Learn how to identify, analyse, evaluate, treat and monitor the risks associated with activities or events within your business with this year’s – Risk Management September 2022 course.
“A great opportunity for managers to understand and mitigate risks”
Businesses that have selected Cradle for their Risk management process can benefit from an in depth understanding on how Cradle can manage your risk process
Risk Management Course 20th to 21st September 2022
“The Risk Management course is designed for project team leaders or managers who administer and manage Risks.
The Cradle Risk Course focuses on providing an introduction to Risk Management in Cradle. We will start by setting up the schema for a small example and use this to manage the risks and provide some example reports. In the final module, we provide a worked example.
However, if you have a larger team or wish to cover multiple topics, courses can be tailored and held at your premises / virtually depending on restrictions and requirements or online at a date and time to suit” see here.
Requirements management tools are at the heart of future development in tools for systems engineering. Organisations that are not following and implementing the developments in these tools and utilising them in their projects may well lose out significantly.
What are requirements management tools?
According to Professor Roland Traunmüller, requirements management is the systems engineering activity principally concerned with finding, organising, documenting and tracking requirements for software systems and products / projects in many different industries. Its focus is maintaining traceability, defined as the “ability to describe and follow the life of a requirement, in both forwards and backwards direction (i.e. from its origin, through its development and specification, to its subsequent deployment and use, and through all periods of on-going refinement and iteration in any of these phases).”
The need to be sure that any project is continuously and effectively moving towards the goal of satisfying all the required elements of that project is best and most effectively met with a dedicated requirements management tool. This is a tool which is designed from the outset to impose requirements management principles upon the project from the start and continue to impose them through all of the project lifecycle.
What happens to your projects, or indeed, your business if you fail to follow good systems engineering practice? How can your systems’ design properly satisfy requirements that are imprecise or incomplete? How can you implement a requirements management process without the effective deployment of a fully integrated requirements management tool? The project stakeholders lose sight of the requirements in the maze of changes and developments that always naturally occur during the project lifecycle. Time, money and energy are wasted creating and implementing solutions to problems that do not exist.
Let us use an example
An engineering company has won a contract to design and install a heating system in a new office block. The company offering the contract seeks an environmentally friendly, carbon neutral system. It would be cheaper to use existing heating systems available ‘off the shelf’, but they want to win environmental awards for green technology and so they want a new design.
They award the contract to a company that uses fashionable green language, but that company is not using a dedicated and integrated requirements management tool. Their systems are based on taking notes on paper and mobile devices, then transferring them to Microsoft ® Word documents and spreadsheets. They say that this document-centric approach works well, as shown by their low development price.
As their system progresses, they have designated naming conventions for these documents to keep their system from becoming too complicated and losing documents. Inevitably, some employees forget the naming convention, or fail to apply it correctly, or overwrite documents with the wrong content. Before long requirements are lost or forgotten and not included as they pivot from the design phase, or “slip through the cracks” into the testing and implementation phases. These losses are further compounded when changes are required later and there is no communication between the design engineers and the installation engineers and decisions made on the spur of the moment to make changes are not checked against the system’s requirements. Equipment gets designed and installed only then to discover, “Oh no!” when a part does not comply with the new corporate environmental regulations created by the Chief Environmental and Climate Change Officer. Such regulations were incorrectly entered into the manual, document-based process, so the design team didn’t ever see them and the installation engineers were utterly unaware of them! Disaster! The project runs over schedule, over budget, delivers the wrong system and the company’s reputation is tarnished!
All of this could have easily been avoided had they used a fully integrated requirements management tool such as Cradle. Not only does Cradle provide full end-to-end traceability and coverage of all requirements, it is also fully integrated into its Systems Engineering package that handles every part of your full project lifecyle. That means that whatever size or scale of project you are delivering, Cradle can be trusted to hold all your data securely and gives you the confidence to know that every single requirement that is gathered and entered into Cradle. All these requirement scan be tracked throughout your design, testing, implementation, maintenance phases and through to eventual upgrade/replacement or retirement. Any changes and their impacts can be managed fully and properly throughout the entire project lifecycle from concept to creation.
And that means you can enjoy the confidence that your projects can deliver what you promise to deliver on time every time.
We most likely understand this to mean encourage, provoke or urge. Unfortunately there is no underlying tasty treat associated with the phrase.
