September 2022 Newsletter

Welcome to the latest newsletter from 3SL that provides a mixture of news and technical information about us, and our requirements management and systems engineering tool “Cradle”. We would especially like to welcome everyone who has purchased Cradle in the past month and those who are currently evaluating Cradle for their projects and processes.

We hope that we, and Cradle, can deliver real and measurable benefits to all of the exciting development projects that we see every day through your regular contacts with our support team. If you have any problems, please do not hesitate to contact 3SL support here.

Showing Cell Titles in Views

Sometimes when displaying a nested view the cell titles take up a lot of space on the screen.

Displaying Cell Titles
Displaying Cell Titles

Within the View Details dialog you have the option to choose whether you want to display the cell titles:

Show cell titles option
Displaying cell titles in views

As you can see you can choose to either:

  • Show the cell titles
  • Hide the cell titles
  • Show the cell titles only when the view is top-level

You can change the visibility of any of the component views that are being used to show linked items. In practice, most people either hide everything or show everything.

For further information on views please see our online help page.

Help with Cradle-7.7

Following on from our recent Cradle-7.7 release, if you are not already a customer and would like more information about Cradle, you can download the software and a free evaluation licence. You can find this on our website, or  you can request a webinar. If you are a customer and would like to upgrade, please contact 3SL for a Security Code and for any assistance you may require with the upgrade.

Upcoming Training Courses

We still have places available on our September Risk Management course. Learn how to identify, analyse, evaluate, treat and monitor the risks associated with activities or events within your business. This course is designed for project team leaders or managers who administer and manage risks.

To book a place on one of our online courses please click here!

G-Cloud 13

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.) continue our presence in G-Cloud 12 but are proud  to announce that Cradle has been successful on G-Cloud 13 and will be available as SaaS through G-Cloud 13 for agile and phase-based projects under the Information and communications technology (ICT) services when it goes live in November.


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
  • Defect Tracking
  • Enterprise Architecture
  • Integrated Risk Management
  • Integrated Test Management
  • Lifecycle Management
  • MBE Model Based Engineering
  • MBSE Model Based Software Engineering
  • MBSE Model Based Systems Engineering
  • Requirements and Testing
  • Requirements Engineering
  • Requirements Management
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Compliance
  • Risk Management
  • SysML Modelling
  • Systems Engineering
  • Test Execution
  • Test Management
  • Test Planning
  • UML Modelling

Cradle Training/Consultancy

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

Prices start from as little as £50.00 per user per month. Including email and phone support and full documentation included. Optional onsite support and training is 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.

July 2022 Newsletter

Sun, Sand and New Releases

July has come around again and we turn our thoughts to hot sunny days, (in the northern hemisphere), beach holidays perhaps and take time to relax. We look forward to sun, sand and new releases…

Sun, Sand and New Releases
Sun, Sand and New Releases

We can use this time to re-assess how we do things, how to do things better and make improvements in our personal and working lives.

On the topic of improvements, July marks the month in which 3SL releases our new 7.7 version of Cradle. There are many enhancements and improvements that will be beneficial to our users.

Cradle-7.7 Release

New features coming in this release:

Cradle 7.7
Cradle 7.7 coming soon
  • Pie charts
  • Metrics in graphs
  • Many small enhancements to documentation
  • New dial type in dashboards – anular percentage
  • Update to DEMO project
  • Enhancements to baseline reports
  • Snapshots
  • Test Mail button added to test mail settings
  • Test Execution UI in Project Setup enhanced
  • Added support for Windows 11
  • Added support for Office 2019 and Office 365

Training Courses

We now have a new training course available for all users of Cradle.  The User Training course will be taking place on October 5th – 6th 2022.

Cradle Online Training
Online Cradle Training

The contents of the course are available to see here and the course can be booked here

For more information on courses please see the blog post here

Create a New Database Based upon a Previous Database

The Problem

Create Project Dialog

I want to create a new database that is a copy of a pre-existing database minus the actual data.

