Elliott, M Kuras here... I have a couple of questions about what you have presented in your powerpoint paper.
I came away with the impression that in your view there is only one branch of system engineering (whatever it might be called) and that its methods are suitable for any problem worthy of attention by system engineers. Is that correct?
I came away with the impression that understanding and managing the life cycle of a system is central to your appreciation of system engineering. Is that correct? Do you see the waterfall model and the spiral model and the "V" model as fundamentally different, or as progressively more refined expressions of the same basic life cycle template? (I.E. if they are not fundamentally different, then the "V" model is the most refined expression of a basic life cycle template, and that it is the one best suited for the most complex of problems tackled by system engineers.)
I don't want to be opaque. I believe that there are now two branches of general system engineering. Both are legit, but they can and should be distinguished in terms of the type of problem that each can address, and in terms of the methods that each can bring to bear. I read your paper as focusing on what I would call "traditional" system engineering.
You noted that the DoD is increasingly disappointed by the results attributed to system engineering. I agree. I believe that there are two very different reasons for this. The first is that the methods of traditional system engineering are no longer being rigorously applied in situations where they should be. The second is that those same methods are being applied in situations when they are not appropriate at all (regardless of how well they are applied).