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Resilience and System Failure Using Case StudiesResearch Paper

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¶ … System Failure and Resilience using Case Analysis

The concept resilience is the ability to survive, and recover from disruptions and accidents. In other words, resilience is the ability to withstand disturbances and crisis. Typically, resilience has become a keyword in the management and development of SE (system engineering) and is being associated with crisis and risk management. On the other hand, system failure occurs when a system is unable to perform the function that is ought to perform. A system failure can also occur when there is an error in the computer system which prevents the system from performing a function properly.

Several system failures have occurred within the aviation sector and absence of formation sharing can jeopardize an ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA (National Aeronautics & Space Administration) missions. For example, a system failure led to the loss of AF (Air France) Flight AF447 in 2009. In essence, system resilience is an effective tool that organizations can employ to prevent a system failure.

Objective of this paper is to use the concept resilience to manage a system engineering development using the case studies of A-10 aircraft development and Arianne 5, which was European newest unmanned rocket that was destroyed few seconds after it had been launched into flight.

Case Studies of System Resilience and System Failure

Between 1975 and 1984, the U.S. government carried out the A-10A Thunderbolt II project, and "the A-10A Thunderbolt II was manufactured by Fairchild Republic Corp. between 1975 and 1984, was specifically designed as a Close Air Support (CAS) aircraft." (Jacques, & Strouble, 2010 p 8). The project was nicknamed "Warthog," and the A-10 possesses several configurations that include the original A-10A, and A-10B designed to withstand night and weather attack. (Jacques, & Strouble, 2010). The primary functions of the A-10A Thunderbolt project is to offer air support, implement combat search, forward air controller, and provide special rescue operations and interdictions. The A-10/0A10 is a success because it possesses an "excellent maneuverability at low air speeds and altitude." (Jacques, & Strouble, 2010 p 11).

On the other hand, on June 4, 1996, the ESA (European Space Agency) launched a newly designed rocket, which exploded 40 seconds after the rocket had taken its flight. Although, there were no human casualties because the project was an unmanned flight nevertheless, the Agency lost $7 billon, which was the cost used to develop the project. It was also assumed that if the project was a man-operation, all the crew would have lost their life. Moreover, estimated time value wasted worth $100 million because the Agency took approximately 10 years to develop the Arianne 5. The major reason for the crash was the system failure. The outcome of the investigation revealed that a careless programming error was the major factor leading to the crash of Arianne 5. The application of effective and efficient methodological framework in system design assists organization to avoid a system failure. (Slegers, Kadish, Payton, et al. 2011).The Fried-Sage Framework is an effective tool that can be used to prevent a system failure within the system engineering project development environment.

Friedman-Sage Framework

The Friedman-Sage Framework plays a critical role in a development of case studies in system engineering project development environment. The Framework presents a three -column by nine-row matrix as being revealed in Table 1.1. Using the framework, the paper presents the Freidman-Sage Framework 6 Steps of the system engineering Life Cycle to avoid system failure similar to Arianne 5 project development.

Requirements, Management and Definition

Friedman-Sage Framework argues that success of a project is centered on effective and efficient project stakeholders. In essence, stakeholders are the people who will be affected by the success and failure of the project. In the case ESA and NASA project, the project stakeholder includes government, contractor, management team, maintenance team, operation team and system engineering team. Other stakeholders include regulators, non-users and the community. A program must be implemented with key stakeholders who are experts in the field. The government is an important stakeholder in the development of system engineering project, and the role of government in the SE project development is to provide sufficient funding for its implementation. Moreover, the government should provide a necessary framework for the project evaluations to enhance a project success. The U.S. government was an important stakeholder for the development of the A-10/0A10 project because the government approved funding used for the project development. The government also set a guideline for effective framework of the project evaluation. The role of contractors in the development of A-10/0A10 project was that they designed and supplied all the necessary materials for the project development. For example, Boeing, Northrop, Philco-Ford, General Electric and Fairchild Republic are the important contractors in the development of A-10/0A10 project. Their roles were to deliver high quality products compatible to the project plans.

The program management team, system design team, management team and other stakeholders must be versatile and well-versed in their various disciplines. All the stakeholders must collaborate together to achieve success of a project. Moreover, essential working relationships and communication are very critical among the stakeholders to enhance project success. Friedman, & Sage, (2003) argue that contractors and customers are required to share knowledge with one another. Sharing knowledge will assist the stakeholders to identify the shortcomings that can undermine the project success and implement all the necessary steps to address the problems.

The case of A-10/0A10 project provided an excellent example of how all the stakeholders collaborated to enhance the success of the project. The government provided the adequate funding and support to enhance successful project completion. Moreover, all the contractors delivered high quality products compatible to the project plans. The production and procurement functions were also split into separate and functional divisions.

2. Evaluation Metrics (Performance Index)

Increase numbers of projects' failures have made organizations to understand that integration of evaluation metrics are very critical for projects performances. Typically, measurement and evaluation have been identified as crucial elements to enhance project performances. (David, & Joseph, 2014). In essence, performance measurement is a strategy by which major stakeholders assess a project to understand when a project's supply chain has been degraded and improve. (Michaela & Marketa 2012; Taticchi, P., Tonelli, and Cagnazzo, 2010).

Different metrics are used for the evaluation of system engineering projects. First, the QA (quality assurance) engineer is to monitor progress of a project against the project plans. A quality assurance is an independent assessment of the items produced and processed during the project life cycle. The role of a quality engineer is to ensure that the system engineer and project manager deliver the products based on the laid down project specifications. The quality assurance team should carry out various verifications during the project lifecycle, which include configuration verification, qualification verification, acceptance verification, deployment verification, disposal and operational verification. With regard to the A-10/0A10, the congress served as the watchdog of the project and evaluated the project throughout the project lifecycle.

A report by NASA (2009) reveals that a strategy to carry out a project's evaluation is to monitor progress of a project against project plans. For example, the quality assurance engineer should ensure that schedule and costs of a project are in line to the project plan. (Ba-ar & Irem, 2009). The Arianne 5 failed because the project stakeholders did not carry out an effective evaluation process during the project lifecycle. If the project stakeholders carry out the evaluation project throughout the project lifecycle, the disaster could have been avoided and the errors in the project would have been identified before the project was launched.

Conceptual and Architectural Design

Freidman-Sage Framework suggests that management should establish an effective baseline in the design of the system architecture very earlier in order to integrate all technical issues in a project lifecycle. (Jacques, & Strouble, 2010) .The system design methodology used in the development of the A-10 aircraft includes technical, quantitative and qualitative design methodology. The methodology phases started in 1969 where the project stakeholders drafted the DCP 23 (Development Concept Paper). In 1969, the technical development plan was carried out. In the same year, the Air Force recommended that there is a need to mount an internal 30 mm Gatling gun system because it was an integral part of the A-X aircraft.

The U.S. government made a decision to build the project in order to supplement the U.S. Air force Arsenal. Moreover, the government intended to use the project as an insurgence against Russian military threats. Between 1970 and 1974, the project was developed using different third party companies that include Northrop, Fairchild Republic, Philco-Ford and General Electric. In 1972, the stakeholders carried out a competitive evaluation of the project. In 1974, the test was carried out to ascertain effectiveness of the project.

"The A-10 successfully demonstrates the lethality of the GAU-8/A against tank targets at Nellis AFB. Between 1991 and 1999, the A-10 was successfully used for the Operation Desert Storm (Iraq-Kuwait) and Operation Allied Force (Kosovo)." (Jacques, & Strouble, 2010 p… [END OF PREVIEW]

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