Cradle Project Environment

The environment for the Cradle project will contain:

  • Project Setup
  • Supporting definition files (views, forms, queries, documents etc.)
  • Users*

*If you will have the same users in the new project that are in the existing project.

The Solution…


Social Media


Nuclear added to European green taxonomy
Nuclear added to European green taxonomy

We retweeted our support for nuclear being added to the European green taxonomy

June 2022 – Newsletter


Pearls of Wisdom

Pearls are the birthstone for the month of June. Pearls are associated with purity, honesty, and wisdom, as in the term “Pearls of wisdom.”

Pearls of Wisdom

That is a description of wise advice, concise pieces of sagacity that are metaphorically as precious as pearls. Originally, pearls of wisdom referred to bits of information or advice that the receiver truly found precious. Today, referring to information or advice one receives as pearls of wisdom is often, but not always, sarcastic, as the phrase is now considered a terrible cliché. The term pearls of wisdom dates back at least to the early 1800s.

Wisdom in Systems Engineering

Wisdom can take various forms of thinking. Strategic wisdom; system wisdom; decision wisdom; creative wisdom and so on. All these forms of wisdom can be utilised if they are organised to work together in a single, integrated solution.  This will get the best results, as all the effort will guide that wisdom to be used systematically to reach the same required goals.

Cradle 7.7 Release

Cradle 7.7
Cradle 7.7 coming soon

We are pleased to announce that the Cradle 7.7 release will be ready at the end of July. We are now in the final testing stages of the new release – watch for news. Those under maintenance will receive this update including the new features for free. Those without maintenance or using single user products from earlier point releases will need to purchase an upgrade to 7.7.

New features coming in this release:

    • Pie charts
    • Metrics in graphs
    • Many small enhancements to documentation
    • New dial type in dashboards – anular percentage
    • Update to DEMO project
    • Enhancements to baseline reports
    • Snapshots
    • Test Mail button added to test mail settings
    • Test Execution UI in Project Setup enhanced
    • Added support for Windows 11
    • Added support for Office 2019 and Office 365

Look out for more information on these enhancements in the future.

Training Courses

Cradle Online Training
Online Cradle Training

We are pleased to announce that we shall be adding new training courses soon. We have a new one day User course and a Modelling course. These will be available on the website shortly.


Regrettably, the price for all variants of Cradle will be increasing by approximately 10% on the 1st of August 2022. All quotes given before then are still valid at the quoted price, even if the purchase takes place after 1st August 2022.

Dual Monitor Issues

Some issues have been detected when running our Toolsuite applications (Document Loader or Document Publisher), e.g. when running dual monitors, with certain scaling settings etc.

Please see this post for how to fix this issue

Social Media



We remembered D-Day and the sacrifice and bravery exhibited on a scale unimaginable to most people today in this Tweet by the MOD Defence HQ




We look forward to more sustainable transport with Siemens Hydrogen Train


We hope that everyone has a prosperous and sunny June. Here’s to a great summer!


April 2022 – Newsletter

Egging You On

3SL Easter Egs
3SL Easter

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???


shot from Barrow-in-Furness town square of 3SL Offices
3SL Offices

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.


Cradle Online Training
Online Cradle Training

The Project 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.

Social Media


HII Tweet Mar2022
HII Tweet March 2022

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) 😉


Item Properties in Cradle

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



March 2022 – Newsletter

Cn yuo raed this sentnce?

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.


EV Charging point too low based on Photo by Ed Harvey from Pexels
1m not 1mm high

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 Discussions as 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.


Cradle Online Training
Online Cradle Training

Don’t forget to book to ensure your place on the courses in the 2022 Public training course calendar  . If you have questions or want tailored or on-site courses please contact


UKAS ISO9001 Mark 3SL Certificate 16926 (Thumb)
3SL Certificate Number 16926 ISO 9001

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.”[1]

Social Media


ZF Group Tweet Feb 2022 Torque
ZF Group Tweet Feb 2022

We looked at the steep increase ZF Group have seen in torques that generation chains need to handle as wind turbines increase in size.

