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Entries Tagged as 'Analysis'

Let’s Draw a Picture

November 6th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips An old technique that always surfaces confusion and moves us towards clarity. Me: Let’s draw a picture of this so I can understand it better. Person A: We don’t need to waste time with that. We all know what it is. …a little while later… Person A: See, we set it up […]

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Tags: Analysis · Communication · Learning

Analysis of Questions about Analysis

June 12th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips For 30 years persons have asked me questions about analysis. I continue to give the wrong answer. “How are your analysis skills?” I remember the question as if was asked this morning. I was coming out of grad school and trying to find a job. It was 1986 (yikes, that long ago). […]

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Tags: Analysis · Questions

The Plan versus the Idea

June 1st, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Often “plans” are merely “ideas.” Ideas suffice if they are small enough. We have a lot of plans where I work and recreate. The trouble is, I can’t ever seem to find them. No one can produce an artifact that records the plan. Truth is, the plan is in the mind of […]

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Tags: Analysis · Clarity · Communication · Ideas · Planning

What are We Doing Here?

April 27th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Another fundamental question in systems engineering. Like the rest of the questions, ask with caution. Ever ask the titular question at work? Ever ask it out loud and expect an answer? Perhaps you are a systems engineer. Perhaps your workplace needs a systems engineer. The question seeks to find the reason behind […]

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Tags: Analysis · General Systems Thinking · Questions · Systems

Ready, Fire, Aim—or something like that

April 24th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Sometimes we have to stop, go back to basics, and learn what we are trying to do before we try to do it. Stupid, right? How in the world could I run off and start working before knowing what it is I am supposed to do? Trust. Someone I trusted told me […]

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Tags: Analysis · Clarity · Work

The Commissioned Trade Study

April 17th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips The follies and pitfalls of a trade study. One of the more wasteful things governments, persons who work for governments, do is commission a trade study. Go forth, study something, and report back to us. Time passes. Persons run about asking questions and reading readings. The money flows. Keyboards clickety-clack, spots appear […]

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Tags: Analysis · Communication · Customer · Expectations

Software Systems Engineering and Agile Development

March 2nd, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Agile development is not an excuse for knowing what you did, why you did it, and how you did it. You’re doing agile development. You hold a meeting to start a sprint (different methods use different names for this). You sprint! You meet again at the end of the sprint. What did […]

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Tags: Agility · Analysis · Communication · Engineering · Systems

Excellent Maintenance or No Maintenance Required

February 20th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Excellent maintenance sometimes indicates a faulty product or service. Sometimes, no maintenance indicates a superior product or service. I first encountered this over 20 years ago. We had purchased similar products from two companies, let’s call them Smith Inc. and Jones Inc. for now. The conversation went something like… “What happens when […]

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Tags: Analysis · Customer · Failure

Analysis—The Difference that Makes a Difference

February 9th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Analysts seek to find the difference that makes a difference. What can be vexing is that often there is no final difference. I believe that technical analysis and the analysis of technical systems comes to one question: What is the difference that makes a difference? Is it temperature that makes one system […]

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Tags: Analysis

Systems Engineering—Opening the Black Boxes

January 30th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips One function of systems engineering is to open the black boxes, look at the entire system, and apply some wisdom. We often build systems by connecting existing systems and subsystems. These existing pieces are black boxes, i.e., we don’t know or don’t care to know what is inside them and how they […]

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Tags: Adults · Analysis · Engineering · Systems · Technical Debt