Systems Of Systems

Start Dates:

Start Date 1: 03/10/2020 12:00 am


Location Course 1: Fairfax, Virginia

Course Length:



$1590 per person


Today’s operational environments are dominated by complex Systems of Systems. We now create unprecedented scope and complexity. Extended life cycles, legacy systems and ongoing re-architecting add to the difficulty. Success requires sound methods to manage complexity while maintaining the integrity of the design and supporting shifting operational priorities.

When you think your systems should be working together better than they are, this two-day workshop presents detailed, useful techniques to develop effective systems of systems and to manage the engineering activities associated with them. The course is designed for program managers, project managers, systems engineers, technical team leaders, logistic support leaders, and others who take part in developing today’s complex systems.

The Collective Emergent Robotics Exercise gives students the opportunity to practice the skills taught in the course while collaboratively developing an evolving system of systems consisting of actual operating robots.

What you will learn:

  • Capabilities engineering methods
  • Architecture frameworks
  • Practical uses of complexity theory
  • Integration strategies to achieve higher-level capabilities
  • Effective collaboration methods
  • T&E for large-scale architectures

Course Outline:

  1. Systems of Systems (SoS) Concepts. What SoS can achieve. Capabilities engineering vs. requirements engineering. Operational issues: geographic distribution, concurrent operations. Development issues: evolutionary, large scale, distributed. Interoperability and synergy in C4ISR. Roles of a project leader in relation to integration and scope control.
  2. Complexity Concepts. Complexity and chaos; scale-free networks; complex adaptive systems; small worlds; synchronization; strange attraction; emergent behaviors. Introduction to the theories and how to work with them in a practical world.
  3. Architecture. Design strategies for large scale architectures. Architectural Frameworks including the DOD Architectural Framework (DODAF), TOGAF, Zachman Framework, and FEAF. How to use design patterns, constitutions, synergy. Re-Architecting in an evolutionary environment. Working with legacy systems. Robustness and graceful degradation at the design limits. Optimization and measurement of quality.
  4. Integration. Integration strategies for SoS with systems that originated outside the immediate control of the project staff, the difficulty of shifting SoS priorities over the operating life of the systems. Loose coupling integration strategies, the design of open systems, integration planning and implementation, interface design, use of legacy systems and COTS.
  5. Collaboration. The SoS environment and its special demands on systems engineering. Collaborative efforts that extend over long periods of time and require effort across organizations. Collaboration occurring explicitly or implicitly, at the same time or at disjoint times, even over decades. Responsibilities from the SoS side and from the component systems side, strategies for managing collaboration, concurrent and disjoint systems engineering; building on the past to meet the future. Strategies for maintaining integrity of systems engineering efforts over long periods of time when working in independent organizations.
  6. Testing and Evaluation. Testing and evaluation in the SoS environment with unique challenges in the evolutionary development. Multiple levels of T&E, why the usual success criteria no longer suffice. Why interface testing is necessary but isn’t enough. Operational definitions for evaluation. Testing for chaotic behavior and emergent behavior. Testing responsibilities in the SoS environment


If this course is not on the current schedule of open enrollment courses and you are interested in attending this or another course as an open enrollment, please contact us at (410)956-8805 or Please indicate the course name, number of students who wish to participate. and a preferred time frame. ATI typically schedules open enrollment courses with a 3-5 month lead time. For on-site pricing, you can use the request an on-site quote form, call us at (410)956-8805, or email us at


  • Dr. Eric Honour, CSEP, international consultant and lecturer, has a 40-year career of complex systems development & operation. Former President of INCOSE, selected as Fellow and as Founder. 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, University of South Australia.

  • Dr. Scott Workinger has led innovative technology development efforts in complex, risk-laden environments for 30 years in the fields of manufacturing (automotive, glass, optical fiber), engineering and construction (nuclear, pulp & paper), and information technology (expert systems, operations analysis, CAD, collaboration technology). He currently teaches courses on program management and engineering and consults on strategic management and technology issues. Scott has a B.S in Engineering Physics from Lehigh University, an M.S. in Systems Engineering from the University of Arizona, and a Ph.D. in Civil and Environment Engineering from Stanford University.

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