April 2021 Newsletter

Chicken or Egg

3SL Easter egg
Egg

If you celebrated Easter, you will probably have received an egg. These days they are usually chocolate covered in bright foil which is a modern twist on the dyed and patterned eggs used for centuries.
This April 2021 newsletter looks at the age old argument of which came first the chicken or the egg. It is fairly straightforward in terms of the chocolate version! However, which comes first the requirement or the solution?  Ideally we follow the sequence:

    • User requirement elicitation,
    • System requirements,
    • Design / Solution,
    • Validation/ Test

Real Life

However, we all recognise that doesn’t always happen. The important thing is we  recognise when there is a constraint, and when the client is presenting a pre-formed solution because they believe that’s the answer.

Take for example a wind turbine operator who has a number of offshore facilities, which, when load is low, produce hydrogen by electrolysis at point of generation (minimising electrical transfer losses). If the client approaches with the requirement for a boat to bring the hydrogen ashore, there are two possible scenarios. They have not looked at the bigger picture – a pipeline may be more efficient, or they have investigated the alternatives and a vessel is what’s most practical. In the latter case the requirement is most definitely for a boat. However, if we are approached with a requirement for the boat to have a built in tank to transfer so many thousands of litres of liquid hydrogen, we may be in a different position.

Know Your Domain

If our industry expertise shows that the fitting of a number of individual standard transport container shaped hydrogen storage units could be better it should be discussed. We may be able to demonstrate the transport, over land to the nearest gas network connection point, would negate the need to build pipework to the docks. Here the user requirement has been unnecessarily limited by a proposed solution. We  are in a strong position to help elicit the base requirement, and then provide a more appropriate system requirement for the vessel.  Recognising that the customer has ‘built a solution into their requirement’ is part of our job to evaluate.  In this instance we have a chicken (boat constraint) we’re just not sure of the breed (type of boat/tank arrangement) will need to be laid!

Left-shift

The earlier in the engineering process that these concepts can be discussed, perhaps presenting a range of options the better. Left shift of the process can prevent costly mistakes. Especially if you blindly implement the initial requirement without providing your industry expertise.

    • Initial user requirement
    • Preliminary suggested solutions and optional system requirements
    • Revisit and further elicitation of user requirements
    • System requirements based on agreed constraints and refined user requirements
    • A design and solution that best solves the underlying problem
    • Validation and test

Further reading about a related topic,  functional and non-functional requirements, can be found in this article.

 

New Cradle Features

Risk graph exampleWe highlighted Risk Management and the new Cradle Risk Module in our March mailshot.

We also noted how you can add formalised lists to Cradle items in our FAQ section.

 

Training Course

The next public training course is for requirements management in May – Public Online Training Course – Requirements Management May 2021. Book your place to avoid disappointment. These courses are open to all, if you want a course specific to your company or with tailored content please don’t hesitate to contact salesdetails@threesl.com

Social Media

Twitter

Integral Powerchain Tweet March 2021
Integral Powerchain Tweet March 2021

We acknowledged the size of the ‘system’ when talking about a whole county’s EV infrastructure, in Integral Powerchain‘s tweet.

We hope you had a good St. Patrick’s Day,  we noted the benefits of virtualisation.  We were amazed at the very beginning of April by the advances in ‘Quantum Computation!!!’

Finally

That’s all for our April 2021 Newsletter, we hope you haven’t eaten too much chocolate!

Quantum Computation – With Standard Binary Logic

Quantum Computing

The tantalising power of quantum computing offers unbounded possibilities to solve some of the biggest problems in computing today. So far the need to keep the Quantum Bits (QBits / QuBits) stable has proved the barrier to quantum computers being widely deployed. Laboratory conditions with super low temperatures and large magnetic fields have allowed the theory to be proved, but limit the practical implementation.

