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“Systems Thinking”

University of Auckland

March 2012

Prof Keith Robinson

Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


Introduction
• Context

• Vocabulary - Systems Thinking, Systems


Engineering, Systems Integration,

Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


Victoria line
• A success !!

• Blindingly obvious

• Why can’t everyone do that ??

• What’s the problem

Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


FiReControl

To take 46 local Fire Brigade Control centres


and replace them with a network of 9 regional
centres to improve resilience efficiency and
technology

Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


FiReControl
• Started 2004 due 2009
• Estimated cost £120 M
• Cancelled 2010
– spend £250M…..forecast cost £635 M
• Empty Regional HQ but
………£180M rent ongoing
• Local control room functionality and
interoperability variable

• National Audit office report


• Minimum of £469M wasted
• Public Accounts Committee
Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd
FiReControl
Extracts from the NAO report
• Did not have support of Users the Fire Brigades
• Lack of clarity on how a centralised model would increase efficiency
• Inconsistent messages about regionalisation - bred mistrust
• Lacked consistent leadership and governance
• Problems with integration - dept failed to take a grip
• Poor contract design
• Adversarial relationships
• Key decisions rushed through
• Under appreciated design complexity and risk
• Unrealistic estimates
• Poor choice of design and build partners

• “Not unique or isolated”


• “IT projects take on a life of their own
without ever reaching their objectives”
• “A Conspiracy of Optimism”
Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd
Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd
BP Releases Report on Causes of Gulf of Mexico Tragedy
Release date: 08 September 2010

No single factor caused the Macondo well tragedy.


Rather, a sequence of failures involving a number of
different parties led to the explosion and fire which
killed 11 people and caused widespread pollution in
the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year.

A report released by BP today concludes that decisions


made by “multiple companies and work teams”
contributed to the accident which it says arose from “a
complex and interlinked series of mechanical failures,
human judgments, engineering design, operational
implementation and team interfaces.”

Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd 9


NZ police system
Independent
Safeguards
Authority

Lehman Brothers
77 Intelligence

Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


Our Objective
• To avoid failure

• To promote Success
With excellent results
every time……

Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


What we will be covering:-
• Some general points and principles
• Managing the lifecycle
• A guided tour………
excursions off into more detail and
a worked example

• Summary and conclusions

Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


General points before we start

Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


Why does design have to be
managed ?

Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


Engineering even more demanding
• Complexity - Stakeholders - Finance - Schedule
• Multi - disciplinary
• Increased Scope and Responsibility
• Technology
• Regulations / environment
• Pace of change
• Global
• Concurrency
• Virtual working etc

Tolerance for failure getting less


Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd
Need for Systems Thinking Cross rail - motivation
and Strategy • Community of stakeholders
• highly complex design
• multiple dependencies
• major investment
Formality
• thousands of participants

Single “artist” – Motivation


• self satisfaction
• no dependencies
• one participant

Complexity / people involved / impact / investment

Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


Projects are not “recipes”
They are “Voyages of Discovery”

“ At the start of a project


– you have the least amount of
knowledge
– the most inexperienced team,
• who have probably never worked
together before
• who have never tackled this kind
of project/ technology before

– Yet you have to make the most


profound decisions affecting your
destiny far into the future ! ”

Keith Robinson

Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd 18


The need for navigation !
Pace
• PM concerned with budget, schedule, contracts, risks
• Obsession with Plans, PERT, Earned Value, Balanced score card,
Gate reviews, progress, metrics
Position
• All Totally Meaningless without a “map”
• To manage the Journey …. Where it’s going
• How it works …..how it all fits together:-
A design, a systems design, a systems architecture

• The more complex the project the more dependency on better


“maps” which
– join it all together so that it works “first time”
– measures technical maturity at each stage
– controls moving baselines and changes

Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated


19
Systems and Strategies Ltd
Our drivers:-
SYSTEMS
ENGINEERING

navigating towards
successful systems PROJECT
MANAGEMENT
SUPPLY
CHAIN

a super compliant system


that delights stakeholders –
delivered to time and budget !! CHANGE

Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated


20
Systems and Strategies Ltd
Why Systems Integration ?
• Projects are multi disciplinary !!

Finance Marketing Sales Project Management Contracts People


Processes Estimating Organisation Governance Legislation
Health and Safety Geography Geology Psychology Transport
Medicine Subcontracting Physics Control Mathematics
Structures Mechanical Electrical Electronics Fluids Aeronautical
Mining Oil Gas Power Environmental Soil Mechanics
Manufacturing Materials Computers Space Chemistry Biology
Accounting Ethics Aesthetics Advocacy Leadership

• Systems Integration offers a framework to


join it all together
Thinking Systems –

• The study of systems is a “mindset”


- not a process – it is not an exact science

• It is a powerful set of principles and processes based on


experience and wisdom

• The principles are not rigid - they need interpretation and


tailoring to each set of circumstances. But there are always
common themes and - they work !

• When applied to any problem the “systems” approach will


improve results dramatically - but if ignored, experience says
failure, fragmentation or sub optimum performance will result.

Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


Back to Basics

What is a system ??

Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


Culture, behaviour, organisation leadership
competency, training, maturity, values

Work streams Tools and machines


Inputs outputs Computers and IT
PEOPLE
Procedures
Information
Rules Conventions
Communications
Reviews
PROCESS TECHNOLOGY Production lines
Measurements
Infrastructure
Enterprise Interfaces :-
Buildings
Internal External
Customer Supplier Towns and Cities

Transport, Agriculture, Banking, Insurance, Engineering, Government,


Sport, Aerospace, Defence, Manufacturing, Retail.
Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd
Systems Characteristics:-
• All are measurable Dynamic systems
• All Serve a Community of Stakeholders
• All have inputs and outputs
• Closed loop ) People
• Stable )

• Need to perform Process Technology


• Need certain capacity
• Have critical functions as priorities
• Ability to reconfigure / fall backs

• Evolve over time…..


– robust stable systems survive …
– marginal unstable systems collapse

Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


The “system”

Control signals
Actual Output
Required output changes to Speed
direction, new
Speed, direction, position
height, position
Engines
Control surfaces
Actuators
Fuel pumps
SENSORS
Management
decisions
Feedback loop Performance
information Actual output Vs
required output speed,
direction
Total System Issues
• Capacity • Security
• End to end performance • Responsiveness
• Weight • Emergency and back up
• Range • Safety
• Velocity • Re Configuration time
• Reliability • Scaleability & growth
• Cost • Technology insertion
• Maintainability • Built in test
• Standards • Training
• User interface / human factors • Aesthetics
• Boot up and Shut down
• Environmental • Interfaces to other systems

CAN’T EASILY BE BUILT IN AFTER WARDS


CONFLICTING REQUIREMENTS MUST BE “TRADED OFF”
System behaviour
Responsiveness
Under-damped

Over-damped
Non Linear
System behaviour

Unstable
Questions !
What we will be covering:-
• Some general points and principles
• Managing the lifecycle
• A guided tour………
excursions off into more detail and
a worked example

• Summary and conclusions

Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


Managing the Systems Lifecycle

So how do we build systems ??

• So that they work


• Do the job they were intended to do
• Delivered on time and to cost

Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


7 Key principles for
system success !!

Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


Classic Integration “Vee” Diagram……

Business needs Stakeholder Operational


performance

Stakeholder analysis Acceptance

Design Success is:- Best fit Requirements

Multiple solutions

Best fit Architecture


system compliance

Full systems test

• Complete Stakeholder analysis Sub systems Spec

Manufacture
Subsystem test

Factory Test Supplier(s)


Software Production

• Structured “best fit” Requirements Build

• Multiple solutions progressively refined and tested


to achieve a “best fit” architecture and design
solution
• User visibility, Prototyping, modeling, early trials
• Comprehensive test, integration and acceptance
• Anticipatory risk management
• Carefully orchestrated change –
focused on People

Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


System lifecycle

Business needs Operational


Community
performance
needs
Stakeholders
Stakeholder analysis
Benefits
Best fit Requirements realisation
Multiple solutions
Best fit Architecture
Sub systems spec
Manufacture
Software Production
Build

Factory test Supplier(s)


