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Model-Based System Architecture by Markus Walker, Stephan Roth, Jesko G. Lamm, Tim Weilkiens

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Chapter 3Better Products — The Value of Systems Architecting

When driving down to the beach in a nice new car, we may enjoy how well this car grabs the road, and if mentally not yet ready for the beach we might ask ourselves which department in the car company is responsible for the driver's feeling that the car grabs the road. Is it the suspension design unit or the department with all the steering experts? We believe that all these departments alone cannot make us feel that the car grabs the road, because to do so, the car manufacturer has to see the “car as a system, as a collection of things that interact with each other and with the driver and the road” [93]. Systems architecting will ensure that the interactions between components are controlled in a proper way and that components are designed to fit each other.

3.1 The Share of Systems Architecting in Making Better Products

The example of the car that grabs the road was given by J.N. Martin [93]. We extend this example by speculating what would happen if different developers of car components were asked on whose merit is that the car grabs the road. As a reply, maybe the car manufacturer's suspension department and steering experts as well as the tire companies would claim that they are the ones, by making the best possible suspension, steering, tires, and so on, but in contrast to this, consider the following example by Russell L. Ackoff: “Suppose we bring one of each of these [many existing types of automobiles] into ...

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