Theory

Our current silicon computers rely on simple 0 and 1 storage of bits to represent the data. These ons and offs are electrically, or optically stored and they are either one or the other. QuBits however are neither a 0 or a 1 until they are actually read. They exist in a ‘probability cloud’ between the true or false. The interaction of all the QuBits changes the probability that the bit will yield a 0 or 1 answer when read. This allows a massive scaling of parallel computation considering multiple avenues of a problem simultaneously.

New Possibilities

The possibility that standard silicon based binary computers could be made to operate in a quantum state has raised many exciting possibilities. Studies at the Loe D’a Buncum institute hypothesises that a stated proof;  that Black is White, or True is False, can be ‘proved’  either way. This uncertainty, they are terming an Argú (derived from the Latin argumentum “a logical argument; evidence, ground, support, proof”). They expect this will be widely applied to Silicon Based Computing Platforms (SBCP).

Theory

To paraphrase their research observe the following:

Black is White data definition
Black is White

It can be seen that the composition of mixed primary light colours Red, Green and Blue gives White light. However, the same composite calculation for pigment Cyan, Yellow and Magenta gives Black. The Argú in this case is stated as :

 Three primary colours mixed = Black = White.

This provides a state that can not be seen as a definitive answer (because there is a missing  element  – are we talking  light or  pigment). The key to unlocking and providing the definitive answer is being termed the Clú. This is the missing piece of information that will allow the quantum measurement to be extracted.

Standard Computers

Because the concept itself, the Argú is simple to represent in standard boolean logic on a silicon computer, there is no need for any special cooling or magnetic field to retain the uncertainty. The  Clú can also be held as a standard concept. The rest of the problem continues to be expressed in multiple Argús but not ‘finalised’. At the point where every possible Argú has been raised for a particular problem, the  Clú is combined using standard logic simplified with De Morgan’s laws resulting in the final result.

Summary

Both QuBit and SBCP computing offer the gateway to many possibilities, but it should also be remembered that those without a Clú should not attempt to Argú.

How do I make a list?

I need a sequence of information, how do I do this in Cradle?

There are a number of ways to create sequences of information.

  1. You can create a hierarchy of linked numbered Cradle items. This will give you the full flexibility that every element is a complete item and can hold any information you like.

    Items in a hierarchical list
    Item Hierarchy
  2. You can simply type in a text frame. Text frames are free-form so you can type what you like.

    Plain text list within an item
    Plain Text
  3. You could (On Windows® systems) add an RTF frame which allows you to embed styled lists with numbers and bullets.

    RTF list within a frame
    RTF List
  4. Define a frame of the base data type LIST. This will provide a numbered, bulleted or plain list with a title and text element that is held as a sequence within the item.
    List frame type setup in Cradle
    List Frame Type
    Item list frame assignment
    Frame Assignment

    Cradle Item using a list
    List Use

How Risky?

Risk Management

Every project has risks associated with it. They range from the risks to the programme, supply chain, staff, technology; through financial backing and cash flow; to safety and performance of the product. But just how risky is it?

Recording, quantifying, mitigating and reviewing these risks helps reduce their likelihood and severity. The more complex the project the more risks you will need to manage and the greater the range and type that needs to be managed.

Risk Register example
Risk Register

Tools

Tools to manage risk don’t make the risks go away in themselves, a shiny RAG chart does not make a project safe. However, management is all about controlling these parameters. Visualisation and quantifying risks is a management aid to ensure effort is spent in the most appropriate place to give maximum benefit, and also to ensure the smaller issues don’t get completely lost at the periphery.

Parameters That Define Risk

Parameter Description
Likelihood
The probability of the risk occurring. This could be simply High, Medium and Low, or 9:10, 5:10, 1:10, or Daily, Monthly, Yearly.
Consequence
What impact does the risk occurring pose to the project. Again this could simply be a generic High, Medium and Low or a more ultimate Death, Hospitalisation, Injury or Catastrophic, Severe, Dangerous, Limited.
Magnitude
The importance or priority we assign to the risk given our assessment. These quantities are often associated with colours  e.g. High=Red, Medium=Orange, Low=Green. These would be the colour displayed on your RAG chart.
Dates
Some risks will only be present during certain parts of the project. Funding may only be an issue up to the point that the project is started. Manufacturing defects can be thought about but can’t start occurring until the production run starts, so don’t form part of the overall current profile until that point. Adding start and finish dates to your risks bounds them and allows you to show a chronological profile.