We also decided whilst there is a time for pancakes the time line of cooking them may not be suited to SysML modelling 😉


Cradle Frame Storage mechanisms
Frame Data Storage

Did you know you can store your data in Cradle in several ways? In the database, in a file, as a reference or retrieve it by command? Why not take a peek at the possibilities.




[1]The ISO9000 scheme

Updated 31/03/2022 – UKAS Logo latest DESIGN

February 2022 – Newsletter

Love, Reign and Stormy Weather


#LoveEngineering Valentine heartFebruary 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!


Film Camera
Film Camera

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.


Stormy Sea Walney 2014

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” ?


Cradle Online Training
Online Cradle Training

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

INCOSE Systems Engineering Tools Database

3SL has registered as a SETDB vendor with INCOSE

INCOSE SETDB Systems Engineering Tools Database

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

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.

Social Media


Northrop Grumman Tweet Feb 2022Hydroponics in space
Northrop Grumman Hydroponics

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?

Plimsoll Line Illustration
Plimsoll Line

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. ”


Maximise your productivity with Cradle training
Maximise Productivity

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.


January 2022 – Newsletter

Happy New Year

Happy New Year 2022

We hope all those celebrating over Christmas had a safe and happy time, and were not too badly affected by Covid 19. Welcome to the January 2022 – Newsletter.

Into a new year and a time to reflect on both your company’s achievements and problems. Whilst the turn of a date is nothing magical, the psychological effect of a new term can really help enthuse and help us focus.

If a project wasn’t quite on track, a root cause analysis can help identify where things went astray. Use this as a positive for new projects and look out for the ‘gotcha’ next time round. It is also important to identify the successes, the team and company can lever the feel-good factor on jobs well done.


Cradle Online Training
Online Cradle Training

We’re putting together this year’s public training course calendar.  These courses are open to all and are delivered online in a shared environment with a live instructor. The biggest benefit of live training is that you can ask questions as the course progresses.

If your company has a large number of trainees or wants the course tailoring contact


Cradle 7.6 Splash screen
Cradle 7.6

If you have not already don’t forget to grab the latest Cradle 7.6.1 release: see

Social Media



CSE Tweet 17th Dev 2021
CSE Tweet Dec 2021

We looked how encryption technology now fits in our palm rather than a filing cabinet!  and how the early pointer telegraph has progressed.

We looked at how to lock users out of a Cradle project so you can administer backups for example.



Complex project - Requirements management
Complex Project?

Whatever the scale of project you are starting in 2022 we can help with your Requirements Management.
That’s all for the January 2022 – Newsletter


November 2021 – Newsletter

Deciduous or Evergreen

Tree Types

“If you were a tree, what type would you be?” OK, we’re not attempting to delve into a mindfulness session, but drawing a comparison in terms of ongoing development.

Drop or Retain?

Evergreen and Deciduous forest based on pexels pixbay and enric-cruz-lópez images

Each year deciduous trees protect themselves by shedding their leaves. The likelihood is the water will freeze and damage their leaves, or winter winds will apply a greater force to the trunk. Shedding them before the winter, allows them to renew with vigour the following year.  They may also have become damaged in the summer by bugs or ripped in the autumn by winds, the shed leaves will act as nutrients for the following year. Evergreens, however, protect their leaves with a waxy coating and forms of antifreeze. Their leaves are often smaller, so the tree needs more of them to absorb the sun’s energy.

Start Anew

In the following year after the shut down, deciduous trees still retain their main structure, and the knowledge of how to build new leaves. The evergreens have to be content with the quality of the leaves they have, or have to try and grow new ones while simultaneously shedding the old ones.  However, they have been able to continue absorbing energy through their leaves all year round.

