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The need to perform faster systems integration of complex systems require the architect and design team to understand how the selected architecture and design components will impact the systems integration processes complexity (or difficulty). Systems integration process complexity is an outcome of the interaction between degree of feasibility and level of effort required to understand, describe, implement, manage, and document the systems integration process for a given system development and operational environment. This paper analyzes the cause-and-effect relationships between the system requirements, architecture and the systems integration processes complexity. In order to address systems integration issues upfront in the design phase it is necessary to determine if the architecture and design of components, subsystems, processes, and interfaces impacts (and to what extent) systems integration process complexity. This paper also defines and analyzes the impact of the different system architecture and requirements factors on systems integration process complexity. A research framework is developed to understand the cause-and-effect relationships between system requirements, architecture, and integration process. Finally, the paper proposes recommendations based on the causality results. These conclusions are based on research undertaken by the authors on eight development projects in the government sector.
Date of Publication: June 2008