Finally every risk should be reviewed on a regular basis to make sure the parameters have not changed and the mitigations are still valid.

Value
Used to quantify the size of the risk should the risk’s event occur.
Owner
The person or organisation who is responsible for determining the mitigation of the risk and for monitoring how this mitigation is avoiding (negative risks) or promoting (positive risks) the risk’s associated event(s).
Mitigation
There is not much point identifying a risk if we make no effort to reduce it. Unless that is of course because it is below our threshold. The impact is low, and the probability is small and if it did occur the cost is small. In all other cases we should record what it is we intend to do to reduce the risk. We can then re evaluate the risk with the applied mitigation. We dig a hole in the street, likelihood is someone will fall down it, the impact is severe and the value would be expensive. This would generally be flagged as a High priority risk. The mitigation might be to assemble barriers before hole is dug. This does not reduce the severity of a fall or the cost to business, however the probability that someone will fall is drastically reduced, and thus the mitigation leads to a reassessment as a Medium priority risk.

Analysis

By selecting categories for each risk, grouping the likelihoods and consequences we can draw a matrix. A RAM (Risk Assessment Matrix) this provides a uniform method of quantifying the risks.

Likelihood Consequence
1 – TBD 2 – Low 3 – Medium 4 – High
1 – High High Medium High Critical
2 – Medium Medium Medium Medium High
3 – Low Low Low Medium Medium
4 – TBD TBD Low Medium High

For each risk we decide the likelihood it will occur (its probability), the consequence of it occurring (its impact) and then look up the magnitude given to the risk (its risk priority). When we then look at the project as a whole, we can see how many of these risks are classed as high or critical. These are areas that need resource and attention first. As noted above if the risks present themselves at different times during the project it is also possible to produce a chronological risk profile.

Visualisation and Profiling

How Risky – Counting

Risk graph example
Risk Count

Risks can simply be counted, and visualised as a graph over time. This gives a good indication of the number of each type of risk we are dealing with at any point throughout the project. However we should concentrate efforts on those most critical risks.

How Risky – Costs

Total risk profile example
Total Risk Count – Profile

Once we have an idea of the number of risks we have for each period of our project we can produce a risk profile.

Unfortunately this does not give us a picture of the overall cost to the project if these risks occur.

Maximum Risk Profile example
Maximum Risk – Profile

By assigning a value to each risk we can work out the overall ‘cost’ whether that be in time delays, money or some nominal value. For any point in time we have a maximum risk exposure.

How Risky – Weighting

Weighted Risk Profile example
Weighted Risk – Profile

However, we also must take a pragmatic view to the consequence of a risk and the effort that is reasonable to expend trying to mitigate it. If we have ten risks that have a fair chance of occurring, and will have an impact on our business, it is likely that we should spend effort mitigating these. Whilst we will want to mitigate against a  catastrophic risk, if its likelihood is “once in a blue moon” the amount of effort expended must be tempered. By assigning a weighting to our risks we can ensure the overall profile is adjusted to be more meaningful. There is no exact science to this but it is a tool to help focus the projects needs.

Mitigation and Review

It is important to record all the decisions and parameters used when assessing risks and designing mitigations. Whether this be reserving funds for an unexpected cost, or adding safety barriers round the hole. We’re sorry to say that adding a high-viz isn’t the correct mitigation for every risk!

