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4.4 The use of systems engineering in organisations: different organisational arrangements

Hall identified three different organisational arrangements that might provide a framework within which systems engineering work could take place within the organisation. The first of these, which he termed the departmental form and regarded as the lowest level of arrangement, was essentially a temporary team of specialists brought together, under the management of a team leader, to undertake a specific project. The team consisted of members of each of the specialist development departments a
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3.10 Systems techniques

The two systems methodologies provide a framework for the application of problem solving, analysis and design techniques. These fall into three groups.

  • Diagramming: ranging from single systems maps to complex flow charts. Diagrams of one sort or another provide a method of analysis, design and communication.

  • Modelling: simulation is used extensively to analyse the dynamics of an existing system and to predict the behaviour of a propos
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Stage 6: Debate on feasible and desirable changes

The comparison undertaken in the previous stage can have two results.

  • It can cause opinions to change on the problem situation and the issues arising from it.

  • It can provide an agenda for change.

In either case (though both may result), the objective of this stage is to debate, with all concerned, the changes proposed to ensure that they are both desirable and feasible. The aim is to arrive at consensus about the prop
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Implementation

Implementation involves all the detailed design, development and installation tasks required to get the agreed proposal operating.

Figure 34 shows an arrow leading from ‘implementation’ to ‘problem/opportunity’; this recognises that implementation is never the end of the story
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2.2 A modern view

Modern attempts to define engineering recognise the importance of the resources identified by Sage, and that the subject can be divided into two components: engineering knowledge – the ‘know-what’, and engineering process – the ‘know-how’. Engineering knowledge is:

[…] the growing body of facts, experience and skills in science, engineering and technology disciplines; coupled to an understanding of th
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1.2 The Phoenix project

It is all too easy to dismiss problems like that being experienced with the tax credit system as being inherent in the design and implementation of computer-based systems. But they are not restricted to computer systems, as the example of the Phoenix project in Box 2 shows.

Box 2 Fly-away drones put robot air force off course


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2.6.1 Connectors

Many techniques have been used to design connectors that align the fibre ends accurately with high reliability and a long lifetime. The development of such components, at a low enough price, has been an important part of the overall development which has made fibre a feasible proposition for commercial transmission systems.

With fibre attenuation down to 0.2 dB km−1 (for single-mode fibre), the losses resulting from connectors and splices can be very significant over a whol
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4.6 What matters?

When the laptop is confirmed to be uncompromised, it is interesting that none of the characters cheers, although they all seem to be relieved. In other words, when the statement comes up, ‘laptop is uncompromised’, people seem to think that is ‘good’, the outcome is fine. They seem to have forgotten that the technician is probably dead at the time. So, in their deliberations, a person's life is forgotten. I am sure that, if they were reminded of it, they would, of course, say that thi
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6.8 Anticipating the arguments

  • 18. Have the objectives and perspectives of all the key stakeholders concerned with the decision been taken account of in the previous assessment of costs, benefits and risks?

  • 19. What are the reasons that this proposal is preferred over other op
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should be able to:

  • make an effective business case for a change to an operations activity or similar using appropriate written and/or oral forms of communication;

  • show the widespread utility of operations management principles at all levels across all types of organisation;

  • introduce a transformation model of operations management, with stakeholder value as the principle output;

  • provide models, concepts and
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Acknowledgements

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions) and is used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence.

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources:

Figures

Figures 33, 37, 38, 40: Courtesy of Trik
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1 Structural devices: a static role

The superb manufacturing techniques of microelectronics enable designers of integrated circuits to exercise complete control over the electrical characteristics of each component, such as a transistor, by specifying the shapes and sizes of their active regions. Using photolithographic mask-drawing software on their workstations, they can copy and paste blocks of identical devices all over the chip, knowing that when the design is finally realised in silicon, this extreme uniformity wil
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1.1 Overview

Why are disasters important? They attract public attention because there is great loss of life, or because the event happened suddenly and quite unexpectedly, or because the accident occurred to a new project that had been regarded as completely safe. Certainly, the aspect of suddenness is one that features in many catastrophes, and indeed, it is this feature by which a catastrophe is defined.

Great disasters are always traumatic, especially for those who endure them and come through al
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Introduction

This unit focuses on the Forth Road Bridge that connects Edinburgh with Fife. This suspension bridge continues to face a number of problems regarding its deteriorating condition. The short video included in this unit illustrates some of the major structural issues facing bridges and examines some of the proposed changes to the use of the Forth Road Bridge to help increase its lifespan.

This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Author(s): The Open University

3.3 Magnetic tape recorders

Experiments showed that the use of paper tape coated with iron oxide particles significantly improved the signal-to-noise ratio and enabled a lower tape speed to be used. A plastic-based version of this magnetic tape, developed by the German company BASF, led to the development of a commercial tape recorder with audio characteristics that could nearly match those of the gramophone record, but not at an economical price. Secret work on tape recorders was undertaken by the Germans throug
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3.1 Introduction

I've an opera here you shan't escape – on miles and miles of recording tape.

Flanders, M. and Swann, D. (1977) ‘The Song of Reproduction’ from The Songs of Michael Flanders and Donald Swann, London, Elm Tree Books and St George's Press, p. 99

Sounds, pictures, measurement data, financial statistics, personal details, etc. can all be recorded and stored on magnetic media, i.e. m
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2.1 Edison starts with cylinders

I had a little gramophone; I'd wind it round and round, and with a sharpish needle it made a cheerful sound.

Flanders, M. and Swann, D. (1977) ‘The Song of Reproduction’ from The Songs of Michael Flanders and Donald Swann, London, Elm Tree Books and St George's Press, p. 99

In 1877 the young American inventor Thomas Alva Edison finally completed development of an invention capable of ca
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should be able to:

  • explain correctly the meanings of the emboldened terms in the main text and use them correctly in context;

  • give a brief account of the history of the record industry;

  • describe the methods used for storing analogue audio recordings introduced in the main text, highlighting their technological aspects;

  • make informed judgements as to the quality of a sound recording through analysis of the a
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3.1 Protein diversity

Of course, our bodies can't just be made up of squidgy bubbles of phospholipid, or we would collapse in a heap on the floor! Stiffer frameworks, both inside and outside the cells, also exist and help to define shape and add strength. These frameworks are formed largely from structural proteins, a class of polymeric materials that form fibres and filaments to provide mechanical support for cells and tissues. Structural proteins are made inside cells but are often then moved into the spa
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