System Design and Management

The MIT Master's Program in Engineering and Management

Voices

Webinars

Where's the Money? Migrating to a Global Digital Monetary Ecosystem

Irving Wladawsky-Berger, Ph.D., Visiting Lecturer, Sloan School of Management and Engineering Systems Division, MIT

The digital revolution is already hitting our wallets—increasingly turning money into information in the cloud while transforming mobile devices into windows on a global, digital economy. However, the evolution to a digital money ecosystem involves much more than converting cash, checks, and credit cards from physical to digital objects.

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Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Move Over, Big Data! How Small, Simple Models Can Yield Big Insights

Richard C. Larson, Ph.D., Mitsui Professor of Engineering Systems and Director of the Center for Engineering Systems Fundamentals, MIT

Today's emphasis on big data and data analytics may leave some folks thinking that management and policy insights can only arise from the analysis of millions of data entries. Nothing could be further from the truth! Sometimes less is more. In fact, an excess of numbers can engender more headaches than insight.

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Richard C. Larson

System Architecture and the Evolution of
E-Governance in Estonia: Lessons for Industries Around the World

Andres Kütt, SDM '11, Head Software Architect, Republic of Estonia

Governments today operate in an increasingly globalized, interconnected ecosystem. Many look to e-services to provide better citizen services, but too often they find themselves stuck in the old paradigm of approaching a complex technical challenge from the perspective of policy-making and public governance.

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Andres Kütt

System Architecture for Corporate Innovation: How to Run a Successful Initiative and Deliver Tangible Results

Mona M. Vernon, SDM '09, Vice President of Data Innovation Lab, Thomson Reuters

Corporate innovation is no longer the sole responsibility of research and development units; it is becoming a real and urgent priority for CEOs. However, managing innovation is hardly ever as simple as consultants and social software vendors make it sound. In some cases, well-intentioned initiatives can have damaging, unintended consequences ranging from wasting valuable effort to disenfranchising employees.

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Mona M. Vernon

Hacking Medicine and the Rx It Offers for Innovation in All Industries

Andrea Ippolito, SDM '11, Ph.D. Student, Engineering Systems, MIT
Allison Yost, Ph.D. Candidate, Mechanical Engineering, MIT

Based at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, MIT Hacking Medicine brings together stakeholders who are passionate about changing the status quo in healthcare. The "hacking" approach fosters an ecosystem of empowerment for launching disruptive healthcare solutions. To date, more than 16 hackathons have been held across four continents, resulting in more than 600 idea pitches and the formation of more than a dozen companies—including PillPack, Podimetrics, Smart Scheduling, RubiconMD, Eagle Health Supplies, and Twiage.

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Allison Yost

Andrea Ippolito

Allison Yost

The Maturation of Model-Based Systems Engineering: OPM as the ISO Conceptual Modeling Language Standard

Dov Dori, Ph.D., Visiting Professor, Engineering Systems Division, MIT

Model-based systems engineering promotes the use of modeling and models as focal design artifacts to enhance the rigor and robustness of systems engineering activities throughout the various phases of a system's life cycle—with an emphasis on the early, conceptual phases.

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Dov Dori

Risks and Mitigation Approaches for Business System Integration

Daniel Mark Adsit, SDM '13, Principal, Mergence Systems

The successful integration of new technologies is essential to continual success in today's fast-moving global economy, enabling businesses to upgrade their systems to be more effective, reliable, and scalable. Improved logistics systems, for example, have streamlined global supply chains by using technologies to optimize inventory levels across multiple warehouses. Similarly, modern transportation systems employ systems to break down traditional distance barriers and use new energy technologies to reduce their dependence on traditional fuels.

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Daniel Mark Adsit

Strategy, Simulation, and Analytics for the Complex World of Education

Daniel J. Sturtevant, Ph.D., MIT SDM Alumnus
Jeanne Contardo, Ph.D., Independent Education Consultant, Senior Advisor, Business-Higher Education Forum

Getting education policy right is essential if the United States wishes to improve its high standard of living, economic strength, and societal health. But even education reforms based on sound research and crafted by well-meaning experts have often failed.