Re-evaluate

Once each risk has been calculated and a mitigation has been assigned, its value should be recalculated in light of the mitigation. For example if we had identified a risk that members of the public may fall down holes we are digging to install fibre, our mitigation may include adding plastic barriers round the hole. The probability that a person will fall down a marked and barriers surrounded hole may reduce from a likelihood of  “Highly likely” to “Not very likely“. Whilst the overall count of risks will not have been reduced, the weighted profile will have lowered as although the cost of someone falling down the hole has reduced, the likelihood has been reduced.

Risks and the appropriate mitigations will change over time. This may be because a particular likelihood has increased, an element of the project has been delivered or delayed. So it is important to add review dates into your plan to ensure they are re-evaluated correctly. After all there is no point ordering all those plastic barriers to put round the hole if a project decision to sub contract hole digging was made a month earlier. Therefore you should always be asking “How risky is my project?”

Cradle

Cradle 7.6 introduces a new Risk Management module to help in planning for and managing project  risks. All the aspects above are held in Cradle attributes and each Risk item can be linked to any other Cradle item, e.g requirement, design note, diagram. This will help you manage the risks associated with each element of your project’s needs, and solutions. You can find more in the Risk section of the Cradle manual.

Related Articles

Cradle Risks video

Global Recycling Day 2021

March 18th 2021

The aim of global recycling day is to make us all think about the finite resources we consume and the impact our activities have on our home planet.

Recycling
Recycling

Everything we do has an impact, but we can reduce those effects with a bit of planning and thought. Whether it’s the supermarket making sure its packaging is easily recyclable and clearly marked, or us as an end user choosing how to dispose of the item. Reuse is generally better than recycling. That can range from choosing a washable cup for our coffee verses a disposable (and possibly non recyclable) plastic cup. However we also have to bear in mind the resource and energy used to create that cup. If it lasts 100 washes but is 1000 more costly in terms of energy and resource than the disposable, we’ve not necessarily won.

Engineered

As designers and producers the way we make and  distribute our product has an impact. The intended verses actual use, the quantity of consumables and total energy may be beyond our precise control. However, we can design our product to be energy efficient, use every last part of the consumable and last in terms of durability and obsolescence. When our product comes to end of life, our initial design decisions again come into play. Can the parts be reused, returned, or recycled. Have we constructed it with clip together part, easily disassembled and sorted fixtures, or is a mass of composite materials stuck inseparably into a single unit. Of course it is not practicable to make everything fully reverse engineer-able; but making reuse, disassembly and disposal key needs at the beginning of our product designs, will certainly help. Our supply and distribution chains should also be questioned. Do they operate with returnable crates, or disposable packaging. Does the logistics company we choose have a low carbon footprint.  Given these decisions are going to have a fundamental impact, they should be planned and recorded and reviewed the same way as any customer requirement.  See the environment not just as an external to your system, but a stakeholder with interests. (You’ve reached the corny product link folks) Tools such as Cradle allow these needs to be recorded, reviewed and reported. If you produce reports keep them in digital form. Whilst the servers and workstations will use power to handle your design, at least you won’t have felled a mini forest to print it out.

Personal

So before you get that disposable coffee, think about taking a refillable and long life cup. Before that next global online retailer brown envelope goes in the bin, remove any plastic tags or tape and put it in the recycling. Before that misprint from the photocopier goes in the bin, can the back be reused as scrap paper? Before that washing up liquid bottle goes to be recycled, have you rinsed (used) every last bit of product? We as individuals are responsible as the companies we work for.

March 2021 Newsletter

Mad March

Leaping hare based on Photo by Vincent van Zalinge unsplash.com
Spring into Action

The spring equinox is between 19th/20th March this year, in the North this signals the start of new growth for the year. Whilst there may be some debate between the astrological and meteorological communities (23.44° axis tilt to the sun or the start of a block of 3 months) in the Northern hemisphere it certainly signifies longer and warmer days.

