To be effective, projects/processes/products (all viewed as systems) have to mate well with their operational environments. Operational environments are not static, they react to disturbances and evolve with opportunity and whimsy. Inserting a system into an environment is a disturbance. Sustaining a system in an environment entails compatible evolution. The environment is the problem space the system will occupy. Understanding the requirements for a compatible-to-the-space solution is best done before system functional requirements get too far ahead and shape an incompatible path. But how do we characterize the environment as a dynamic problem space and develop solution-response requirements, sufficient to guide the design of risk-mitigating agility? Characterizing the problem space is an ill-structured problem. It cannot be expressed in numbers and equations, nor solved with algorithms. This tutorial provides heuristic frameworks for developing useful characterizations of the problem space, and for developing risk-mitigating requirements for the solution space; grounded with real examples and in-class application practice. Given enough understanding about the problem, effective solution requirements and features becomes (almost) obvious. The problem shapes and constrains effective solution, but only to the extent that we understand it.
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