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Managing and Engineering Complex Technological Systems by Shuki Stauber, Avigdor Zonnenshain

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Chapter 1.2

A Multidisciplinary, Systemic View

In the previous chapter, we discussed the trends that led to the increase in the need for systems engineering, namely: the ever-growing complexity of technological systems, alongside the ever-increasing demand for appropriate solutions for the needs of the clients – the buyers and users of the systems (the two are not always the same). This combination compels engineering teams charged with the development of technological products to account for nontechnological constraints, related to finances and management. Therefore, the systems engineer who manages these teams should be willing to engage in areas beyond his formal engineering training, in the desire to meet the clients' needs, by exposing himself to broader technological fields, while handling managerial and organizational issues.

On the increasing complexity of systems:

The continuous accumulation of knowledge allows for the creation of advanced systems that are, naturally, also very complex. It is a well-established fact that the more complex the system, the higher the risk of it being prone to faults and difficult to operate. It follows that one of the main challenges is creating a product that is as technologically advanced and, at the same time, as simple as it can be. This increases the need for strong simplification capabilities alongside efficient examination of alternatives.

The Iron Dome developers attested to this: “We could have gotten a more complex ‘servo’ in ...

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