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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

An Enterprise as a System of Systems

Sometimes it hard to identify whether a system is really a system of systems (SoS) or just a system. INCOSE defines seven challenges that a system engineer could use to identify a SoS [1]. I find two of them of particular value. The first test condition is that each system can operate independently. The second is that each system has a different life-cycle.

Looking at an enterprise we can see that in a well optimized, stream-lined and modular enterprise (as if this exists!) , the various business units or divisions could operate independently. Also we notice that the various programs, services or products offered by the enterprise have different life-cycles.