Traditionally we might fly round the house and office running a spring clean after we have been hunkered down over the winter. (Although in 2021 we seem to have been hunkered down for the last 12 months! This month sees a year for many, including 3SL staff, working from home.)  This surge in activity can be a bit chaotic if it is not planned and controlled. In fact the surge of activity at the beginning of the hare mating season gives rise to the English idiom mad as a March hare.

Tearing up a list of requirements, designs or processes would be a bit wild. Generally evolution is better than revolution when it comes to engineering. However, sometimes a design of a long-standing  product, or honed process, may become tired. It will have had sticky plaster on sticky plaster to alter and tweak it. New technologies, new materials and processes may be available on the market, so it is always good to have a review and plan the next solution. Make the decision whether it is a new broom sweeps clean or just a spring tidy.

A rush of activity is good, but plan it. If you are playing with a design, make an adaptation of if rather than tweaking the current working design. (see white-paper ra00407-Reuse_Adaptations.pdf). Compare the solutions and agree to move forward, make another iteration, or wipe the slate. Involve the team and spring into action for 2021.
Just a note though; Whilst we always advocate a good cuppa (or coffee if you prefer) and a meeting (virtual or otherwise), we’re not suggesting endless tea breaks and procrastination meetings with the Mad Hatter…..

Cradle Release

Cradle 7.6 splash screen
Cradle 7.6

Don’t forget if you have not downloaded the latest version of Cradle 7.6,  see the release announcement, and update today!

If you have a single user version, don’t forget to take advantage of the 20% discount before the end of the month.

Training Course

The next public training course is for requirements management in May –  Public Online Training Course – Requirements Management May 2021. Book your place to avoid disappointment. These courses are open to all, if you want a course specific to your company or with tailored content please don’t hesitate to contact salesdetails@threesl.com

Social Media

Twitter

ISO Cool Tweet Feb 2021

We liked the IsoCool  holistic design view of ensuring processes with heating and cooling requirements can use a transfer rather than disparate systems.

We noted there are different storage mechanisms in Cradle. And celebrated St David’s Day.

Finally

We hope you enjoyed our March 2021 Newsletter, if you have any suggestions for future content please drop us a line social-customer@threesl.com.

 

Visualisation

When is a ‘Box’ not a ‘Box’ ?

When it’s a virtual box of course.

Previously

Server room based on Photo by Field Engineer from Pexels
Server

Here at 3SL we’ve been using Hyper-V for most of our visualisation needs. On the whole its done a good job, but as we’ve been moving over to more and more Linux based systems we’ve been looking at alternative solutions to see how far we can reduce our dependence on Microsoft Windows.

Comparison

We looked at ESXi (from VMWare) – and then sat down after looking at the pricing for high availability, failover, and backup capabilities. Whilst undoubtedly suitable for a critical primary system,  the level of cover was more than strictly necessary in our test and development environment.
We looked as Xen (from Citrix) – and while it does plenty out of the box, it was still lacking in certain key functionality we were after. These included replication, failover, load balancing,  which, at the time,  were available as extra add-ons.

Currently

We’ve ended up with Proxmox (for now). It allows us to run a number of Linux services as containers (LXC, not Docker) as well as KVM-QEMU based VM for the few Windows systems we want to keep around (for testing and the like).

Logo for https://www.proxmox.com/en/
Proxmox

Its been handy to create an entirely self contained Cradle cluster behind a single external IP address with load balanced web access and VPN access for clients.

Note:

These are statements of fact regarding the installation and use of technologies at 3SL. No affiliation or approval from the third parties mentioned should be implied or inferred.

E-Mail Verification

3SL E-Mail Policies

Keboard Entry representation - Photo by Thirdman from Pexels
E-Mail

We’ve changed our mail server slightly. Improving the e-mail verification between ourselves and mail recipients.

Sender Policy Framework (SPF), Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM), and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC)  have been around for a while. Here at 3SL, we’ve implemented them on our mail server.

Technologies

SPF defines which addresses are permitted to send 3SL email.  DKIM adds a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) signature. This verifies and authenticates email as coming from 3SL, showing its not been modified in transit, or faked. DMARC combines SPF and DKIM to authenticate the emails and reports any emails which do not conform.

