Monday, August 31, 2015

Review: Systems Engineering Principles and Practice

Systems Engineering Principles and Practice Systems Engineering Principles and Practice by Alexander Kossiakoff
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a textbook by university professors on the subject of hardware/software systems' conceptualisation, design, planning, construction, testing and maintenance.

I liked the fact that it covered the whole life cycle of a system's life. Of particular interest for me were the chapters on difference between software-intensive and hardware-intensive systems engineering, functional analysis (including functional block diagrams), basics of UML and SysML, models of decision making (including trade-off analysis).

However, I did not find useful the so-called "Systems Engineering method" which was being presented throughout the book. In essence, it meant the same activities for every stage of systems development - and thus, felt repetitive and confusing. The amount of sentences including phrases like "this requires a thorough planning", "the best strategy to avoid problems is to plan ahead", "planning is the cornerstone of risk management" was also overwhelming at times. The examples were not too many - and those present were mainly either from defence or from air traffic.

All in all, this book was informative, at times enlightening, very systematic, but somewhat... too systematic and dry to my taste.

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