Renewing Project Elements

Projects undergoing through lifecycle upgrades often have to decide which route to take. Do you remove the facility, rebuild (possibly including changes) and then deploy, or do you attempt to keep all the existing features in place while swapping out old functionality/parts and replacing them with new ones? Partly this will depend on the ‘down time’ that can be tolerated. A strip and replace is often more efficient, if allowed. The advantage projects have compared to trees, is all the new ‘leaves’ can be prepared in parallel, as long as they fit the trunk it’s a shorter operation to remove and replace the leaves. Whilst the ongoing partial replacement may allow continued operation, there are likely to be cases where parallel components/functions during the swap will have conflicts and interactions that will need to be managed. Of course in either case sometimes fiddling round with the leaves brings no new benefits, if the trunk or limbs are not where they are needed a completely fresh start is needed.


Cradle 7.6 Splash screen
Cradle 7.6

Cradle 7.6.1 is now available for download. For details of the patch release fixes please see

Social Media


November 2021 Saab eWROV TweetWe looked at the power being built into ROVs for underwater repair and construction with Saab‘s eWROV

We looked at how Roles can speed up administration of Cradle users.



Industry sectors investing
Industry Sectors

For an insight into which industry sectors are spending on Requirements Management and Systems Engineering, checkout our mini presentation in this YouTube video



Drawing the November 2021 newsletter to a close, we hope all our customers, suppliers and staff that celebrated Dewali, All Hallows Eve and All Saints day or remembered the defeating of the Gunpowder plot had a happy and safe celebration. 3SL remembered those who fought and fallen on Remembrance day.


October 2021 Newsletter


Digit Number 8
Octo 8

As we’ve pointed out before, October was originally the eighth month, until King Numa Pompilius, inserted January and February. Until then ‘Winter’ was seen as monthless, with only 304 days belonging to named months. A bit of a design flaw. However, as with many systems, it was too onerous to start again, so the sticking plaster situation left us with October, November and December shifted two months from their name origins.

Eight In Life

    • In physics it is the second ‘magic’ number where either protons or neutrons, are arranged into a complete shell within the atomic  nucleus.
    • Electronics and computing eight  is the number of bit in a byte. 8 bits representing -128 to 127 or 0 to 255.  If the last three bits of a number (when represented in binary) are 0s then the number itself will be divisible by eight.
    • In maths, other than 1, it is the only perfect cube in the Fibonacci sequence.
    • Your wisdom tooth is the eighth tooth in each quadrant of your mouth.
    • Eight is seen as a lucky number in Asian countries.
    • It the number of notes in an octave, a note of a frequency and its double.
    • There are 8 vertices to a cuboid.

Eight is Agile

Agile 8
Plan / Implement / Evaluate

Consider the two loops of the figure of 8 as the design and implement areas. As you trace round the outside, you start designing and planning and then you sprint round to implement a phase, before returning once again to consider achievements and plan the next step. This Scrum style operation breaks the problem down into small manageable chunks with an ongoing evaluation and planning. If you’re planning or adjusting a process in a Kanban style this repeated return allows changes to be measured and new bottle necks to be identified and alleviated.

An agile approach is an alternative to the traditional waterfall model to design and implement. It has its strengths in development of new or innovative solutions, especially where a degree of trial and prove/reject is also required. However, it should not be seen as a hackers remit. It only works if you clearly break down the problem, set goals and measure achievements. It could be viewed as a series of small waterfall operations defining each iteration.

Don’t Get Caught In A Loop

Figure of 8 progression
Iterative Progress

If your project is analogous to walking round and round a circle, something is going wrong. Walking in a figure of 8 gives you the opportunity to look forward and backwards as you trace your steps. your aim is for a steadily increasing climb.

Training Course

Cradle online training course
Cradle Online Training

Last chance to get booked onto the last public training course Document Publisher this year. Document Publisher Course 22nd – 25th November 2021
Following feedback this two day course has been spread over 4 * ½-day sessions to give candidates more time to practice what they have learned, and ask follow up questions at the next session. We’re busy putting together the 2022 schedule and would like to hear from you if there are any topics you would like to see covered, contact


Cradle TER module - Test Case
Test Case

When you loop round your design and implement cycle, testing is an important step to validate your efforts.

