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Systems creativity

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1 Author(s)
D. K. Hitchins ; EASAMS Ltd., Business Development, Camberley, UK

The paper identifies the important area of creativity in the design process as least amenable to definition, being comprised of seminal ideas which must fall into a fertile ground of expert domain knowledge coupled with a progressive management environment. Creativity is presented as an essential element in design which can be taught and encouraged, however, and the paper presents creative design `seeds¿ for decision-based systems, flow-line manufacture and maintenance processes and management information systems. Concept evolution techniques are presented as a structured decomposition methodology. The first example of creative design presented in the paper is of the design of a notional systems engineering company which is unusual to most readers in that it contains no manufacturing or production, and preconceived ideas of company organisation are likely, therefore, to be misleading. The application of state-variable analysis to the cash flow of a start-up defence company follows, and the application of systems dynamic to intercompany competition is presented. Creativity is not restricted to initial design; flow-line analysis using queuing theory for intensive flying of training aircraft is demonstrated as a means of resequencing activities to reduce mean throughput times. And finite state/transition analysis is used on the grand scale to examine the potential for European conflict. Finally, the author presents the principles of creativity and suggests that, far from being peculiar to engineering, one finds parallels in music, composition and the arts.

Published in:

IEE Proceedings A - Physical Science, Measurement and Instrumentation, Management and Education - Reviews  (Volume:135 ,  Issue: 6 )