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Engineering Systems

Every enterprise evolves continuously, driven by changing needs or new opportunities. Most often this happens gradually, with small adjustments to strategy, organization, processes, or infrastructure. But sometimes enterprises need to go beyond minor fixes and transform themselves, in response to a disruptive event or dramatically changing circumstances—a merger, for example, or a new competitor. In this book, enterprise architecting experts Deborah Nightingale and Donna Rhodes offer a framework for enterprise transformation. Successful transformation, they believe, starts with a holistic approach, taking into consideration all facets of the enterprise and its environment rather than focusing solely on one factor—information technology, for example, or organizational structure. This is architecting the future enterprise: creating a blueprint for what the enterprise will look like after the transformation.

Nightingale and Rhodes introduce the ARIES (Architecting Innovative Enterprise Strategy) framework, including a ten enterprise element model and an architecting process model, and show how to apply it, from start to finish. They explain how to create a holistic vision for the future enterprise and how to generate concepts and alternative architectures; they describe techniques for evaluating possible architectures, tools for implementation planning, and strategies for communicating with stakeholders. Nightingale and Rhodes offer real-world examples throughout, drawing on their work at MIT, with an extensive case study of enterprise transformation at a medical device manufacturer. An appendix offers two additional architecting projects.

Seven Architecting Imperatives
• Make architecting the initial activity in transformation.
• Develop a comprehensive understanding of the enterprise landscape.
• Understand what stakeholders value and how that may change in the future.
• Use multiple perspectives to see the whole enterprise.
• Create an architecting team suited to the transformation challenges.
• Engage all levels of leadership in transformation.
• Architect for the enterprise’s changing world.

Breakthroughs in medical science, innovations in medical technologies, and improvements in clinical practices occur today at an increasingly rapid rate. Yet because of a fragmented healthcare delivery system, many Americans are unable to benefit from these developments. How can we design a system that can provide high-quality, affordable healthcare for everyone? In this book, William Rouse and Nicoleta Serban introduce concepts, principles, models, and methods for understanding, and improving, healthcare delivery. Approaching the topic from the perspectives of engineering and statistics, they argue that understanding healthcare delivery as a complex adaptive system will help us design a system that is more efficient, effective, and equitable.

The authors use multilevel simulation models as a quantitative tool for evaluating alternate ways of organizing healthcare delivery. They employ this approach, for example, in their discussions of affordability, a prevention and wellness program, chronic disease management, and primary care accessibility for children in the Medicaid program. They also consider possible benefits from a range of technologies, including electronic health records and telemedicine; data mining as an alternative to randomized trials; conceptual and analytical methodologies that address the complexity of the healthcare system; and how these principles, models, and methods can enable transformational change.

How America Can Build a Low-Cost, Low-Carbon Energy System

Energy innovation offers us our best chance to solve the three urgent and interrelated problems of climate change, worldwide insecurity over energy supplies, and rapidly growing energy demand. But if we are to achieve a timely transition to reliable, low-cost, low-carbon energy, the U.S. energy innovation system must be radically overhauled.
Unlocking Energy Innovation outlines an up-to-the-minute plan for remaking America’s energy innovation system by tapping the country’s entrepreneurial strengths and regional diversity in both the public and private spheres. “Business as usual” will not fill the energy innovation gap. Only the kind of systemic, transformative changes to our energy innovation system described in this provocative book will help us avert the most dire scenarios and achieve a sustainable and secure energy future.

Delivering Customer Value through Flexible Operations

In recent years, management gurus have urged businesses to adopt such strategies as just-in-time, lean manufacturing, offshoring, and frequent deliveries to retail outlets. But today, these much-touted strategies may be risky. Global financial turmoil, rising labor costs in developing countries, and huge volatility in the price of oil and other commodities can disrupt a company’s entire supply chain and threaten its ability to compete. In Operations Rules, David Simchi-Levi identifies the crucial element in a company’s success: the link between the value it provides its customers and its operations strategies. And he offers a set of scientifically and empirically based rules that management can follow to achieve a quantum leap in operations performance.

