2017 10 05 Systems engineering, systems thinking and healthcare

During the last year Holistem has been engaged in the UK, via INCOSE, the International Council on Systems Engineering (website), applying systems approaches to organisational improvement in the healthcare domain. Applying systems approaches in healthcare is not a ‘new thing’ but there is certainly a growing momentum to apply such approaches and the value of such approaches is recognized both within and outside the NHS. See the results of a joint activity between healthcare professional and the Royal Academy of Engineering, reported in the publication “Engineering Better Care”, available here (where INCOSE was also involved).

Holistem’s engagement with applying systems approaches successfully with a number of healthcare organisations is being reported in a presentation and paper at this year’s INCOSE UK Annual Systems Engineering Conference (ASEC), details of the conference and programme available here. We report out approach and outcomes in Session 1.2. If you are interested in the topic, hopefully we’ll see you there – at the time of writing, registration is currently open.

2016 09 09 At INCOSE IS 2016 Conference

Holistem attended INCOSE (www.incose.org) International Symposium 2016 conference in Edinburgh in July, our personal favourite items include the following:

Sat 16/7 attended Systems Thinking in Healthcare. Some great insights into how to apply systems thinking to address the challenges encountered in organisations such as the UK NHS.

Sun 17/7 attended workshop hosted by Peter Tuddenham on ‘systems literacy’. Most significant outcome: became aware of the considerable materials that have been produced in recent years to characterise recognisable ‘systems’ aspects in a number of different sectors. For instance, see the Ocean Literacy material at http://oceanliteracy.wp2.coexploration.org/ocean-literacy-framework/navigation/. Fascinating!

Holistem organised and chaired a Panel session, “SysML in support of MBSE is easy to learn: discuss”, with four panellists represented a range of stakeholders relating to the adoption of SysML as a systems modelling language in an MBSE context. The session was well attended, led to some lively Q & A and came to a consensus ‘answer’: “yes and no”!. More to follow…

As to a few other Panels or Papers we particularly liked:

1.2 Panel: “Systems of Systems, Cyber-Physical Systems, Internet-of-Things”, chaired by Judith Dahmann of MITRE, gave in our view a really useful insight into the scope, interrelationships and overlaps of these three very topical systems domains.

4.1.1 Paper: “Introducing MBSE by using Systems Engineering Principles”, a joint paper by Saab and Syntell, gave a candid account of the challenges, pragmatic approach and successes to adoption of MBSE in a large organisation. This paper also won a Best Paper award.

4.1.2 Paper: “Getting Started with MBSE in Product Development”, was well-placed in the agenda to follow the previous paper, as it also focussed on pragmatic approach to supporting MBSE. The authors from Syncroness Inc. explained that, for their organisation’s projects, they did not need the full richness and complexity that might be implied by the metamodels underlying enterprise architecture (e.g. DODAF) and SysML schemas. So their approach was to go back to basics, understand what concepts and relationships they really needed to support the SE ‘V’ lifecycle and full traceability, and mapping to diagrams. They then built up their own ‘essential’ schema. We love it!

All in all, IS 2016 was an excellent conference, thanks to the organisers who did an outstanding job!

2015 11 23 At INCOSE ASEC 2015

Holistem attended (and presented at) the INCOSE (www.incose.org) UK Autumn Conference, the ASEC2015 (https://incoseonline.org.uk/ASEC2015/general_information.aspx?catid=ASEC_Information). Many great presentations were included, our particular highlights included the following:

  • A rerun of an INCOSE International Symposium Best Paper award paper. Rolls Royce had previously published on the identification of design issues, both when they were detected versus when they should have been detected actual, versus phases of lifecycle. This latest paper gave a fascinating insight into the strengths of particular character profiles versus roles as designers or reviewers, AND how appropriate matching of these character types could radically transform effectiveness of design and review teams.
  • Presenters from the Changan UK automotive company R&D centre in Birmingham presented on their ambitious approach to the adoption of model-based systems engineering (MBSE) to address their business improvement strategy.
  • The Mactaggart brothers (one firmly in the systems engineering camp, the other firmly in Rugby Union) presented an application of systems engineering to give insight to the Ruby Union’s organisation (and by implication, process) for developing upcoming rugby talent through to England-level players. It appears the analysis has led to insight of value to the organisation: “this is the first time we have seen all of this on one page”.
  • Finally, there was a presentation in the INCOSE UK MBSE Working Group on the application of MBSE to the Great West Main Line electrification project, yielding much clarity and insight to a complex project and complex web of development contracts.

An excellent 2-days of systems engineering presentations!