Subsystem test
Full systems test
system compliance

Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


Acceptance
System lifecycle

Business needs Stakeholder Operational


performance
Poor concurrency & discipline
Stakeholder analysis
Best fit Requirements Premature commitment to long lead
Multiple solutions Requirements creep
Best fit Architecture Design creep
Sub systems spec
Bow Wave of Rework
Manufacture
Software Production Unfinished Design Build
Build
Factory test Supplier(s)
Subsystem test
Full systems test
system compliance
Acceptance
Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd
Impact of Immature Strategy and Design poor process
•COST
OVERUNS
The Cost of Changes and Modifications
•DELAYS
•FAILURES
RISK

COST of
changes
LEFT SHIFT

Require Design Manufacture Build Test In - Service


ments Software production
TIME
Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd
Classic Integration “Vee” Diagram……

Business needs Stakeholder Operational


performance

Stakeholder analysis Acceptance

Best fit Requirements system compliance

Multiple solutions
Full systems test
Best fit Architecture

Sub systems Spec Subsystem test

Manufacture
Factory Test Supplier(s)
Software Production

Build

Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


Classic Integration “Vee” Diagram……

Business needs Stakeholder Operational


performance

Stakeholder analysis Acceptance

Best fit Requirements system compliance

Multiple solutions
Full systems test
Best fit Architecture

Sub systems Spec Subsystem test

Manufacture
Factory Test Supplier(s)
Software Production

Build

Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


Classic Integration “Vee” Diagram……

Business needs Stakeholder Operational


performance

Stakeholder analysis Acceptance

Best fit Requirements system compliance

Multiple solutions
Full systems test
Best fit Architecture

Sub systems Spec Subsystem test

Manufacture
Factory Test Supplier(s)
Software Production

Build

Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


“Spiral” development
Requirements
Build a little “Originally” used for COTS
Initial Design Software Projects
Test a little

Redesign Build a little

Test a little

Redesign Build a little

Test Thoroughly

Deliver

Copyright Keith Robinson Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


“Spiral” development
Classic Integration “Vee” Diagram……

Business needs Stakeholder Operational


performance

Stakeholder analysis Acceptance

Systems Success is:- Best fit Requirements

Multiple solutions

Best fit Architecture


system compliance

Full systems test

• Complete Stakeholder analysis Sub systems Spec

Manufacture
Subsystem test

Factory Test Supplier(s)


Software Production

• Structured “best fit” Requirements Build

• Multiple solutions progressively refined and tested


to achieve a “best fit” architecture and design
solution
• User visibility, Prototyping, modeling, early trials
• Comprehensive test, integration and acceptance
• Anticipatory risk management
• Carefully orchestrated change –
focused on People

Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


Risk:- Things that can go wrong

Copyright - Keith Robinson Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


Managing Risk
Understanding what can go wrong and
putting in place robust actions to avoid a
crisis in the future

MUCH MUCH MORE THAN


A PROCESS or a TOOL

Requires imagination
and creativity

Copyright - Keith Robinson Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


Sources of risk
• Political
• Social / community
• Organisational
• People
• Legal
• Environmental
• Financial
• Systems
• Acts of God
• Technical

Copyright - Keith Robinson Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


Analysing and TRACKING Risk
HIGH
MITIGATION PLAN
REQUIRED
URGENTLY !!
The Risk
Probability Register
LOW

LOW HIGH
Impact

RISK REGISTER
DESCRIPTION IMPACT PROBA MITIGATION PLAN DATE WHO
BILITY
1 L H
2 H H HIGH PRIORITY - URGENT

Copyright - Keith Robinson Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


Analysing and tracking
HIGH
Opportunities OPPORTUNITY
PLAN REQUIRED
URGENTLY !!

Window

LOW

LOW HIGH
Pay back

OPPORTUNITY REGISTER
DESCRIPTION PAY WINDOW INVESTMENT PLAN DATE WHO
BACK
1 L H
2 H H HIGH PRIORITY - URGENT

Copyright - Keith Robinson Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


Benefits of Systematic
design management approach…
…..as a complete management philosophy…!!