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Daniel J. Sturtevant

Jeanne Contardo

Applying Systems Thinking to Energy and Sustainability Challenges in Chile

Jorge Moreno, SDM '11, Cofounder, inodú
Donny Holaschutz, SDM '10, Cofounder, inodú

Over the past several years, Chile has faced an energy crisis that has impacted virtually all industries in that country. Caused by the scarcity of natural energy resources, tension between developers and conservationists, and a complex permitting process, the crisis has motivated energy and sustainability professionals to take a systems-based approach to mobilizing and managing projects in that country. The approach holds promise for planners around the world.

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Jorge Moreno

Donny Holaschutz

Jorge Moreno

Donny Holaschutz

'Gap-Filling Organizations': Competing at Speed in a Fast-Moving World

Steven J. Spear, D.B.A., M.S., M.S., Senior Lecturer, Engineering Systems Division and Sloan School of Management, MIT

Determining, documenting, and addressing the gaps between an organization's business requirements for products and services and the systems and capabilities available to achieve them is a challenge common to all industries. Many companies address this issue by deploying internal functions that reactively fill these gaps. Although these efforts may differ by sector and context, those that are successful share several common characteristics in a systems-based approach that Dr. Steven J. Spear describes as the creation of "gap-filling organizations."

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Steven J. Spear

Addressing Patient Wait Times with Systems Thinking

Ali Kamil, SDM '12, MIT SDM and Harvard Kennedy School of Government Graduate Student
Dmitriy Lyan, SDM '11, Senior Product Manager, Amazon Web Services

The problem of prolonged and highly variable patient wait times in hospitals and emergency departments is well researched but as yet unsolved.

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Ali Kamil, SDM '12

Dmitriy Lyan, SDM '11

Ali Kamil, SDM '12

Dmitriy Lyan, SDM '11

Virtual SDM Information Session

Learn about the MIT Master's in Engineering and Management

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Alchemist, a sculpture by Jaume Plensa, sits across from the main entrance to MIT.
Photo: John Parrillo

Understanding Integrated Circuit Security Threats

Asif Iqbal, SDM '11
Power and Performance Program Manager, Apple Inc.

The security threats to critical hardware- and software-based infrastructure are greater than ever, no matter what the domain. Always at high risk for tampering and historically compromised by software and social engineering attacks, critical infrastructures in the military, finance, smart grid, healthcare, public records, commerce, and other domains now face a new threat—fake and infected integrated circuits that infiltrate high-value, data-based systems. These "hardware Trojans" can cause serious damage to financial, safety, security systems, and more.

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Asif Iqbal

Supply Chain and Risk Management: Making the Right Decisions to Strengthen Operations Performance

Ioannis Kyratzoglou, SDM '11
Principal Software Systems Engineer, MITRE Corporation

Today's global corporations face risks that range from the controllable (price fluctuations, currency volatility, market changes) to those that are beyond control (natural disasters). To counter supply-chain disruptions, best-in-class organizations apply mature operations and risk management practices to reduce their exposure to these risks and maintain a competitive advantage.

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Ioannis Kyratzoglou

Architecting a Future Tele-Health Care System to Treat PTSD in the US Military

Andrea Ippolito, SDM '11
Ph.D. student, MIT Engineering Systems Division

This webinar will offer insight into how the US military can provide high-quality, cost-effective, timely access to health care for soldiers and their families — specifically those with post-traumatic stress disorders who may not have easy access to bricks and mortar facilities.

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Andrea Ippolito

Systems Thinking and the Inevitability of the Dreamliner Delays

Yao Zhao, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Rutgers University

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner was the fastest-selling plane in the history of commercial aviation, but its development was a nightmare. The first flight was delayed by 26 months, and the first delivery was 40 months overdue with a cost overrun of at least $10 billion.

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Yao Zhao

Using System Dynamics to Support Startups, Stimulate the Economy, and Create More Jobs

Fady Saad, SDM '11
Co-founder, ePowerhouse
R&D Financing Director, Vecna

Startups have the potential to stimulate the economy and create employment opportunities, but their failure rate is high. How can we help them succeed?

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Fady Saad

Improving PTSD Treatment for US Military Personnel via Enterprise Architecting

Elizabeth Cilley Southerlan, SDM '12
Strategic IT and Operations Manager, Health and Life Sciences, Oliver Wyman

North Carolina's Camp Lejeune is the home of "expeditionary forces in readiness," which include active– and civilian–duty Marines, their families, and other military personnel. This webinar centers on how SDM alumna Elizabeth Cilley Southerlan used enterprise architecting to investigate the current state of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment at the facility's existing military psychological health enterprise (MPHE) and to provide suggestions for the facility's transformation.

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Elizabeth Cilley Southerlan

How to Secure and Grow Your Islands of Profit

Jonathan L.S. Byrnes, Senior Lecturer, MIT

"Islands of profit" is a term for the 20 percent to 30 percent of a business that provides all reported profits, subsidizing the 30 percent to 40 percent of the business that actually loses money. If you can secure and grow these islands of profit, you will retain the best customers for years, reaping huge profits and growth. If you fail to do so, your competitors will freeze you out of the best parts of the market for a long time.

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Jonathan L.S. Byrnes

A Systems Approach to Airport Planning, Design, and Management

Richard de Neufville, Ph.D.
Professor of Engineering Systems and of Civil and Environmental Engineering, MIT

Airports routinely suffer breakdowns, delays, and disasters that are the exception in other fields. When viewed as systems, airports are relatively simple compared to the aircraft they serve and the global communication networks they use daily. So, what's the problem, and why don't these systems work together correctly?

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Richard de Neufville

Systems Dynamics-Based Strategies for Introducing Alternative Fuel Vehicles in India

Abhijith Neerkaje, Program Manager, SanDisk, and SDM Alumnus
Sergey Naumov, Ph.D. Student, MIT Sloan School of Management, and SDM Alumnus

In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and oil consumption, India urgently needs to devise effective strategies for introducing fuel-efficient, nonpolluting, alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) into the marketplace.

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Abhijith Neerkaje

Naumov

Abhijith Neerkaje

Sergey Naumov

Cyber Security and Cyber Defense: A Systems Approach

Charles Iheagwara, Ph.D., Director, Cyber Security Practice, Unatek; SDM Alumnus

Cyber espionage and cyber attacks are just two of the innumerable threats facing enterprise networks as a result of the ever-evolving technical landscape.

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Charles Iheagwara

Designing and Operating Safety Systems: The Missing Link

SDM Alumnus John Helferich, Former Senior Vice President of R&D, Mars Inc., and Ph.D. Student, MIT Engineering Systems Division

Hospital safety, aviation safety, food safety, product safety and virtually any safety system designed to prevent injury or death, share a critical, often overlooked component: the people who design, operate, and manage them. Recent research shows that they often make mistakes because they are rarely considered part of the system.

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John Helferich

Applying Systems Thinking to World Hunger:
Seeking Solutions in Agriculture, Food Production,
and Sustainability

Hank Roark, Senior Staff Systems Engineer and Researcher,
Deere & Co., and SDM Alumnus

Systems thinking offers possibilities for simultaneously addressing the increasingly urgent and interrelated issues of world hunger and sustainability.

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Hank Roark

Using Systems Thinking in a Travel Industry Startup

SDM Alumnus Omer Granot, Cofounder and CEO, Cancelon

More than $10 billion is lost annually by travelers and businesses that have made nonrefundable hotel reservations they cannot use. Presenter Omer Granot cofounded the startup Cancelon to provide a virtual marketplace for travelers wishing to sell and/or buy nonrefundable hotel reservations. Hotels and other travel-related companies can also sell and/or buy unsold or unused reservations through Cancelon; hotels' listings are free!