Cradle’s Test, Execution and Recording module allows a controlled, rigorous way to record, and link your tests, design and requirements. Watch here. For more information read our blog.

Social Media


Kuka UK Robot Tweet Oct 2021
Kuka UK Robot Tweet Oct 2021

We noted that in very hazardous environments robots are needed to repair other robots in this tweet by Kuka UK.

We also liked the nifty electric boat highlighted by Integral Powertrain that ‘flies’ or floats on the water depending on the speed.

If you want to bring some colour to your text frames in #Cradle we reminded you that you can set the text colour based on a category value.


YouTube channel - Subscribe
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel
Our #3SL Cradle YouTube channel now has a new URL
We’d love you to hop over and have a peek, and don’t forget to subscribe.


Our October 2021 newsletter finishes by reminding you to put your clocks back and don’t arrive an hour early for work in November!

Article Updated 19/11/2021 – Spelling mistake

September 2021 Newsletter

Leaf or a Root?

Generic Hierarchy tree
Hierarchy Tree

Whether it’s a representation of the CEO to the shop floor worker, or aircraft to the specification of the wing rivet, we all recognise a hierarchy. In Cradle, a Hierarchy Diagram (HID) is a graphical visualisation of how minor elements are combined in increasing complexity into increasingly large collections, to produce the item at the top, the subject of the HID.

Many use the metaphor that it is like a tree, the trunk as the core product, branching off to the smaller and less significant leaf nodes.

How important

Tree and Roots - Based on image from
Tree Roots and Leaves

The leaves are seen as the lowest level of importance. After all,  a tree can survive without a few leaves, and not have any detrimental effect. This is likely true if we were building a house, if a supplier is unable to supply the kitchen cupboards, the house will not ‘fail’. It will remain standing and still be considered a house. It just can’t be considered 100% complete. And it may be a little inconvenient to store your pots and pans.

However, if we consider that the way we normally draw a hierarchy diagram is more like a tree’s core with the roots flowing down. Now, let’s consider what would happen if one small root picked up a detrimental chemical from the soil. This would travel throughout the tree damaging the core trunk. In the case of the aircraft rivet, a change in quality or specification of this lowest level element could have disastrous consequences for the whole aircraft system. Here the nodes (at least some) are crucial to the integrity of the product.

Which Way?

There is no right way or wrong way to represent and think of a hierarchy. It will depend on your organisation / system / product. It may even apply differently to different parts of the system. However, it is important that you consider what your hierarchy represents and what part the end nodes play.

Training Course

Cradle online training course
Cradle Online Training

Due to popular demand an extra Document Publisher course has been scheduled this year. Document Publisher Course 22nd – 25th November 2021
Following feedback this two day course has been spread over 4 ½-day sessions to give candidates more time to practice what they have learned, and ask follow up questions at the next session. We’re busy putting together the 2022 schedule and would like to hear from you if there are any topics you would like to see covered, contact


HID showing how complex even a requirement for a few windows and doors can be complex
From Item to Hierarchy

Cradle allows you to draw a hierarchy diagram from any linked item. This gives you an instant visualisation of how related components fit together.   Watch this clip  and other tips on our YouTube channel, and don’t forget to Subscribe. Find out more in this blog article.


Social Media


Thales Sept 20211 Tweet
Thales September 2021 Tweet

We looked at the benefits of using Thales using robots in the growing, but hazardous offshore wind environment.

We reminded you that, as we move back to offices and workplaces after home working, our environment risks consideration are as important as our product assessments.


Oops we deleted
Delete / Recover

We added a video to remind users how they can ‘get back’ items deleted by mistake.


So while you decide which type of tree and which way up you are, we’ll say goodbye from September 2021 Newsletter.