E-Mail Verification Result

What this means is that all emails claiming to be from 3SL should only be coming from our mail server mail.threesl.com.   This should help stop the occasional 3SL email from ending up filtered off as spam. It should also help identify fake 3SL emails as being unsolicited emails.

Exchanging data/responses with your customers/suppliers

Data Exchange Mechanisms

The data to be exchanged, and the mechanism to be used to exchange it, will depend on the scenario between you and your customer. In this post we will outline the approach that can be used in two main scenarios when one of the parties isn’t using Cradle:

    • One to One – single need to single response
    • One to Many – single need may link to one or more responses

Each of these scenarios can be further varied by being a ‘one off’ or an iterative repeated exchange.

Scenario 1 -One to One

This scenario is where the customer has a list of needs and each need will only have one response, you then have the option of capturing the data only once or capturing the needs and responses multiple times.

Once-only Data Exchange (one to one)

The simplest approach where your customer/supplier has a list of needs, you can then respond to each need with values for the new attributes. One file is exchanged between you and the customer which they incorporate with their needs.

List of needs
List of needs from customer, each with an ID (n#)

Within Cradle you have a single item type for these needs, the item type would  be made up of the following attributes:

Need # Need ID (n#)
Need Text frame to store the need statement
Compliance Category to record the compliance of the response
Response Text frame to store a statement of how it is compliant
List of needs shown in WorkBench
List of needs shown in WorkBench

Responses would then be added to each need, with values for the new attributes, such as the degree of compliance and a statement of how it is compliant.

Response to needs
Response to needs

 

Respones shown in WorkBench
Responses shown in WorkBench

There are a number of ways the response could be sent to the customer / supplier, as a report, a document or using an interchange such as CSV (Comma Separated Values).

Once all your responses are updated the next step is to create an export file to send to your customer.

Use CSV which includes only plain UTF-8 and avoid codepage issues. Only one file needs to be sent which includes:

    • Need #
    • Compliance
    • Response

To make this process easier you can set up export formats with the settings you want so that each time you want to run the process you don’t need to remember what the correct setting is. You can choose to load the export format which will instantly load the settings you have saved.

The customer then merges your response into their needs by importing the file with overwrite set to merge. The customer could also use import formats so each time you supply an update they have the correct import settings.

Repeated Data Exchange (one to one)

Your customer/customer has a list of needs where there are multiple copies for each need, you would then respond with datestamps so that when the customer imports the file the correct needs are updated. One file is exchanged between you and the customer which they incorporate with their needs.

List of need with datestamp
List of needs from customer, each with an ID (n#) and a date

Within Cradle you have a single item type for these needs, the item type would be made up of the following attributes:

Need # Need ID (n#)
Need Text frame to store the need statement
Compliance Category to record the compliance of the response
Response Text frame to store a statement of how it is compliant
Need-Datestamp Category to record need date (ndate)
Response-Datestamp Category to record response date (rdate)
Needs with Datestamp in WorkBench
Needs with datestamp in WorkBench

Responses should then be added to each need, with values for the new attributes, such as the degree of compliance and a statement of how it is compliant. Responses have a datestamp and will overwrite their predecessor when loaded.

Response to need with datestamp
Response to need with datestamp
Responses in WorkBench with datestamps
Responses in WorkBench with datestamps

Once all your responses are updated the next step is to create an export file to send to your customer. There are a number of ways the response could be sent to the customer / supplier, as a report, a document or using an interchange such as CSV (Comma Separated Values).

Use CSV which includes only plain UTF-8 and avoid codepage issues. Only one file needs to be sent which includes:

    • Need #
    • Need-Datestamp
    • Compliance
    • Response
    • Response-Datestamp

To make this process easier you can set up export formats. (See above regarding export formats)

The customer then merges your response into their needs by importing the file with overwrite set to merge. Responses have a datestamp and will overwrite their predecessor when loaded. The customer could also use import formats so each time you supply an update they have the correct import settings.

