Shoal was proud to be the major sponsor of the Systems Engineering / Test & Evaluation (SETE) 2018 Conference held at the International Convention Centre, Sydney this week. Amongst the large Shoal contingent was our CEO, Shaun Wilson, People and Culture Manager, Melissa Ciplys, Chief Engineer, Kevin Robinson, and our new Project Management Office (PMO) Director, John Dagas.

Shoal organised an interactive activity open to all SETE and CORE participants, which was spread out over two days. The first day, delegates were given an objective card as well as a train track piece and were instructed to contribute to building a rail network that would fulfill their objective on a provided map. Not only were participants restricted to only seeing their own objective, but a constraint was introduced in the afternoon. At the end of the day, only 1 of the 3 different objectives was successfully completed. The second day, all objectives and the constraint were made available to all participants at the start of the day. This enabled participants to take a holistic view of the rail network and use this in their track development. By lunchtime, all three objectives were met, demonstrating the advantages to gaining a greater understanding of the system needs in the early stages of the development life cycle.

Shaun Wilson opened the conference as major sponsor with remarks on the changing nature of society and technology driving changes in the challenges that the Systems Engineering profession faces. He briefly described Shoal’s research on systems-of-systems and the integration of descriptive and analytic model-based design as our response to this growing challenge.

Bradley Hocking, Chris French, Matthew Vella, Jon Hallett, Duane Jusaitis, Stephen Cook and Shaun Wilson presented the result of Shoal client and internal research and development work as described below.

A Framework to Support Model-Based Management of Capability Programs Duane Jusaitis &  Stephen Cook

This paper discusses the development of a modelling framework to support simulation and analysis of Program-level capability scenarios in order to produce low-fidelity effectiveness predictions in support of the ongoing management of Program Capability effectiveness over a lifetime covering many decades. Further, to facilitate more detailed analysis and evaluate Project proposals, it explores a method for the integration and update of constituent Project model information into the overarching Program-level model as Project design and measurement information evolves through the CLC.

Supporting capability integration and progress understanding of Programs and Projects through integrated information visualisation | Chris French & Steven Heard (12thLevel)

This paper captures the methodologies, approaches and realised systems used to inform decision makers and Program owners of complex information and complex information changes. By developing architectures and facilitating codification of information, the information was aligned and brought together. Through modern visualisation techniques, the richness of information is presented to stakeholders seeking to inform decisions, help those involved with the Programs focus their effort and understand the ramifications of changes from or on others.

A Model-Based Systems Engineering Approach to Developing an Asset Management Framework for Rail Organisations | Bradley Hocking & Chris Sproston

This paper outlines research into the challenges associated with implementing an Asset Management System compliant with ISO55000 and explores whether the benefits of using a Model-Based Systems Engineering approach could assist in overcoming these challenges. The intended output of the research is a framework which can be used to capture an organisation’s asset management information and from this produce a suite of artefacts that are not only compliant with ISO55001 and internally consistent but move an organisation towards best practice asset management.

Modelling across the contractual boundary |  Bradley Hocking, Jon Hallett & Matthew Vella

This paper discusses the findings of a workshop session held at the Australian Systems Engineering Workshop 2017 which looked at: the benefits of model sharing when a contract exists between the parties; understanding the problems associated with model sharing; and the potential solutions to overcome these problems. The discussions during the workshop were open and frank, leading to a greater understanding of the potential for sharing of descriptive and analytical models across contractual boundaries and the hurdles that need to be overcome.

The Case for Investment in Systems Engineering in the Early Stages of Projects and Programs | Stephen Cook & Shaun Wilson

This paper reviews the literature on the value of investing in systems engineering in the early stages of projects, in particular, the conceptual design phase.  The conclusion drawn is that the ideal level of total expenditure on systems engineering has been unchanged over the last 20 years and sits at 15% of project costs (to the acceptance of the first complete system into service).  Evidence indicates strongly that 5% of the project budget needs to be spent on quality systems engineering before the end of the conceptual design phase and the paper includes guidance on the sorts of activities that provide the greatest payoff.  It also includes many pointers for project managers and systems engineers on how to maximise the probability of good project outcomes.

The role of scenarios in model-based management of Capability Programs |  Jon Hallett, Michael Psalios, Duane Jusaitis & Stephen Cook

This paper explores the concept of defining, maintaining, and utilising Program scenarios and low-fidelity effectiveness predictions to support the ongoing management of Program and Capability effectiveness over a Program lifetime covering many decades. Programs, in Defence, are a step towards more formally managing the complex capabilities and their integration and interoperability demands and have been formed by combining existing Projects and Products under a single banner. Program Managers are formulating an understanding of how to coordinate the various Project and Sustainment activities and are using the Joint Capability Narrative, the Joint Capability Needs Statement, and the Program Integrating Operational Concept to support a top-down driven understanding of what the capability must achieve, where it needs to operate, and with whom it needs to operate. The central theme of all these elements can be portrayed in a set of scenarios covering the operation and support of the capability. Analysis of these scenarios can be used to derive justification of new projects against an agreed set of Program-level Measures of Effectiveness.

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