards - Systems engineering management Together, these top-level aspects of systems engineering need to be understood and mastered in order to improve the way we build systems, as they typically become larger and more complex. Table of Contents: Definitions and Background / The Systems Approach / Systems Thinking / Key Elements of Systems Engineering / The Life Cycle Dimension / System Properties, Attributes and Features (PAFs) / Measures and Parameters / Architecting / Functional Decomposition / Requirements Engineering / Synthesis / Analysis / Cost-Effectiveness / Life Cycle Costing / Modeling and Simulation / Other Analysis Relationships / The Role of Technology / Risk Management / Testing, Verification, and Validation / Integration / Systems Engineering Management / Project Management / Software Engineering / Systems Acquisition / Systems of Systems / Thinking Outside the Box / Ten Failure Factors / A Success Audit / Standards
This book provides an overview of systems engineering, its important elements, and aspects of management that will lead in the direction of building systems with a greater likelihood of success. Emphasis is placed upon the following elements: - How the systems approach is defined, and how it guides the systems engineering processes - How systems thinking helps in combination with the systems approach and systems engineering - Time lines that define the life cycle dimensions of a system - System properties, attributes, features, measures and parameters - Approaches to architecting systems - Dealing with requirements, synthesis, analysis and cost effectiveness considerations - Life cycle costing of systems - Modeling, simulation and other analysis methods - Technology and its interplay with risk and its management - Systems acquisition and integration - Systems of systems - Thinking outside the box - Success and failure factors - Software engineering - Standards - Systems engineering management Together, these top-level aspects of systems engineering need to be understood and mastered in order to improve the way we build systems, as they typically become larger and more complex. Table of Contents: Definitions and Background / The Systems Approach / Systems Thinking / Key Elements of Systems Engineering / The Life Cycle Dimension / System Properties, Attributes and Features (PAFs) / Measures and Parameters / Architecting / Functional Decomposition / Requirements Engineering / Synthesis / Analysis / Cost-Effectiveness / Life Cycle Costing / Modeling and Simulation / Other Analysis Relationships / The Role of Technology / Risk Management / Testing, Verification, and Validation / Integration / Systems Engineering Management / Project Management / Software Engineering / Systems Acquisition / Systems of Systems / Thinking Outside the Box / Ten Failure Factors / A Success Audit / Standards
The Third Edition of Essentials of Project and Systems Engineering Management enables readers to manage the design, development, and engineering of systems effectively and efficiently. The book both defines and describes the essentials of project and systems engineering management and, moreover, shows the critical relationship and interconnection between project management and systems engineering. The author's comprehensive presentation has proven successful in enabling both engineers and project managers to understand their roles, collaborate, and quickly grasp and apply all the basic principles.
Readers familiar with the previous two critically acclaimed editions will find much new material in this latest edition, including: Multiple views of and approaches to architectures The systems engineer and software engineering The acquisition of systems Problems with systems, software, and requirements Group processes and decision making System complexity and integration Throughout the presentation, clear examples help readers understand how concepts have been put into practice in real-world situations.

With its unique integration of project management and systems engineering, this book helps both engineers and project managers across a broad range of industries successfully develop and manage a project team that, in turn, builds successful systems. For engineering and management students in such disciplines as technology management, systems engineering, and industrial engineering, the book provides excellent preparation for moving from the classroom to industry.
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