Systems Architecting- Fundamentals


This one-day tutorial provides practice in the basics of systems architecting, covering the concepts and the best known methods: architecture frameworks, use of multiple views, design patterns, DODAF, dynamic optimization. System architecting is a creative art that develops the arrangement of components and relationships to build a system. Only partially understood, it is clear that system architecting involves heuristic rules and patterns that are recognizable by architects but difficult to codify. This tutorial shows the basic thought patterns behind system architecting, with some practice in identifying and using patterns effectively to develop an architecture.

What you will learn:

  • Four key architecting activities
  • The relationship of architecting to engineering
  • The top-down architecting method of Capabilities Engineering
  • The bottom-up architecting method of Dynamic Optimization
  • How to use design patterns
  • How to use the DODAF
  • Architecting issues and solutions

Course Outline:

  1. Introduction – System architecting concepts. How architecting fits in to systems engineering. Terms and definitions. Roles of a technical leader in relation to architecture development.
  2. Architectures and Architecting – What is an architecture, and what is it made of? How do we use it? Understanding the components of an architecture. Origin of the terms within systems development. Defining architectures in operational, technical, and standards terms. Use of multiple views to convey the complexity of an architecture.
  3. Architecting Methods – Capabilities engineering as a top-down method to define architectures from above. Defining the desired operational capabilities for a system, business, or enterprise, then allocating elements of those capabilities into an architecture. Dynamic optimization as a bottom-up method for systems of systems, businesses and enterprises, when the end goal is not visible. Dynamic methods to create architectures that self-organize to grow and change over time. Measurement and optimization of architectures. Class exercise in defining the footprint for a system.
  4. Architectural Tools – Summary of current methods to work with architectures. Design Patterns – Patterns as the basic tool for creativity. What are patterns? How do we recognize them? Pattern definition language. Hierarchies of patterns. Class exercise in extending patterns to new contexts. Using patterns in architecting. Architecture frameworks: DOD Architecture Framework (DODAF). Zachman Framework. Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework (FEAF). Hierarchies of architectures. Why frameworks exist, and what they hope to provide. Using the DODAF – Diagram types within the DODAF. Operational Views, System Views, Technical Standards Views. Relationship of the views to each other. Effective order to create them. How the many views contribute to an understanding of the problem and the solution. Processes to use the DODAF effectively. Class exercise in creating DODAF views of an architectural change.
  5. Architecture Issues in Design – Summary of how architectural issues affect the design of a system, with discussion of current methods to handle them. Interface control as an architectural design tool. Challenges with selecting Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) architectural components. Architecture issues in technical management and in Test & Evaluation.


This course is not on the current schedule of open enrollment courses. If you are interested in attending this or another course as open enrollment, please contact us at (410)956-8805 or at and indicate the course name and number of students who wish to participate. ATI typically schedules open enrollment courses with a lead time of 3-5 months. Group courses can be presented at your facility at any time. For on-site pricing, request an on-site quote. You may also call us at (410)956-8805 or email us at


  • Eric Honour, international consultant and lecturer, has a 40-year career of complex systems development and operation. Founder and former President of INCOSE. He was elected an INCOSE Fellow (2010). He has led the development of 18 major systems, including the Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation systems and the Battle Group Passive Horizon Extension System. BSSE (Systems Engineering), US Naval Academy, MSEE, Naval Postgraduate School, and PhD candidate, University of South Australia.

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