The Allure of Document Based System Engineering

While industry acceptance of MBSE is growing with each day, there is still a pool of traditional system engineers that give a stiff arm to its core concepts. We have all heard the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, why fix it”, and that is the premise these individuals usually stick with. 

We have heard it all and to be honest, some of their points have validity behind them. Some of the most complex systems on the planet were built without MBSE, submarines and jet fighters to name a few, so why should we consider making a change? On the surface, it seems like a good argument but with a bit of scratching it falls apart. The challenges of today are simply different. It really comes down to complexity and the rate of change of modern technology. We have all felt it in our respective industries, schedules are consistently being pushed to the left and the need to rapidly insert new technology is becoming a requirement.  Couple that with the growing threat of cyber, and yeah there NEEDS to be a change. (View Post: Why MBSE? for more info)

But let’s dig a bit further into the individuals that are hesitant about adopting MBSE. I really think it comes down to a lack of knowledge about MBSE and its 3 pillars (Tool, Language and Method). To become a practitioner of this trade, you need a decent handle on each of them.  In my opinion, the Tool and Language are the biggest hurdles to get over. Learning a new application such as Cameo/Magicdraw can be tricky and has a learning curve to a degree. Languages such as SysML can just be scary at first glance. When you start seeing elements such as connectors, proxy ports, and parallel fragments; one’s initial response may be to run in the opposite direction. That is why we believe training is so important in getting large scale adoption, hence Beyond MBSE. 

We understand there will be hold-outs and that is fine. The mission is to get knowledge out to the greater engineering community and highlight the benefits of MBSE. I am sure there are architects that are using drafting boards and typewriters to draft letters but we all know there are better ways…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *