Balance • Growth • Connections
Balance is the main challenge of systems engineering. Competing subsystem needs must be balanced so that the system can be optimized. Competing stakeholders' desires must be balanced. The competing pressures of the different life cycle phases must be understood and properly balanced, as early as the initial concept formulation and writing of measures of effectiveness and system requirements. Balance is shown by the three symmetrically placed balls.
Balance is not, however, a stationary concept, because the world does
not stand still. All systems in some way exhibit Growth.
The environment is continuing to grow in complexity as individual
pieces adapt, and the customer's needs for the system will grow
throughout development; hence there will be requirements changes (the
requirements creep). A well-designed project plans for
requirements growth, and a well-architected systems plans for system
growth. Growth is implied by the fact that the three balls have tails
showing they grew from something smaller in the center.
Connections are all around us, and in fact make the world a system as a whole. Closed systems are not real. We interact with each other and with the systems we build, which makes the systems useful and makes each other interesting. Connections are what make a system out of components, what gives a system added value over the sum of the parts. Connections are what allow emergence and the increase in complexity that allows even life itself to emerge from inorganic matter. Connections are shown by the tails that point toward each other.
Not defined specifically, because it is emergent, is Emergence. Can you see the emergent geometric figure?