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Systems engineering tool analysis: generic criteria and evaluation
2002 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis work was initiated by Volvo Technological Development in Gothenburg, and includes an analysis of Systems Engineering tools, gathering of criteria that a tool should fulfil, and an evaluation of the tools with the evaluation guide as base. The Systems Engineering process is a structured problem solving method that identifies the product and process definition of a system and produces a consistent set of requirements, functional arrangements and design solutions. This method can be used to speed up the product development process, and to support this process there are computer-based tools available. The collection of criteria for the evaluation guide started with a literature study to obtain a theoretical background to the working method, to find out what activities there are in the process, and what is required of a tool that support the process. To collect criteria, people within the Volvo Group were interviewed. The results from the interviews and the literature study were put together into eight categories, where Traceability and Usability are the essential ones. The criteria were given a priority to show how important they are, fulfilling the purpose of Systems Engineering. When using the evaluation guide the user should work through the tool and then compare it with the statements in the guide, to see if they are fulfilled. Since the criteria are generic a discussion about what a specific organisation requires from the tool, with the guide as a basis, should be performed before any tool is evaluated. By using inputs from an imaginary case, provided by our tutors, a database was built up in the tools. The requirements were decomposed and relations built up, a behaviour model was constructed and analysed. The activities in the tool were investigated to see if the criteria were completely, partly or not fulfilled, and the result was presented in a table and later on analysed. Both CORE and Cradle supported the System Engineering process, but contained areas that need to be improved. The help-functions for example did not work in a desired way, the manuals felt incomplete and did not provide the help they were designed for. The criteria in the category Traceability were fulfilled for both the tools. When it came to Usability both the tools fulfilled the criteria, but there are areas that could be improved. The evaluation guide is perhaps the most important result, since it is something that can be used in the future when testing other tools. The tool evaluations that have been carried out in this thesis work can give the Volvo Group an idea of how the tools work. Volvo can also find out if the tools are something that they might be interested in using in the future as an alternative to the ones they are using today.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Technology, Systems Engineering, tool evaluation, evaluation guide, product development, computerbased tools, requirements, handling, CORE, Cradle, working methods
Keyword [sv]
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-49433ISRN: LTU-EX--02/109--SELocal ID: 6c42e11a-92d7-4514-87ea-56e63482d2c2OAI: diva2:1022780
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Ergonomic Design & Production Engineering, master's level
Validerat; 20101217 (root)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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