With reference to the “6” questions I think the 1st question “What” misses an important facet. Rather than focusing the what question on the individual, as is currently implied by “What does MBSE mean for my role?”, the question should focus on the wider organisation, “What benefits will MBSE provide to my programmes/projects (over and above the benefits I already get from my requirements centric approach)?”
There is a danger that in taking the more organisation centric approach to question 1 that it overlaps or even supersedes question 2 (Why?). perhaps question 2 could become a much deeper question such as, “Why does MBSE provide a better understanding of the system over a text base requirements centric approach, or does it?”
If an “engineer” is to be suitably equipped with knowledge to argue the case for moving to a MBSE approach then they need to understand how it will benefit the wider organisation rather than how it will benefit the engineer.
From my experience, organisations that have dipped their toes into the MBSE waters have generally done so inadequately prepared. They take the first tool to hand (usually the one used by the software engineers) and throw some software/systems engineers at it (with UML knowledge because SysML is only UML with a few extensions, isn’t it?) with little or no process to support the what they are trying to do, resulting in a poorly constructed model which provides no benefits over and above the text based requirements approach. Hence MBSE is seen by the project/programme managers as an overhead on their project which brings little or no benefit.
I am not talking about the large systems of systems programmes here but organisations that are more focused on product engineering/Equipment suppliers. MBSE should be the first port of call for these organisations because, in synergy with the software development, once they have made the correct investment in MBSE the future management and development of those products should build/ branch from on the baseline model .
We also need to understand Where is the interface between MBSE and current Software/Hardware modelling techniques and How should that interface be managed.
With regard to the question “When should MBSE be adopted/” and thing in the engineering lifecycle context, from my own personal experience it is not seen as something that is started at the concept/bid stage, unless I am on the bid in which case, as I am now, develop an initial SysML model in my spare time partly to aid my own understanding of the problem space. Again, based on my own experience, the first time MBSE is considered by an organisation is after the bid has been won. By which time the text based requirements approach is general very well established and any MBSE approach is always playing catch up.
MBSE is a big cultural change for both engineers and organisations. Engineers generally lack either the skills or the confidence to put a MBSE view (in whatever tool) down on paper in the same way that they are happy to start writing requirements. This may of course be outside of the remit of the MBSE working group, but it is MBSE’s biggest challenge. In that respect, and again it is based on experience, could the MBSE working group consider developing a generic MBSE process?
Alex Stevenson wrote:I thought it might be an idea to try and distil the questions into a single list that could apply to both management and engineer perspectives. The list below is a first draft and needs work still and I appreciate that the answers would not be the same for both groups.
[*]What does MBSE mean for my role?
[*]Why should I adopt MBSE?
[*]Where (activity area, disciplines level of decomp) do I employ MBSE?
[*]When (temporal e.g. life cycle phase, criteria), should MBSE be employed?
[*]Who else need to participate in MBSE activities?
[*]How do I make use of MBSE on my project?
I still think that having specific questions for each group is a valid approach but wanted to see if a simplified list might be an easier approach.
What do you guys think?
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