October 2020 Newsletter


School room - Learning goes on Photo by - Stephen Paris from Pexels
School Room

It’s been a challenging year for all. One of the biggest impacts has been in the education sector and we hope all students have now had a month to to settle into a new ‘normal’ as schools, universities and colleges return. Some have found the various lock-downs an opportunity to learn a new skill, study an online course or just get round to reading all those trade and profession journals that appear to mount in our in-boxes.

Learning should never stop, whether in the classroom, online, or as you work from your peers. One of the other vital learning opportunities is from evaluations during and after a project. Call it “Learn from your mistakes” or “Process improvement” the results should be the same; a closed feedback loop is essential. In Cradle you could add a new item type, add a frame to an item or set up a separate evaluations project. The important point is that the data coming out of the discussions and evaluations is recorded and linked to the items giving rise to that feedback. Too often ‘wash-ups’ can be seen as a tick in a management check-box. The lessons can be completely forgotten next time a similar project is undertaken. By recording this information linked to the original project, they can form input to your next design.

Public Training Courses

Fortuitously, we’ve just mentioned ‘learning’ so its a good time to remind you to book onto one of the #Cradle 2020 Public Training courses

21st-22nd October 2020 Requirements Management Details
11th-12th November 2020 Document Publisher Details

Cradle Release

Risk RAM and TER Test Execution & Recording

We’ve held onto the current release Cradle 7.6, mentioned last quarter, in order to complete some performance enhancements. This means these improvements will be released at the same time as the new Risk Management and Test Execution and Recording features.

Staying Safe

We could write our own article about security and staying safe online when working at home, but we thought this article by the BCS – (British Computer Society) – said it all!

G-Cloud 12

3SL are pleased to announce that Cradle is available as a packaged SaaS through the latest UK government digital marketplace G-Cloud 12.

G-Cloud 12 - 3SL software, training & consultancy
G-Cloud 12

The UK marketplace offers Cloud Software applications and other services, over a wide range of topics to fulfil central and regional government contracts, government agencies’ work and local authority use. Read the full article here.

For full details of  Cradle’s facilities follow these links

Social Media


Synchroness Tweet
Synchroness Tweet

We looked at the way robotics have been changing and adapting to applications that are not as “standard” and “repeatable” as traditional areas.
We reminded users there are different ways to view your data in lists, tables, trees or document views.

We celebrated the culture of sharing knowledge on #SwapIdeasDay you can still send us your ideas and we may publish them. That’s all for the October 2020 Newsletter.

Cradle Available as Packaged SaaS through G-Cloud 12

G-Cloud 12

Cradle on G-Cloud-12
G-Cloud 12

The UK government Digital Market Place Cloud Software applications offer a wide range of software aimed at fulfilment of central and regional government contracts, government agencies’ work and local authority use. This ranges from Schools, education and libraries to Fault management, monitoring and alerting  or Marketing . 3SL (Structured Software Systems Ltd.) are proud  to announce that Cradle is available as SaaS through G-Cloud 12 for agile and phase-based projects under the Information and communications technology (ICT) services.


Cradle offers two packages Cradle Software as SaaS and Cradle Training and Consultancy.


The software package includes Cradle licences, a pre-defined schema and a comprehensive support package. This can be used in  both unclassified (IL0) and OFFICIAL (certified IL3) deployments and covers the following elements:

    • Agile Collaboration
    • Application Lifecycle Development
    • Application Lifecycle Management
    • Agile Software Development
    • Agile Software Management
    • Business Analysis
    • Business Process Modelling
    • Requirements Management
    • Systems Engineering

Cradle Training/Consultancy

    • Consultancy
    • Administration Training
    • Fundamentals Training
    • Advanced Lifecycle Training

Prices start from as little as £73.50 per user per month. Including EMail and phone support and full documentation included. Optional onsite support and training available. This can be supplied on Windows® or Linux®.


A wide range of user customisation is available including:

    • Items’ (attributes, links and properties)
    • Display of chosen data and layout through queries, views, forms,
    • Processing data to give graphs, reports, documents, metrics, KPIs/dashboards, process
    • CM (Configuration Management) system workflows
    • UI (User Interface) layout and content
    • Authentication and access control


For details, see here:

or search for Cradle.  For an overview of Cradle, see our video here:  We look forward to helping you achieve success on your future projects, or migrating existing ‘manual’ or disparate works into a fully encompassed solution.