Scenario 2 -One to Many

This scenario is where the customer has a list of needs and each need may have many responses and/or a single response may be valid for multiple needs. The advantage of this scenario is that duplication of data is kept to a minimum, you also have the option of capturing the data only once or capturing the needs and responses multiple times.

Once-only Data Exchange (one to many)

Where your customer has a list of needs, you then respond with the new item (response) which you can link to a need. The major advantage of this is that a response can apply to more than one need removing the possibility of duplicate data/information.

List of needs
List of needs from customer, each with an ID (n#)
Needs in WorkBench
Needs shown in WorkBench

Within Cradle you have two item types one for needs and one for the responses.

The need item type would be made up of the following attributes:

Need # Need ID (n#)
Need Text frame to store the need statement
Compliance Category to record the compliance of the response

The response item type would be made up of the following attributes:

Response # Response ID (r#)
Response Text frame to store the response statement
Compliance Category to record the compliance of the response

Response items would be created for each need with values for the new attributes, such as the degree of compliance and a statement of how it is compliant and linked to the corresponding need.

Response to needs
New items as response to needs

 

Responses in WorkBench
Response 1 linked to multiple needs

Once all responses are updated the next step is to create files to send to your customer. You can send one file which includes the Response #, Compliance, Response and a list of related need #’s. This single file would be loaded from a Word table with the above columns. Or load two CSV plain UTF-8 files, one with responses and the other with links.

Sends 1 file: Response #, Compliance, Response, list of related need #s
Or 2 files: Response #, Compliance, Response
Need #, Response #

To make this process easier you can set up export formats. (See above regarding export formats)

The customer then incorporates your responses with their needs by importing the file with overwrite set to merge. The customer could also use import formats so each time you supply an update they have the correct import settings.

Repeated Data Exchange (one to many)

Where there are multiple copies for each need, you then respond with new items (responses) with a datestamp which you can link to a need. The major advantage of this is that a response can apply to more than one need removing the possibility of duplicate data/information as well as dealing with multiple copies of a need.

List of need with datestamp
List of needs from customer, each with an ID (n#) and a date

 

Needs with Datestamp in WorkBench
Needs with Datestamp shown in WorkBench

Within Cradle you have two item types, one for needs and one for the responses.

The need item type would be made up of the following attributes:

Need # Need ID (n#)
Need Text frame to store the need statement
Compliance Category to record the compliance of the response
Need-Datestamp Category to record need date (ndate)

The response item type would be made up of the following attributes:

Response # Response ID (r#)
Response Text frame to store the response statement
Compliance Category to record the compliance of the response
Response-Datestamp Category to record response date (rdate)

Response items would be created for each need with values for the new attributes, such as the degree of compliance and a statement of how it is compliant and linked to the corresponding need.

Response to needs with datestamps
Response to needs with datestamps

Responses are created for each need, each with an ID (r#). Responses
have a datestamp and overwrite their predecessor when loaded. All links to needs are replaced in each load.

Responses with datestamps and multiple versions in WorkBench
Response 1 linked to multiple needs with multiple copies of need 5/8

Once all responses are updated the next step is to create files to send to your customer. You can send one file which includes the Response #, Compliance, Response and a list of related need #’s. This single file would be loaded from a Word table with the above columns. Or load two CSV plain UTF-8 files, one with responses and the other with links.

Sends 1 file: Response #, Need-Datestamp, Response-Datestamp, Compliance, Response, list of related need #s
Or 2 files: Response #, Need-Datestamp, Response-Datestamp, Compliance, Response
Need #, Response #

To make this process easier you can set up export formats with the settings you need so that each time you want to run the process you don’t need to remember what the correct settings are.

