Complex Systems of Systems: The Double Challenge

Title: Complex Systems of Systems: The Double Challenge
Authors: Boxer, P. Brownsword, L. & Morris, E.
Where published: 10th NDIA Systems Engineering Conference, San Diego

Many approaches to engineering complex systems of systems address the problem from the perspective of those who must build and operate systems of systems (SoS) and their constituent parts. For example, the SOSI model defines three layers of interoperability:
• Constructive interoperability: technologies that create and maintain interoperable systems.
• Programmatic interoperability: activities related to the management of one program in the context of other programs.
• Operational interoperability: activities related to the use of an SoS within the operational context of multiple uses and users.
Implicit in the SOSI model is the challenge of developing governance mechanisms to address all three layers of interoperability.
The DoD simultaneously faces the challenge of enabling SoS to be responsive to ever-changing demands, of different character, placed on them in peace and war. This need for agility has led to strategies emerging for moving ‘power to the edge’ of the enterprise.
The SEI approaches these challenges from the perspective of the enterprise, shifting the primary emphasis from the engineering of SoS to the governance of the enterprise, a crucial part of which is still the engineering of SoS. To succeed, we must define governance frameworks that can address the three layers of interoperability, while simultaneously achieving requisite levels of agility that enable the enterprise to respond to increasingly asymmetric demands. The intersection of these challenges is critical: how can we create governance frameworks that are sufficiently agile for the demand environments with which we must align?
This presentation describes how this dual challenge can be used to frame our understanding of SoS problems using examples such as the Scud missiles and the ongoing NATO AWACS upgrade effort, including a summary of the use of the Projective Analysis technique to model systems, organizations, and the demand environment.

Download the full presentation