Wednesday, 10 February 2016
Systems thinking - The Skydiving analogy
Engaging an SysML modeling at multiple levels in an organization is a bit like skydiving. When you first jump out of the aircraft everything is very abstract. You can see areas of blue (sea) and green/brown (land). Unless you have a life-raft you probably will make a decision to go for the green/brown. Of course, there’s also the white areas of uncertainty (the clouds). As you get closer to the ground, the level of abstraction changes. The ground and sea distinction still holds but you can now see field boundaries, rivers, and tree-lines. You're through the clouds so things are looking a little clearer as well but you're not home and dry yet. As you get closer to the ground, the level of abstraction changes again. You’re now closing in on the field you picked for landing; its soft and hard bits, the support vehicle that's taking you home, and herd of Bullocks that you weren’t anticipating. All these levels are valid, of course, as they exist at the same time. They’re in harmony because they’re at different levels of abstraction just like a good MBSE/SysML multi-level system hierarchy. Abstraction enables you to understand the big picture, and different teams have precision over the aspects that they own. The perfect world lives in harmony.