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Systems engineering: Challenging complexity

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This free course, Systems engineering: Challenging complexity, examines system engineering and why it is important. You will learn to identify and evaluate the importance of relationships within the process and assess the relative importance of stakeholders. You will also be able to classify a systems engineering project in terms of the balance of demands, choice and constraints.

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • evaluate a specific example or case of a product development process in terms of the ‘waterfall’ life cycle model of software development;
  • classify new product developments as: fault correction, enhancements, new but similar products, radically different, revolutionary or iconoclastic products;
  • analyse the causes of a systems failure;
  • identify and evaluate the importance of the relationships of the factors leading up to system complication and complexity;
  • answer the question ‘why is systems engineering important?’
  • define the difference in process between science and engineering;
  • identify and analyse the importance of stakeholders involved in a systems engineering project;
  • classify a systems engineering project in terms of the balance of demands, choice and constraints;
  • analyse a system using input-output diagramming;
  • estimate the lag involved in controlling a system;
  • analyse a ‘rich picture’;
  • evaluate the differences between a generic model of systems engineering and a software specific model;
  • summarise the characteristics of the systems engineering approach;
  • identify the main features of the approach to systems engineering adopted by the OU course team and which forms the basis for the structure and teaching in the original course.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 25 hours
  • Updated Tuesday 31st July 2012
  • Advanced level
  • Posted under Systems (Computer)
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Systems engineering: challenging complexity


Unit image

The aim of this unit is to answer five questions:

  • Why is systems engineering important?

  • What is modern engineering?

  • What is systems?

  • What is systems engineering?

  • What approach to systems engineering does the course adopt?

This unit is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Systems engineering (T837) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in this subject area [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

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