Public Online Training Course – Document Publisher November 2020

Document Publisher 11th-12th November 2020

3SL are pleased to announce the dates for this year’s fourth training course – Document Publisher November 2020 “Once you have managed your requirements and development, producing a comprehensive report automatically based directly on the project data, provides an essential deliverable”

Public Online Training Course
Online Course

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 you 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 November 2020

Often the document production task is run by an individual or a very small team. 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 or online at a date and time to suit See here.


Date Subject Venue Cost Pre-Requisites Provision
11th-12th November 2020 Document Publisher Online learning tutored course. £475+VAT PC/Laptop – internet browser & Cradle installed ** Soft copy course materials, and printed certificate

If you would like to be kept in touch with the details for this Training Course – Document Publisher November 2020, please send an email to salesdetails@threesl.com

Buy Now

All courses are available for direct purchase online.

Other Dates and Courses:

For details of other courses on offer this year please see our training calendar. Continue reading “Public Online Training Course – Document Publisher November 2020”

Public Online Training Course – Requirements Management October 2020

Requirements Management 21st-22nd October 2020

3SL are pleased to announce the dates for this year’s third training course – Requirements Management October 2020

“A great opportunity for small teams, or a couple of new team members to get started with RM and Cradle”

Public Online Trainig Course
Online Course

Businesses that are introducing Cradle and full Requirements Management processes into their operations, can book training for all aspects of the roll-out, from the basics through to specialist administration courses – See here. These courses are tailored and held at your premises and are ideal for getting a team up and running.

Public Requirements Management Training Course October 2020

If, however, you have one or two people new to a project or only have a very small team, this may not be a viable solution. With 3SL’s public online courses, you’ll benefit from all the normal learning, but will have the chance to network and share with other virtual attendees from other industries. This can be a cost effective solution to get you up to speed with Cradle and Requirements Management.


Date Subject Venue Cost Pre-Requisites Provision
21st-22nd October 2020 Requirements Management Online learning tutored course. £475+VAT PC/Laptop – internet browser & Cradle installed ** Soft copy course materials, and printed certificate

If you would like to be kept in touch with the details for this Training Course – Requirements Management October 2020, please send an email to salesdetails@threesl.com

Buy Now

All courses are available for direct purchase online.

Other Dates and Courses:

For details of other courses on offer this year please see our training calendar.

Continue reading “Public Online Training Course – Requirements Management October 2020”

National Swap Ideas Day 2020

Got an Idea?

Celebrating question mark
Got an Idea?

Swap Ideas Day 10th September 2020 is all about sharing your thoughts and ideas. This could be with colleagues, friends or working partners. However, it may even be that you have a great idea, that does not quite fit into your industry – so why not post it and share it with others?  It could be the spark of something beautiful.

If you have a great idea and want to share it you could tweet us @threesl or you could email us at social-customer@threesl.com. If we like it we may update this post and list it, so be sure to include your company contact details if you want them included.

What if I want to comment on a design, process or implementation detail?

Companies that are involved in design, production, through or end-life support should have a documented way to communicate ideas. Sometimes it is easy to miss the obvious, be blinkered by “that’s the way we have always done it” or get stuck without the vision of how to see ‘outside the box’.

White-boarding / Mind-mapping / Idea pooling / Video chat discussion

Whatever you want to call them these are intended to encourage imagination and creativity. To spark conversation, to record thoughts and to gather ideas. This is the most common point to share.


A formal or informally conducted critique or consideration of a piece of work. This may be with colleagues, customers and/or other stakeholders. It’s aim is to promote comments and question, and thereby to ensure involved are happy with the development at this point in time.  The depth of the review will depend on the stage in the lifecycle and the criticality of the decisions and potential negative impacts if the work is not correct.  It can range from a cursory glance at an email to ensure all the facts brought up in a discussion have been covered, to a minute atomic step through Fagan Inspection.

