American Society of Engineering Management (ASEM) 2016 Workshop Report

09 Aug 2017 12:00 PM | Tricia Simo Kush (Administrator)

(This piece was submitted for an earlier Practice Periodical and was set aside due to space constraints; my apology. ~ TSK)

Workshop Held: Thursday, Oct 27, 2016, 9:30-11:45am

Workshop Delivered by: Dr. Alice F. Squires, Washington State University (WSU)and Dr. Jim Boswell, The Aerospace Corporation

Workshop Vision and Purpose

The American Society of Engineering Management (ASEM) Systems Engineering Workshop was held in Concord, NC during the ASEM 2016 International Annual Conference on Thursday morning, October 27, 2016. The workshop addressed early phases of the systems engineering life cycle starting from identifying the right problem, deficiency, or opportunity to developing an initial system functional architecture.

The vision for this workshop was to provide a sample approach (one of many) that included a minimum subset of the initial steps needed for defining a set of system level functions in support of a desired system capability for a known and well-understood system. To relay the concepts, a system of low complexity was chosen for the example, a coffee maker, and teams were encouraged to use a commonly known and understood system of relatively low complexity that they defined, to go through the steps as the workshop progressed.

To this end, the goals and outcomes of the workshop were:

  • Identify the right problem, deficiency, or opportunity

– Use the five ‘whys’ to narrow in on the root problem

  • Develop a need/opportunity statement that describes the problem and can be met with the design of a system
  • Identify stakeholders and their requirements

– In the voice of the customer

– Listening to both wants and needs

– To be translated (later) to the system requirements

  • Identify operational scenarios

– Address how the system will work in its intended environment

– Identify the capabilities of the system

  • Define the input, transformative, and output functions of the system

– Include feedback

  • Develop a system context diagram

– Bounds the system within the intended operational environment

– Defines the external interfaces to external systems and users

  • Develop an initial system functional architecture

The workshop balanced topic presentation with active learning through group work and team reporting. The entire report (PDF) is available here: ASEM2016SEWorkhopReport.pdf

Proud Corporate Members of ASEM Include



Lawrence Livermore

National Lab


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