Ten Common Misunderstandings; Three Uncommon Understandings

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The misunderstandings:

  1. The earth is flat.
  2. Systems engineering principles differ from the principles of hardware and software engineering.
  3. Archimedes invented the aircraft.
  4. Functional architecture is independent of physical implementation.
  5. The Kentucky Derby is held in Japan.
  6. Use cases are sufficient for requirements capture.
  7. Brittney Spears is a medieval weapon.
  8. Functional analysis should follow requirements analysis.
  9. Politicians always tell the truth.
  10. Systems engineering and object orientated analysis and design are from different worlds.

Three understandings:

  1. The engineering of systems is subject to a common set of principles irrespective of the nature of the system – abstract, physical, hardware, software.
  2. The differences between different applications of systems engineering lie in different requirements, different technologies of solutions, different complexities and different uncertainties.
  3. The engineering of non-systems (engineered products that are not themselves systems) is little different to the engineering of systems.
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