Flexibility, says Simchi-Levi, is the single most important capability that allows firms to innovate in their operations and supply chain strategies. A small investment in flexibility can achieve almost all the benefits of full flexibility. And successful companies do not all pursue the same strategies. Amazon and Wal-Mart, for example, are direct competitors but each focuses on a different market channel and provides a unique customer value proposition—Amazon, large selection and reliable fulfillment; Wal-Mart, low prices--that directly aligns with its operations strategy. Simchi-Levi’s rules—regarding such issues as channels, price, product characteristics, value-added service, procurement strategy, and information technology—transform operations and supply chain management from an undertaking based on gut feeling and anecdotes to a science.

Design structure matrix (DSM) is a straightforward and flexible modeling technique that can be used for designing, developing, and managing complex systems. DSM offers network modeling tools that represent the elements of a system and their interactions, thereby highlighting the system’s architecture (or designed structure). Its advantages include compact format, visual nature, intuitive representation, powerful analytical capacity, and flexibility. Used primarily so far in the area of engineering management, DSM is increasingly being applied to complex issues in health care management, financial systems, public policy, natural sciences, and social systems. This book offers a clear and concise explanation of DSM methods for practitioners and researchers.

The book’s four sections correspond to the four primary types of DSM models, offering tools for representing product architectures, organization architectures, process architectures, and multidomain architectures (which combine different types of DSM models to represent multiple domains simultaneously). In each section, a chapter introducing the technique is followed by a chapter of examples showing a variety of applications of that DSM type. The forty-four applications represent a wide range of industries (including automotive, aerospace, electronics, building, and pharmaceutical), countries (among them Australia, Germany, Japan, Turkey, and the United States), and problems addressed (modularity, outsourcing, system integration, knowledge management, and others).

Systems Thinking Applied to Safety

Engineering has experienced a technological revolution, but the basic engineering techniques applied in safety and reliability engineering, created in a simpler, analog world, have changed very little over the years. In this groundbreaking book, Nancy Leveson proposes a new approach to safety--more suited to today’s complex, sociotechnical, software-intensive world--based on modern systems thinking and systems theory. Revisiting and updating ideas pioneered by 1950s aerospace engineers in their System Safety concept, and testing her new model extensively on real-world examples, Leveson has created a new approach to safety that is more effective, less expensive, and easier to use than current techniques.

Arguing that traditional models of causality are inadequate, Leveson presents a new, extended model of causation (Systems-Theoretic Accident Model and Processes, or STAMP), then shows how the new model can be used to create techniques for system safety engineering, including accident analysis, hazard analysis, system design, safety in operations, and management of safety-critical systems. She applies the new techniques to real-world events including the friendly-fire loss of a U.S. Blackhawk helicopter in the first Gulf War; the Vioxx recall; the U.S. Navy SUBSAFE program; and the bacterial contamination of a public water supply in a Canadian town. Leveson’s approach is relevant even beyond safety engineering, offering techniques for “reengineering” any large sociotechnical system to improve safety and manage risk.

Meeting Human Needs in a Complex Technological World

Engineering, for much of the twentieth century, was mainly about artifacts and inventions. Now, it’s increasingly about complex systems. As the airplane taxis to the gate, you access the Internet and check email with your PDA, linking the communication and transportation systems. At home, you recharge your plug-in hybrid vehicle, linking transportation to the electricity grid. Today’s large-scale, highly complex sociotechnical systems converge, interact, and depend on each other in ways engineers of old could barely have imagined. As scale, scope, and complexity increase, engineers consider technical and social issues together in a highly integrated way as they design flexible, adaptable, robust systems that can be easily modified and reconfigured to satisfy changing requirements and new technological opportunities.

Engineering Systems offers a comprehensive examination of such systems and the associated emerging field of study. Through scholarly discussion, concrete examples, and history, the authors consider the engineer’s changing role, new ways to model and analyze these systems, the impacts on engineering education, and the future challenges of meeting human needs through the technologically enabled systems of today and tomorrow.

