President’s Corner

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Standards groups

Over the last two or three years, there have been a small
number of papers published in the INCOSE literature on
the topic of ‘System of Systems’. All sorts of questions
have been raised about the management of interfaces,
the partitioning of risk between customer and prime
contractor, and the sharing of risk (and trade against
sharing of profit) between partners in prime contracting
consortia, or between nationalities and workshare in a
single company.

I ask myself here – what constitutes
‘good’ systems engineering in this context, and who is
qualified to judge? A huge decision looms in the UK,
which may well be resolved by the time you read this –
the award of the contract for the future Aircraft Carrier for
the Royal Navy. Ironically, the two major employers in the
UKAB – BAE Systems and Thales – go head to head on
this one.

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In common with many of our readers, I’m sure, the ‘day
job’ has been minimising my time for INCOSE work and
the study of Systems Engineering recently. So – no new
insights or recommended reading material this issue.
Instead, some ‘whither UK Systems Engineering?’

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