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Tinkertoy Tower Design. Post Mortem Discussion. The point of the exercise. “It is your job to discover the system requirements.” Who is the customer? Exercise consists of 2 phases: Design (40 minutes) Implementation (15 minutes) . Design phase. Planning (problem & solution)

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tinkertoy tower design

Tinkertoy Tower Design

Post Mortem Discussion

the point of the exercise
The point of the exercise
  • “It is your job to discover the system requirements.”
  • Who is the customer?
  • Exercise consists of 2 phases:
    • Design (40 minutes)
    • Implementation (15 minutes)
design phase
Design phase
  • Planning (problem & solution)
  • Classes of components
  • Deliverables are a design and its inventory of technologies
  • Finding & fixing issues cheap
  • Deadline (40 min)
    • Penalty (large)
    • Bonus (smaller)
  • Ends with PDR
implementation phase
Implementation phase
  • Build
  • Specific components (objects)
  • Deliverable is a prototype
    • Must pass system test
  • Resolve unplanned issues
    • but at a steep cost
  • Deadline (15 min)
    • Penalty (absolute)
    • Bonus (large)
  • Ends with CDR
operations phase
Operations phase
  • Not addressed in exercise
    • Customer will operate
  • Design must address maintenance and other life cycle issues
  • Never ends
  • The clearer the milestones between phases, the better
prototypes must pass tests
Prototypes must pass tests
  • Include cost of test equip.
  • Environment is described
    • Flat hard surface
    • Free standing
  • Minimum test is stated, but
  • Additional requirements are always present
design life
Design life
  • Implicit in every project
  • Should be explicitly stated
  • Y2K was a design life issue
  • Observatory systems can have an especially long life
    • STB running since 20 July 1993
  • Lifecycle planning
    • Retirement requirements
  • Evolving environments
analyze risks
Analyze Risks
  • Unprecedented challenges
  • Software projects are notorious for collapsing under own weight
  • Either a project is tied to core mission of the organization

or

  • It isn’t - which is riskier?
implementation issues
Implementation Issues
  • Different technologies have different acquisition costs
  • Different recurring costs
  • Integration issues
  • Quality assurance
  • Maintenance and reliability
  • Availability of HW/SW/personnel
all design is evolutionary
All design is evolutionary
  • Improve Tinkertoy exercise?
  • Display example tower?
    • “Here is a 60’ tower. It earns minus $33K. Why?”
  • Swap designs w/ other teams?
  • Hand out requirements with less prodding from teams?
  • One shared can of Tinkertoys during design phase?
not applicable to software
Not applicable to software?
  • The tower exercise is only a cartoon model of real towers
  • No civil engineering, per se
    • No beams or trusses
    • No welds or rivets
    • No tension or compression
the essence of systems
The essence of Systems
  • System engineering is responsible for identifying and satisfying the life cycle requirements.
  • One problem
  • Many solutions
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