Eggs and Easter eggs may represent the start of a new life or regeneration and are often given at Easter after their consumption would have been prohibited during Lent.
An egg holds the building instructions for a new life, and when fertilised can grow into something great. Like a new life, a project needs to be nurtured in order to grow. However, it must be led in the correct direction, not allowed to grow too fast or out of control for the best success. There will be risks on the way and its progress needs to be monitored and checked.
So we urge, cajole and encourage you to keep your projects safe, warm and cared for the only way we know how – in Cradle.
Now does anyone fancy taking up the Chicken and Egg debate???
During April 3SL UK offices are making a phased return to the office. It’s been over 2 years since we’ve sat at our desks. It was a bit of a time capsule moment seeing diaries open on March 2020! You will still be able to email, use webinar, or snail-mail, but if you call us on +44 1229 838867 you may find different voices answer.
TheProject Administration 20th-21st April 2022 course is designed for project team leaders or managers who administer and manage Cradle projects. It will cover user and project administration. It will also include setting up project schemas helping your users to hit the ground running.
We marvelled at how a dock can float in this tweet from HII.
We reviewed the SpeedUpSolR(TM) device, but apparently a number of people have reported difficulty buying it….. SpeedUpSolR(TM) 😉
Updating Item Properties. If you have a large number of items for which you need to change value(s) did you know you can set properties? Take a peek at this method on our YouTube Channel
We were interested to be provided with a SpeedUpSolRTM unit. We thought we’d test the claims and share them with you. The device works by “capturing ambient light waves and amplifying productivity software enhancements” We suspect a little has been lost in translation, however the blurb goes on to explain that generally workers want to complete their work more quickly in the daylight saving summer months (in our case anything after GMT turns to BST), in order to make the best of the rest of the day. By capturing the increased sunlight during these hours it can help speed up a your work by using their proprietary algorithm to assist and second guess the text or keys you are about to press. Once finished employees will have completed their schedule ahead of time and will be able to leave earlier benefiting their well-being.
Comprising a “bubble matrix silicon cell panel” which uses lenses based on omnidirectional fly eyes, maximum sunlight is captured in unit around 150mm long. The interface is s standard USB connector. The drivers download automatically, as it supports plug and play.
We connected the SpeedUpSolRTM to a standard desktop and installed a copy of Cradle. We then closed the blinds on the window to simulate a darker time of day. The unit is balanced atop the monitor facing the window, to achieve maximum exposure. The staff member was then asked to simulate entering data for the requirement they were working on. You’ll see their usual speed of typing. We then opened the blinds to allow maximum light onto the SpeedUpSolRTM. This allowed the software to start its word guessing and action assisting operations. We think you’ll concur, there is a marked increase in speed.
The software bundled with the SpeedUpSolRTM includes an average light level monitor with a rolling 7 day count. It suggests that this can be used to co-inside with maximum productivity bursts for employees. It is also noted that by monitoring the peaks, in winter months people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) may be able to time their coffee breaks outside to maximise benefit.
Requirements management mastery is a process of ensuring that the goals of any project or endeavour are successfully realised, are timely and that waste, avoidable redundancy and “feature creep” are eliminated. Managing the requirements of any project throughout the lifecycle of that project is essential to save time, money, effort, resources and successfully arrive at the business goal. For this reason, requirements management mastery must be a key focus of all projects.
Following the steps ahead, any project will stay on track, save money and deliver what the client needs as the process itself ensures that outcome. Requirements management mastery is a goal that your business will thrive from.
Rule One: Design the Requirements to be of Most Use
Ensure that all requirements derived from the client are SMART:
Rule Two: Manage the Requirements
Identifying the user’s needs, through user’s needs statements which are then processed to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Traceable, are used to create user requirements, then system requirements should be developed from these user requirements. These ought to be linked to maintain full traceability and coverage throughout the project lifecycle and store all the requirements in a central requirements repository. Cradle is designed from the ground up to manage all requirements with full coverage and traceability, end-to-end, backwards and forwards through its unique transitive linking mechanism for full traceability and coverage from every requirement to every outcome, and from every outcome back to every requirement.
Rule Three: Ensure Constraints are Accounted for
Non functional and non system requirements such as for legal or regulatory compliance must be accounted for and this is useful for ensuring quality is maintained and indeed, built into the system.
