Bits of Reflection

Lessons Learned: Traceability on the Run, the Plan First

Posted by on Jan 28, 2012 in Experiences / Impressions, How To

Lessons Learned: Traceability on the Run, the Plan First

Always plan what you wanna do first, running to keep up isn’t fun…. Last month I had a not so pleasant experience regarding a (misdone) traceability, in the sense not done in time! I always preach that, when you are deriving requirements for whatever next level, the link to the higher level your requirement satisfies should be done right on the spot, immediately! That applies for requirements, standards, legislation, or whatever source a requirement might have. That way the effort for generating traceability becomes negligible....

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How to: Handling Open Items Files

Posted by on Aug 12, 2011 in Featured, How To

How to: Handling Open Items Files

We are living in an ocean of information. Always on the edge, laying out new stuff, still having to consider everything for the end result to be in the realm of real, useful and reliable. But how do you cope with that afflux of information, how do you grasp all it’s its intricacies and interconnection. How do you fund out what’s conflicting or missing? Can you hold everything inside your head? I cannot! And that’s why I need a tool to help. Something that can help organizing and managing  every finding of the entire team,...

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We Are Not Network Maintenance Engineers

Posted by on Jul 16, 2011 in About Systems Engineering, Bits of reflection, Experiences / Impressions

We Are Not Network Maintenance Engineers

Sometimes, you’ re asked what are you doing. Sometimes you want to see what others are doing. That’s when you might get confused yourself, I think the job name of ‘system engineer’ is abused. The difference between IT infrastructure maintenance ‘system engineer’, and those who design tomorrow’s complex products and systems...

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First Letter to the Customer

Posted by on Jul 1, 2011 in Experiences / Impressions

First Letter to the Customer

The first time is always the toughest in everything. It’s the time of doubt, incertitude and great challenge. It’s the time when you don’t know when all the handles to operate and just how rigid things are. How should you approach this? I was experiencing the first challenge when entering my very first meeting with the customer, meeting where we were supposed to convince the customer to accept one of our alternative solutions. It was a hell of a challenge. Now, my solutions requires explanation. An explicative letter with a graphic...

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Is a Good System Engineer a Good Trainer Also?

Posted by on Jun 4, 2011 in Experiences / Impressions

Is a Good System Engineer a Good Trainer Also?

First of all, I’m an engineer. My job is to fiddle with stuff, technical stuff. It’s what we do, analyse needs, direct requirements, trying to come up with the best solutions for implementation. That requires a strong analytical mind to cope with a lot of concurrent, and often contradictory items. But you are never thinking about the necessity to pass your know-how over, to explain your role, so often not well understood, or even questioned if really necessary. To cut the long story short, I was assigned as System Engineering trainer within...

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Managing the Customer – Training Notes

Posted by on Jun 4, 2011 in Experiences / Impressions, Featured, How To

Managing the Customer – Training Notes

Out there, in the working field you sometime find yourself facing or handling all kinds of customers. When you have to deliver “bad news”, say “no” to customers or to people in power, you are often tempted to placate with a “yes”. It is indeed a challenge trying to balance the need to be customer-oriented and the need to deliver difficult messages to our customers. You always want to provide exceptional service to both your internal and external customers. However, in the real world, things might go wrong and mistakes are made. Nevertheless,...

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How to Write Your First Requirement

Posted by on Jun 4, 2011 in Featured, How To

How to Write Your First Requirement

People always complain about the poor quality of requirements, but usually that all they do say: requirements are a mess. What would really be useful is they say what’s wrong with them, why they don’t like then, what to improve, what cannot be implemented or tested; generally, where they need to be able to do their work. There are of course some recommendations and rules to writing requirements. Good practice and a complete document nevertheless come following an optimal combination between experience, product knowledge, industry...

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How to: 10 Sure Ways to Blow Your Requirements!

Posted by on May 30, 2011 in Featured, How To

How to: 10 Sure Ways to Blow Your Requirements!

What do you achieve when you don’t know what you want? Sometimes the best way to perform is not to know what to do, but what not to do. This is best start not only to new comers, but also to experienced Requirement Engineer who takes over a new challenge. Experience and project specificity will of course add and tailor features and work process, but you already have a pretty solid and complete skeleton of your work product: the requirements document. So, here’s a list with some basics you can start with in order to fail: 1. Start...

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