Customer loads responses and links each response to the associated needs. If the customer has multiple copies of each need, the need datestamps identify which needs to update. There are a number of options you can use to capture the data:

    • Load a Word table from Microsoft Word®
    • Using two CSV plain UTF-8 files one with responses and another with links
    • An industry-standard like ReqIF

February 2021 Newsletter

0.001, 0.01, 0.1, 1, 10, 100, 1000

Monetary sub divisions, we are these days, quite familiar with. However, mathematically simple and consistent measurements certainly have not always been the case. The units and ratios we have used in the past had their benefits, and also their complications.

Lsd ( ell-ess-DEE)

5 Pennies does not equal 5 pennies
Pennies

This was the popular name for the once common pre-decimal currencies throughout Europe. Spread by the Romans, it was the king of the Franks that standardised the non-decimal ratios between them. Librae, solidi and denarii were introduced into Britain in the late 8th century by King Offa. The British coins became £sd or pounds, shillings and pence.  Money like many of the other measurements, such as length, mass and volume had evolved from various systems used locally and built upon when exchange or trade became necessary.

Europe switched to decimal relationships in the 18th and 19th centuries. The UK held out until the 20th before swapping. Fifty years ago on February the 15th the UK switched to the decimal system. There was now a simple decimal relationship between the pound and it’s sub divided part the penny, of  1:100, rather than 240. Out went Shillings, Thropences, Florins and Crowns.  However, whist all major transactions and banking rounded to the penny, for small value items there was a need for another sub division. It was decided 0.1p was too small to be of use in the conversion between old and new so the ½p or half penny at 200th’s of a £ was part of the mix. It remained so until 1984!

Switching

The switch took around 18 months to complete. Shop keepers often showed dual prices using the agreed conversion tables, to make it easier for shoppers to make the switch. This swap was remarkably quick compared to the change to the metric system. Hundreds of different measures were localised, and it took the French revolution to kick-start the change to decimally divided measurements based on natural physical constants. From 1799 it was around 50 years before various decrees and the spreading of standards really took hold. Seeing no reason to change, the UK other than those in the scientific communities who needed to share data remained with the non-decimal  non-metric measures until the mid 20th century. 

Units

Unit display in Cradle
Units

There is an importance to uniform measure and units to make sure everyone uses the definition. In Cradle labelling the column of the View or the element in the Form can make it more clear to the reader what the value represents. A description can be added to the category itself which will be displayed as a tool-tip. Additionally you may want an additional category with a set of units that the user can choose from. This will also make for easy querying and sorting (for example search for all components specified in feet)

Cradle Release

Cradle 7.6 splash screen
Cradle 7.6

At the beginning of February we released Cradle 7.6. Details of the new features (Risk Management and Test Execution and Recording) and updates to existing functionality can be found in our Release announcement. Keep an eye on the upcoming blog articles detailing their use. Full details of all the changes are included in the release notes included with the download.

For those with maintenance, if you have not downloaded the software and requested a new security code, contact 3SL support so you can upgrade for free.

If you have a single user version, because this is a minor version release (as opposed to a patch) you will need to buy the latest version to take advantage of some of the feature updates.
Please note that some features, such as the new Test and Risk module, are not available in the single user versions and you must check their suitability on our products comparison page.

Training Courses

Don’t forget to check and book onto the Cradle Public training courses.  The full calendar, and any updates, are available here. If you want a consultation, or tailored training just for your team contact salesdetails@threesl.com

Cyber Essentials

Cyber Essentials Badge
Cyber Essentials Badge

We were pleased to announce, earlier this month,  another successful assessment under the Cyber Essentials scheme.

We think this scheme helps instil confidence when dealing with online companies and would encourage all our customers to consider using it or similar.

Social Media

Twitter

FramatomeTtweet 2021
Framatome Tweet 2021

We looked at the advances made in nuclear fuels by Framatome

We highlighted how 3SL provide a set of Q&A for anyone writing a tool evaluation. 3SL also wished well all those celebrating the new lunar year bringing in the Chinese new year of the Ox.