Rule Four: Model Requirements
Various modelling tools (built into Cradle) are very useful for understanding requirements in a broader and more understandable way. It can reduce ambiguity and create a much better understanding of how requirements can be achieved.
Step 5: Test Requirements
Ensure that requirements can be tested, through test cases, tests, test results all linked transitively back to the requirements being tested. Cradle’s TEST module (Test, Execution & Recording (TER)) allows you to directly link Test Cases to your requirements, needs, or design elements. You can then define Test Plans and Test Executions to group and run these tests and the tool will record the Test Results against each Test Step.
Rule Six: Be Aware of Business Needs
By analysing business needs, requirements can be optimised to ensure that essential stakeholders are made aware of opportunities to enhance the business and improve innovation.
Rule Seven: Ensure that Changes are Controlled
During any project lifecycle, changes occur which impact requirements. Having tools that manage those changes, tracks them through full traceability and coverage and notifies stakeholders of which parts of the project are impacted by those changes, gives the business a clear advantage, reducing errors, saving time and lots of money.
Rule Eight: Monitor and Track Metrics and Trends
Make use of Cradle to ensure that metrics are identified and learned from. Continuous improvement in requirements definitions and utility leads to better implementation.
Rule Nine: Keep a Repository of Good Requirements
Ensure that a repository of requirements is stored for future analysis and learning. These can be reused or used as templates in the future. Especially non-functional requirements relating to compliance with government or legal standards.
Why is Requirements Management Essential for your Business?
Imagine you are renovating an old live-aboard boat. You have to ensure that the hull is sound and has no leaks. That the ballast is in the correct place to keep the vessel balanced, you need to upgrade the plumbing, the electric circuits, the gas installations, all whilst designing the living quarters, the saloon, the galley, bathroom and bedrooms.
There are many interesting videos on YouTube created by people doing precisely that and what stands out most, is that none of their original plans survive first contact with reality. Discovering that the constraints of the boat safety certificate means that they must have a specific number of brackets per foot for gas pipelines, or cost of materials suddenly rising threefold mid-renovation, or discovering that fittings simply will not fit where they require them, means mid refit changes to their plans. Buying a water pump for waste water, only to discover the inlet and outlet are different sizes, requires buying new adapters or pipes. Often this means waiting longer for parts to be delivered before a task can be completed and the budget rising.
Each of the areas of the boat to be renovated is a requirement. How many leisure batteries do you need? Without doing a power audit, and knowing the full wattage of all your electrical equipment, that is guesswork. You do not want to be out on a month’s cruise, only to discover that your washing machine will not work due to inadequate electrical supply, so creating a set of fully researched requirements, and how those requirements will be met, is essential to a successful renovation.
The same problems arise when renovating cars, houses or anything that requires a multitude of interconnecting and inter-dependent parts. Often A cannot be completed until B is completed, then whilst completing B one discovers that C, D and E are needed too, but they cannot be completed until A is completed. Around in circles one goes, spending ever more time and money until the project fails and has to be sold off for someone else to attempt to fix it.
Achieving and maintaining control over all the requirements is even more essential in business. Every project your business undertakes, requires analysis, design, implementation and testing phases. Without having a firm understanding of each and every requirement within that analysis, unplanned, forced changes will have a dramatic effect upon timescales, deliverability, functionality and costs. It can be the difference between a successful project and total failure.
The cost of a project requires a deep, granular level of understanding of exactly, in detail, every requirement of that project. It is necessary to know how each requirement will be satisfied and implemented, how much it will cost, how long it will take and a risk register for if any of those requirements cannot be met within the project plan. It also requires knowledge of how such a requirement can be changed during the project, what impact that change will have upon other parts of the project and how much time and money it requires to implement that change.
Requirements Management is the Key to Unlocking Success in all Projects
Not only does having a full requirements management system allow your business to ensure that all requirements are identified, assessed, agreed, costed, time allocated, tested, implemented, tested again and signed off, it also gives you magical powers when changes to requirements are forced upon you. A fully integrated requirements management plan within a project plan, that includes full coverage and traceability, backwards and forwards, with transitive linking, gives you magical powers to see, at any point in the full project, the status of all requirements at any point in time, but which functions, objects or other parts of the project have crept in, for which there is no requirement at all, exposing the project to unnecessary risk, cost and problems. Why are you spending time and money on something that is not required?
But the client keeps changing their mind… It is a very common problem. As a project progresses, the client comes back with changes. Regulations change, requirements change, personnel change. This cannot be prevented, sadly, but what this means is that you have an opportunity to see very quickly what impacts such changes will have upon all areas of the project.
How can someone magically know which parts of a project are impacted with changes in requirements?
Cradle provides a fully integrated requirements management system within a full lifecycle product. One product that supports your entire systems engineering lifecycle. Cradle covers everything from initial requirements gathering, through analysis, design, testing, implementation with full baselining. Cradle is designed to control many variants and projects, with full traceability and coverage, end-to-end with unique transitive linking. This grants you full and complete control over every requirement at every point in the project and gifts you the ability to see how every part of the project can link back to any requirement, and if any requirement changes, to see what effects that has on other parts of the project and to see if any part of your project is NOT linked to any requirement and is therefore redundant effort and expense.
Always in control, always on top of every part of your project at all times. Do not be the person who has to sell up, because requirements spiraled out of control and the project failed.
Most English native readers will understand the text above. Although we must admit it is fairly atrocious. We are so used to reading context, that even when letters are missing or transposed we still understand. Sometimes [sic ]don’t even notice the errors. We have come acustomed [sic] to our browsers and text document processors telling us the spelling of a word is not recognised. However, unless there is some form of context processing too, a smelling [sic] mistake would get through even if a sbelling [sic] mistake was highlighted.
March the 8th recognised proof reading day, which may be a delight for the pedants among or is that amongst us. However, it does highlight the importance of peer review. Proof reading is generally defined as “a process of finding and correcting textual mistakes before it is published” Elements that are easily overlooked when you read information back to yourself are often picked out faster by another. You “know” what you intended to write, and the human brain is very good at telling you that’s what is on the page.
It may be blatantly obvious you meant the EV socket was to be placed 1m from the floor but that extra ‘m‘ that remained in your text was a typo. Now no one can plug their car into the socket that is 1mm from the floor. You would hope the contractor would question this. However, not all errors are as obvious, incorrectly specifying a tolerance of 0.01mm or 0.1mm could either mean some costly but unnecessary machining, or components that don’t fit depending on the use case. Language semantics can also get in the way of clear communication. Peers are likely to question whether you really wanted to separate those who may consider cannibalism; “To avoid smells, the train buffet service should segregate eating passengers”. Whilst in reality it is unlikely to be misconstrued, it may show a less than professional approach to your stakeholders especially in a presentation or final review.
In Cradle we have covered the benefits of reviews and formal base-lining. However we also advocate the use of Discussionsas a method of reviewing and recording comments and notes.
Cradle supports a Conformance Checker to examine the correctness of requirements against a set of language / semantic checks. If you have ToolSuite you can also access a SpellChecker to examine your item’s text.
3SL are proud to announce their third year recertification for ISO9001. The team working with the audit said we passed with flying colours and there were no non-conformances. This is a testimony to all who have helped throughout the year improving and recording our processes.
The ISO says of the scheme
“ISO 9001 sets out the criteria for a quality management system and is the only standard in the family that can be certified to (although this is not a requirement). It can be used by any organization, large or small, regardless of its field of activity. In fact, there are over one million companies and organizations in over 170 countries certified to ISO 9001.
This standard is based on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual improvement. These principles are explained in more detail in ISO’s quality management principles. Using ISO 9001 helps ensure that customers get consistent, good-quality products and services, which in turn brings many business benefits.”
February the month of Saint Valentine, according to Wikipedia a 3rd-century Roman saint. The tails of his beheading as a martyr and the distribution of his bones are quite horrific. A far cry from the modern celebration. It wasn’t until around the 14th century that he became associated as the patron saint of lovers. Apparently this was greatly promoted by the writings of Chaucer. Quite an achievement in reuse and adaptation!
This month also saw Her Majesty The Queen celebrate 70 years on the throne. The first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, she will have seen many technological advances and changes during her time on the throne. To illustrate the pace of progress think about a camera. During her coronation she may have been photographed by one of the first Polaroid instant cameras. In the 70s one of the first point and shoot cameras would have been the order of the day. On engagements in the 80’s one of the first digital cameras or a disposable camera could have been used, and in the 00’s snaps on phones would be the norm.