Change Control

As a product moves through the cycle there may be a need to react to new requirements or changes in project constraints. This could be the results of another review, a technology demonstration, test measurements or supplier issues, which can also lead to a need to change. To prevent a loss of control, this must be a considered and documented process.  This could range from a simple agreement by email, or a formal request and review board approval.

Comments / Feedback

There always needs to be a way to react to changes, new ideas, issues raised by the user or customer. These may be positive “what if” or “could we also” or negative “it doesn’t” or “it really should”. However these arrive, as emails, comments on a social media platform, user feedback sessions, or questionnaires, our process should allow the feedback loop to feed back into the design cycle for consideration.

Tools Support

You’ll no doubt have heard us mention the need to make sure you have the ‘right tools for the job‘ a number of times. So it will be no surprise that  we have made sure Cradle supports these idea stages.

Idea Gathering.

Create an item type that records any meetings you have. You can assign frames to hold images, documents or any other binary data you like. Add some categories with values such as “Status” with values “Candidate” “Dismissed” “Future“. Add a Group or additional category to collect similar topics.


User definable workflows allow reviews to be a simple recording mechanism with one approver, or to require  majority, unanimous etc. decisions. This gives full traceability of the decisions and when and who made them.

Change Control

Cradle supports formal Change Requests CHRs and Change Tasks CHTs.  Which, combined with the review mechanism and workflows, allow you to ensure alterations follow you process and procedures.


Discussions are an ideal way to add comments to any item in the Cradle database. They can be agreed / dismissed and follow a conversational thread  style.

Your Ideas:

If we receive any ideas they will be updated on our blog post here:




Terms and Conditions

Continue reading “National Swap Ideas Day 2020”

August 2020 Newsletter

“All We Hear is Radio….”

Old radios (Based on image from Skitterphoto @ pexels.com)

Our August 2020 newsletter takes you back in time 65 years ago this month….

Do you remember the Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation? They  completed production of Japan’s first portable transistor radio the TR-55. It contained 5 transistors, which they developed themselves. Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo K.K. was renamed in 1946 to the more familiar Sony. The success is attributed to having that base level control – the design and development of their own transistors in addition to the circuit board. Transistors at the time didn’t have the characteristics or reliability or stability that they needed.

These days it is unlikely a consumer product manufacturer would set out designing their own discrete components. Customisation is done at a much higher level, as specifications to component manufacturer or firmware / software control on top. Knowing where to draw the line is crucial, knowing your own strengths and weaknesses is vital to your product’s success. On one hand there is no point re-inventing the wheel, but neither is there any point using less than optimal components if that is crucial to your design.

It is important to think about the problem first, rather thinking in terms of a solution. As we note in this article on Functional and Non-Functional requirements there are a number of ways to cross a road. There is little point designing a Belisha Beacon based system only to find that there is no power available at the site! However, if the specification does require lights your solution may need to include solar power – but it is unlikely you’ll be designing your own cells. However, if you are designing an electric vehicle, making your own batteries may be a world leading break through. Happy designing!


JOSCAR registered logo

3SL were pleased to announce their  JOSCAR accreditation . Using JOSCAR can determine if a supplier is “fit for business”. It is a collaborative tool used by the aerospace, defence and security industry to act as a single repository for pre-qualification and compliance information.

A Word from 3SL

3SL Cradle - From Concept to Creation
3SL Cradle

Whether it is remote access to a SaaS solution, or building new processes or designing new products 3SL and Cradle are here to help. We’re ready and waiting to take your email / webinar request / call.  In other words, it’s business as almost usual at 3SL. Just because the staff are not all in the physical office we’re still ready and waiting to make sure Your project + Cradle = Success

Social Media


Drax Tweet about UK power plug development
UK Power Plug

We looked at the precursor to today’s 3 pin UK power plug. This initial design BS 546, was born out of the need to have a safety earth. The modern square pin version is still one of the safest plug designs in the world.
We reminded users there are different ways to view your data in lists, tables, trees or document views.

3SL are pleased to be JOSCAR accredited

JOSCAR (the Joint Supply Chain Accreditation Register) is a collaborative tool used by the aerospace, defence and security industry to act as a single repository for pre-qualification and compliance information.  3SL are pleased to be JOSCAR accredited.JOSCARUsing JOSCAR can determine if a supplier is “fit for business”.