Human and Machine in Spaceflight

As Apollo 11’s Lunar Module descended toward the moon under automatic control, a program alarm in the guidance computer’s software nearly caused a mission abort. Neil Armstrong responded by switching off the automatic mode and taking direct control. He stopped monitoring the computer and began flying the spacecraft, relying on skill to land it and earning praise for a triumph of human over machine. In Digital Apollo, engineer-historian David Mindell takes this famous moment as a starting point for an exploration of the relationship between humans and computers in the Apollo program. In each of the six Apollo landings, the astronaut in command seized control from the computer and landed with his hand on the stick. Mindell recounts the story of astronauts’ desire to control their spacecraft in parallel with the history of the Apollo Guidance Computer. From the early days of aviation through the birth of spaceflight, test pilots and astronauts sought to be more than “spam in a can” despite the automatic controls, digital computers, and software developed by engineers. Digital Apollo examines the design and execution of each of the six Apollo moon landings, drawing on transcripts and data telemetry from the flights, astronaut interviews, and NASA’s extensive archives. Mindell’s exploration of how human pilots and automated systems worked together to achieve the ultimate in flight--a lunar landing--traces and reframes the debate over the future of humans and automation in space. The results have implications for any venture in which human roles seem threatened by automated systems, whether it is the work at our desktops or the future of exploration.David A. Mindell is Dibner Professor of the History of Engineering and Manufacturing, Professor of Engineering Systems, and Director of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT. He is the author of Between Human and Machine: Feedback, Control, and Computing before Cybernetics and War, Technology, and Experience aboard the USS Monitor.

Project teams can improve results by recognizing that the future is inevitably uncertain and that by creating flexible designs they can adapt to eventualities. This approach enables them to take advantage of new opportunities and avoid harmful losses. Designers of complex, long-lasting projects--such as communication networks, power plants, or hospitals--must learn to abandon fixed specifications and narrow forecasts. They need to avoid the “flaw of averages,” the conceptual pitfall that traps so many designs in underperformance. Failure to allow for changing circumstances risks leaving significant value untapped. This book is a guide for creating and implementing value-enhancing flexibility in design. It will be an essential resource for all participants in the development and operation of technological systems: designers, managers, financial analysts, investors, regulators, and academics.
The book provides a high-level overview of why flexibility in design is needed to deliver significantly increased value. It describes in detail methods to identify, select, and implement useful flexibility. The book is unique in that it explicitly recognizes that future outcomes are uncertain. It thus presents forecasting, analysis, and evaluation tools especially suited to this reality. Appendixes provide expanded explanations of concepts and analytic tools.

Overcoming Vulnerability for Competitive Advantage

What happens when fire strikes the manufacturing plant of the sole supplier for the brake pressure valve used in every Toyota? When a hurricane shuts down production at a Unilever plant? When Dell and Apple chip manufacturers in Taiwan take weeks to recover from an earthquake? When the U.S. Pacific ports are shut down during the Christmas rush? When terrorists strike? In The Resilient Enterprise, Yossi Sheffi shows that companies' fortunes in the face of such business shocks depend more on choices made before the disruption than they do on actions taken in the midst of itand that resilience benefits firms every day, disaster or no disaster. He shows how companies can build in flexibility throughout their supply chains, based on proven design principles and the right culturebalancing security, redundancy, and short-term profits. And he shows how investments in resilience and flexibility not only reduce risk but create a competitive advantage in the increasingly volatile marketplace.Sheffi describes the way companies can increase securityreducing the likelihood of a disruptionwith layered defenses, the tracking and analysis of “near-misses,” fast detection, and close collaboration with government agencies, trading partners, and even competitors. But the focus of the book is on resiliencethe ability to bounce back from disruptions and disastersby building in redundancy and flexibility. For example, standardization, modular design, and collaborative relationships with suppliers (and other stakeholders) can help create a robust supply chain. And a corporate culture of flexibilitywith distributed decision making and communications at all levelscan create a resilient enterprise.Sheffi provides tools for companies to reduce the vulnerability of the supply chain they live in. And along the way he tells the stories of dozens of enterprises, large and small, including Toyota, Nokia, General Motors, Zara, Land Rover, Chiquita, Aisin Seiki, Southwest Airlines, UPS, Johnson and Johnson, Intel, Amazon.com, the U.S. Navy, and others, from across the globe. Their successes, failures, preparations, and methods provide a rich set of lessons in preparing for and managing disruptions. Additional material available at www.TheResilientEnterprise.com.