Naming storms is apparently a way to make things more memorable. A number or identifier is easy to forget. However, many people will remember whether it was Storm Dudley or Eunice that felled the tree in their garden.
In conclusion, with tortuous metaphor bending…..
We Love engineering, we actively promote the concept of reuse and Adaptation.
We would encourage you to support an iterative and baselined design process, building on and improving the previous version whilst retaining traceability.
Cradle supports IDs, Names, Groups, and Comments for all item types. Making sure you use all these nomenclatures will aid you finding, discussing or grouping your requirement and design assets. After all would you rather query on ID343 or “Surface finish” ?
The 2022 Public training course calendar has now been released. This has courses covering the main functions of Cradle. It is ideal if you are on-boarding new staff, or are just new to Cradle. These online courses are tutor led so there is full interactivity and ability to ask questions. You’ll also be able to benefit from the questions and experience of other candidates.
These public courses are in addition to our individual company offerings. If your company has a large number of trainees for instance, or wants on-site training we will put on a separate course. Additionally if you need a course tailoring to your industry/implementation you should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
INCOSE have updated their vendor tool listings with a new database, the Systems Engineering Tools Database (SETDB). We have fully updated our entry and system engineers can search the database with their INCOSE membership, or an SETDB membership through systemsengineeringtools.com.
We are listed under 3SL and Cradle and our competencies listed in all available categories within their database. This will be added to as they further update their database capabilities.
We wondered just how a seedling will function in space. Without gravity how will it grow up? Its leaves will be able to grow towards a light, but at the time of sprouting, which way will the root grow? All vital information, being worked on by @NorthropGrumman if we are to grow crop resources in space.
Love is in the air we tweeted a Valentine message and reminded you that we use the hashtag #LoveEngineering to retweet and highlight stories from our customers and general engineering accomplishments. Why not join us in promoting good engineering stories?
We also noted that Samuel Plimsoll was to be congratulated on developing the simple safe load ship markings. This used the engineering principle of displacement in different salinity. Mistakenly we thought this had nothing to do with the deck shoes of the same name, thanks to one eagle eyed reader. They pointed out “Plimsolls, the shoes, were named in his honour in 1876 (when his whistleblowing campaign for a loadline had made him a household name) by a sales rep for the Liverpool Rubber Company, because, being canvas above and rubber underneath, the shoes could only be safely immersed in water up to a certain point – like a merchant ship. ”
You’ll have read that the new Public Training Calendar has been released. Just to emphasise the benefits of training, for those that like something a little more visual (to send to their boss maybe), here’s our mini promo.
The second scheduled publishing course of 2022. Cradle report creation training – Document Publisher October 2022 course.
“Once you have managed your requirements and development, producing a comprehensive report, automatically based directly on the project data, provides an essential deliverable”
Businesses that have Cradle for their Requirements Management or Systems Engineering process can benefit from additional Cradle tools.
Document Publisher is a Windows® based publishing tool that allows professional documentation to be produced directly from the data within your project’s database. Fully understanding how to configure templates and data manipulation will offer the best output for you to provide to your stakeholders and customers, regulators and other interested parties.
Public Document Publisher Course October 2022
Often the document production task is run by an individual or a very small team. Therefore, this public online course will offer a cost effective way of providing training. You’ll benefit from all the normal learning, but will have the chance to network and share with other virtual attendees from other industries. However, if you have a larger team courses can be tailored and held at your premises / virtually depending on restrictions and requirements at a date and time to suit see here. This will be conducted over four ½ days.
Learn how to setup and manage projects to provide the best base for your users with this year’s – Project Administration April 2022 course.
“A great opportunity for project managers to understand their schemas”
Businesses that have selected Cradle for their Requirements Management or Systems Engineering process can benefit from an in depth understanding on managing their installation.
Project Administration Course 20th to 21st April 2022
“The Project Administration course is designed for project team leaders or managers who administer and manage Cradle projects. It will cover user and project administration. It will also include setting up project schemas helping your users to hit the ground running. Most industries have only a few people that act as project administrators, therefore the public course is ideal. However, if you have a larger team or wish to cover multiple topics, courses can be tailored and held at your premises / virtually depending on restrictions and requirements or online at a date and time to suit” see here.