By being accredited by JOSCAR, our clients and prospective clients can be assured that we at 3SL meet the highest standards and are a “good fit” for your organisation.  Our skills, experience and dedication are assured in delivering the best and most suitable product and support possible.

JOSCAR accreditation means that you can reduce the time, cost and resources and duplication needed to access the information you need to make a buying decision.

Benefits to Buyers

  • Demonstrates to clients and other stakeholders that we are “fit for business”
  • JOSCAR provides immediate access to a single source of accurate, comprehensive and high quality data
  • Reduces time and cost associated with pre-qualification, assurance and ongoing compliance
  • More effective identification and management of supply chain risks and brand reputation
  • Facilitates increased supplier development and performance
  • Enhanced management information reporting on key supplier measures

Benefits to Industry

  • Improved overall standard, quality and performance of suppliers to the industry
  • Encourages innovation and new suppliers, especially SMEs, to enter ADS markets
  • Demonstrates internationally the efficacy of UK suppliers and supply chains 

3SL are proud to add JOSCAR to the list other credentials on our accreditations page

July 2020 Newsletter

“I’ve got it, yes it’s so clear now. It was just when you said…….”

Watercooler based on image from publicdomainvectors.org

What we might call a water-cooler moment – a discussion with a colleague, sometimes about something completely unrelated, gives that neural spark.  An idea for a new project, a way to solve the current conundrum,  these interactions are often the start of a new path forward.
Aside from the fact, here up North in England, we call a ‘Water cooler’ the ‘Tap’, because that’s where water comes from. No fancy machine with a bottle atop!   With many people isolated in spare rooms and on dining tables some of these interactions will inevitably be lost. Arranging a video call is much more formalised and sterile compared to the often relaxed off the cuff old brew table.

How is your business ensuring ideas keep flowing? Are you back at work attempting to hold conversations 2m apart, or speaking muffled through a mask, or still working remotely? Zoom, Skype / Teams, GoToMeeting etc. may have seen a surge in use, but can they truly replace the water cooler interaction?

We think it is important to maintain social interaction as well as formal meetings. Some ideas you could try:

  • Set up a Skype Group Chat amongst the office staff, called “Morning” and ask everyone to type “Hello”/”Morning”/”Yo!” when they ‘arrive’ at work, mimicking arriving at the office. You’ll inevitably get a few other light hearted text conversations which can help the team stay in touch.
  • Choose to make an audio call to a colleague rather than a text or email. If you would normally have wandered over to a colleague’s desk to chat about an issue, then make the call. It is often easier to judge reaction by tone of voice than tone of text in an email ping-pong. Follow up with a summary email for traceability if applicable.
  • Consider a virtual lunch. If you use video conferencing, once a week opt to have an open meeting. Make it clear this is definitely NOT a working lunch and just use it to mimic the break we should all be taking to replenish. However, if you want to discuss last night’s telly, or what Susannah has in her sandwiches today that’s perfectly fine.
  • Play lists, if you are working from home the usual restriction of a music licence for the work premises would not apply, why not suggest your top 10 work-a-long  songs?
  • Suggest your own social-customer@threesl.com


Remember to use #Cradle discussions
Remember – Discussions

We often leave notes for colleagues, whether as a sticky yellow square, or a text or social media message. Whilst these are very useful to record thoughts and reminders, they lack context. Cradle Discussions allows you to add thoughts and point to note database items. Whether it an action to complete, a question about the colour of a part or a lightweight review and approval mechanism, you’ll find them more comprehensive than a simple sticky.


Public Requirements Management Course coming in October, and Document Publisher in November – For this year’s calendar see Public Training Courses 2020 Of course if you would like your own bespoke training, we can arrange it, please contact support@threesl.com


Synchroness tweeted a story about reception of Voyager I signal
Syncroness / popsci.com Tweet

We were reminded we have been tweeting about #3SL, #Cradle and general engineering for 11 years!  Why not choose you favourite engineering Tweet and copy us in @threesl using the #LoveEngineering

We marvelled at the ability to receive a signal 0.1 ­billion-billionth of a watt from Voyager I.

…and Finally.