• Clearer thinking • Capability gaps exposed


• Complete structure • Highlights priorities
• Whole problem scoped • Clearer business case
• Insight to all the risks

• Identifies ownership of all the • Reduced Risks


assets and resources • Reduced costs
• Alignment vertically G S B • Better performance
• More efficient organisation &
• Alignment horizontally
alliances
• Disciplined, auditable method for • Satisfied stakeholders
achieving progress
• Safer society
• Complex interdependencies
between agencies more
manageable
What we will be covering:-
• Some general points and principles
• Managing the lifecycle
• A guided tour………
excursions off into more detail and
a worked example

• Summary

Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


City Centre Map

Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd

A guided tour - A worked example


Objectives
To redesign a city
centre traffic
scheme
• To avoid chronic
congestion
• To improve the
environment

Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd


Classic Integration “Vee” Diagram……
Classic Integration “Vee” Diagram……
Business needs Stakeholder Operational
Operational performance
Stakeholder Business needs Stakeholder
performance

analysis Stakeholder analysis Acceptance Stakeholder analysis Acceptance

Best fit Requirements system compliance Best fit Requirements system compliance
Multiple solutions
Transition to
Multiple solutions
Best fit Architecture
Full systems test
Full systems test
Operations
Sub systems Spec Subsystem test Best fit Architecture

Manufacture
Factory Test Supplier(s)
Sub systems Spec Subsystem test
Software Production

Build Manufacture
Factory Test Supplier(s)
Software Production

Build

Classic Integration “Vee” Diagram……

Business needs Stakeholder Operational


performance

Requirements Stakeholder analysis Acceptance

analysis Best fit Requirements system compliance

Multiple solutions
Full systems test
Best fit Architecture

Sub systems Spec Subsystem test


Classic Integration “Vee” Diagram……
Manufacture
Factory Test Supplier(s)

•Stakeholder analysis
Software Production Business needs Stakeholder Operational
Build performance

Stakeholder analysis Acceptance

Best fit Requirements

•Requirements
system compliance

Multiple solutions Acceptance


Full systems test
Best fit Architecture
Classic Integration “Vee” Diagram……
Sub systems Spec Subsystem test

Multiple
solutions
Business needs

Stakeholder analysis
Stakeholder Operational
performance

Acceptance
•Multiple Options Manufacture
Software Production

Build
Factory Test Supplier(s)

Best fit Requirements system compliance

Multiple solutions

Best fit Architecture

Sub systems Spec

Manufacture
Full systems test

Subsystem test
•Best fit Architecture
•Prototyping
Factory Test Supplier(s)
Architecture Software Production

Build

Classic Integration “Vee” Diagram……


•Build Classic Integration “Vee” Diagram……

•Test and validation Business needs Stakeholder Operational


Business needs Stakeholder Operational
performance performance

Stakeholder analysis Acceptance


Stakeholder analysis Acceptance
Best fit Requirements system compliance

•Acceptance
Best fit Requirements system compliance
Multiple solutions
Full systems test
Best fit Architecture Multiple solutions
Sub systems Spec Subsystem test
Full systems test
Best fit Architecture
Best fit Manufacture
Factory Test Supplier(s)
Test and validation
•Transition to operations
Software Production
Sub systems Spec Subsystem test
Architecture Build
Manufacture
Factory Test Supplier(s)
Software Production

Build
Classic Integration “Vee” Diagram……

Business needs Stakeholder Operational


performance

Stakeholder analysis Acceptance

Classic Integration “Vee” Diagram…… Best fit Requirements system compliance

Multiple solutions
Business needs Stakeholder Operational
performance Full systems test
Best fit Architecture

Stakeholder analysis Acceptance Sub systems Spec Subsystem test

Best fit Requirements system compliance Manufacture


Factory Test Supplier(s)
Software Production
Multiple solutions
Full systems test
Build
Best fit Architecture

Sub systems Spec Subsystem test


Validation through
Manufacture
System Prototyping
Factory Test Supplier(s)
Software Production

Build
Build
Manufacture
Construct
Procure
Sub-contract
Copyright:- Keith Robinson - Integrated Systems and Strategies Ltd