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Systems Design

Table of Contents

Your website should document your journey through MSD, so include work-in-progress as well as latest results. Use pdf's for display whenever possible so that information is easily viewable without the need to download files and open applications. (Your EDGE file repository should still contain original editable files).

Sample categories are listed below, but feel free to delete, change, or add nodes and files to better correspond to your project and your Guide’s expectations.

You may want to consider putting files you link to here in the Systems Level Design Documents directory. This directory is pre-populated with a variety of templates that are designed to help you through this phase of the design.

Functional Decomposition

What functionality does your system need to have (verb-noun format)? How are the individual functions related? How do matter, information, and energy flow through your system? What are some natural subsystem boundaries that may arise out of these functions? Have you used a standard format, like a function tree or process diagram? Have you completed multiple iterations to ensure that you have identified all required functionality?

Benchmarking

Other products that perform similar functions to your desired system - what are they, and how well do they perform?

Concept Development

This includes three phases:

Concept Generation: Have the team brainstormed around functions? Has the team identified (with the customer) any functions whose implementation is constrained (e.g., legacy hardware that you are building around)? Have you directed your brainstorming efforts that are the best candidates for creative problem solving? Have you generated a wide variety of ideas in these areas? Did you include sketches/schematics rather than just words?

Concept Selection: Did the team identify 6-10 useful system-level selection criteria, and evaluate the system designs objectively? Were there opportunities to combine two or more promising system concepts to create an even better solution? Did you compare your system concepts to a single datum concept? Did you run your selection analysis multiple times to uncover saturated scores?

Systems Architecture

What does your proposed system design look like? How will the user interact with it?

Feasibility

For example, basic engineering analysis or simulation, mockups, and benchmarking results that demonstrate that your proposed design is realistic. Are you violating the laws of physics? Can it be manufactured? Are you on track to satisfy requirements?

Risk Assessment

Have you updated your risk list (started during Problem Definition) to include new items specific to your chosen concept?

Systems Design Review


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