Did you know Friday 17th July is World Emoji Day?  😉


3SL recognise trade marks of Zoom - Zoom Video Communications Inc, Skype - Microsoft and GoToMeeting LogMeIn Inc. No association is either made or implied.

Covid-19 Good News Blog

Welcome to the Fifth Covid-19 Good News Blog

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
Guide for better mental health during the pandemic – Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

In this fifth Covid-19 good news blog, we wish to help people with coming out of lockdown, and provide links to help you with mental health, and business support, as well as showing breakthroughs in treatment for Covid-19.

Coronavirus: Guidance for Better Mental Health

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be a lot of information about the virus and its effects on mental health. That’s because coronavirus and the social, financial and psychological implications it carries can seriously impact one’s mental wellbeing.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support is Available to Businesses

How to access the UK Government’s help for businesses.

6 Ways To Rebuild Your Small Business After COVID-19

Help for businesses in the USA. The COVID-19 outbreak has wreaked financial havoc around the globe, leaving many small-business owners struggling in its wake. According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), as of March 30—still early in the crisis—92% of small businesses said they had suffered negative effects as a result of the pandemic. Just 5% of small-business owners said they had experienced no effects at all.

Top 226 Small Business Grants & Funding Programmes in the UK

Discover the right grant for your business with this complete list of private and publicly-funded business grants available to UK businesses.

Coronavirus: Dexamethasone Proves First Life Saving Drug

A cheap and widely available drug can help save the lives of patients seriously ill with coronavirus.

Convalescent Plasma Programme

NHS Blood and Transplant are leading a programme to collect plasma to help with national clinical trials. Plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19 may save the lives of people who are still ill.

Coronavirus Good News Dashboard

A collection of feel-good news articles related to the coronavirus pandemic and how people all over the world are coming together to help each other.

Keep coming back for more Covid-19 good news blog posts.

3SL has collated the information in this blog from third party websites, and does not take any responsibility for the accuracy, or lack thereof, of the information in any third-party website.

June 2020 Newsletter

It’s June Already

 Photo by GEORGE DESIPRIS from Pexels

Life is certainly different since the last Newsletter. We’ve been locked away in bedrooms and dining rooms ensuring 3SL can continue to develop the upcoming 7.6 release and provide email support and webinars. A good thing about not having a webcam on your work computer, is that we can get away with t-shirt and shorts rather than normal office attire! Some staff are looking a little different, beards down to their knees, as they feel no need to shave, and that’s just the women……. We hope you too are coping with the changes.


Coming Soon……

Risk RAM and TER Test Execution & Recording
Cradle 7.6 Teaser

As mentioned above Cradle 7.6 is lining up for release. We can’t wait to show you some great new facilities in Risk Management and Test Execution & Recording. Keep an eye out for release notifications.

A Word from 3SL

3SL Cradle - From Concept to Creation
3SL Cradle

As lock-down eases, you’ll be getting to grips with the ‘new normal’, and making choices about the future of your business.

We just wanted to let you know we are right by your side, to help you navigate what’s next, with experience, support and technology to help. From remote access to a SaaS solution, to building new processes or designing new products in Cradle.

We have a range of online training courses. With a Document Publisher opportunity in June.

However, if there’s more we can be doing to support you, please let us know here. Let’s face the next steps together.

Spam Safe

based on image  by Torsten Dettlaff from Pexels
Got Mail

We have recently updated authentication of our emails. Your mail systems should find communications from 3SL (threesl.com) make use of  DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail)  which adds PKI signature verification and  DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance) – which combines SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM together. This should reduce the likelihood of 3SL communications mistakenly being marked as spam.

Social Media


LG Motion Tweet May 2020
Making tools to build your product

We noted the birth of the first electromechanical programmable computer, and how things have moved on.

We noted that engineering is not just about making the product it is also about making the machines to help assemble it.


And Finally

Did you know June 23rd is Typewriter day? (The anniversary of the granting of the U.S. patent to Christopher Latham Sholes in 186).  Do you clatter away on a responsive full travel 101/102 or 104/105 Key layout or a 78-80 key light travel laptop key or a flat touch haptic button. Are you a single finger prodder, a one hand and one finger keyer, or a fully trained typer? Why not have a go at uniqcode.com/typewriter/