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Omer Granot

Trust Frameworks and Asymptotic Identity Proofing: A Systems Approach

David Hartzband, D.Sc.
Lecturer, MIT Engineering Systems Division

Any time confidential information is aggregated or stored on the Internet, there is an expectation of data privacy. This expectation may come from end users whose personal, financial, healthcare, and other sensitive information is being gathered (and potentially used), or from intermediate users such as doctors accessing health records, bankers accessing financial information, or from a variety of other sources.

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David Hartzband

Software Systems Architecture in the World of Cloud Computing

Christine Miyachi
Principal Systems Engineer and Architect, Xerox Corporation, and SDM Alumna

Cloud computing is a disruptive technology that is emerging with new opportunities. Companies that move to the cloud can save both time and money.

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Christine Miyachi

Technical Debt in Large Systems: Understanding the Cost of Software Complexity

Daniel J. Sturtevant
Ph.D. MIT and MIT SDM Alumnus

Many modern systems are so large that no one truly understands how they work. Because these systems exceed the bounds of human understanding, different design teams must work on separate chunks, glue their work together, and hope that the whole thing behaves as expected.

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Daniel J. Sturtevant

Flexibility in Engineering Design

Richard de Neufville, Ph.D., Dr. h.c.
Professor of Engineering Systems and of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Designed for those concerned with acquiring and implementing new products and systems, such as owners, managers, developers and engineers, this webinar will explain the concept of flexibility in engineering design, using non-technical language and many practical examples.

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Richard de Neufville

Understanding and Designing Complex Sociotechnical Systems

Joseph M. Sussman
JR East Professor in the MIT Engineering Systems Division and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

While command of technical factors is necessary to understanding "critical contemporary issues" (CCIs), such as climate change, economic growth, mobility, large-scale manufacturing, health, and developing country megacities, more integrated knowledge is needed to address them.

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Joseph M. Sussman

The Crises In Employment, Consumption, Economic Growth, and the Environment: Could a Shorter Workweek and a Greener Economy Provide Relief?

Nicholas A. Ashford, PhD., JD

The crises we encounter today could be described as a 'perfect storm.' The global financial crisis that began in 2008 has left many people with too little money and/or willingness to spend. This results in too few goods and services being produced and too little being purchased.

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Nicholas A. Ashford

Leadership for Learning Organizations: Lessons from healthcare, sports, and more to help you obtain better results

Paul F. Levy, Author

The world is rife with process improvement methods designed to deal with systemic issues facing manufacturing and services firms. Although proven tools, such as Six Sigma, Re-engineering, and Lean, exist to build learning organizations with enhanced efficiency and deliver higher quality products to customers, most organizations never achieve these goals. Why do so many work redesign efforts fail?

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Paul F. Levy

From Politics and Finance to Power Grids and Products: Addressing Complexity in the Interconnected World

Dan Braha, PhD
Visiting Professor, MIT Engineering Systems Division

How can we manage the financial crisis? How do civil unrest, religion, and rumors spread, and how is that related to epidemics and earthquakes? Can human behavior and societal systems be studied in the same way as biological systems and complex man-made systems?

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Dan Braha

Applying a Complex System Architecture Evaluation Method to the 2005 Ford GT 200 MPH Supercar

Scott Ahlman, MIT SDM Alumnus
President, Ahlman Engineering, Inc.

Through painful experience, many companies have learned that they cannot develop a way out of an architecture issue that is uncovered late in the product development process, such as in the verification (hardware and tooling) stage. If a company gets the architecture right at the front end, it can achieve a huge competitive advantage over the short and long term. If it gets the architecture wrong, the results can be costly. Therefore, a rigorous approach to system architecture at the front end of system design is essential. No longer can a chief engineer rely primarily on experience-based intuition rather than a rigorous process and methods.

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Scott Ahlman

Buying Common: Executing Platform Strategies in Supply Chain and Procurement Organizations

Bruce Cameron, PhD
Lecturer, MIT Engineering Systems Division

Companies pursuing platform strategies focus heavily on market strategy and product development, often leaving procurement and supply chain decisions to downstream supporting business units. Supply chain organizations are faced with heavy investments in process complexity to manage common parts, but do not necessarily internalize the system-wide benefits of sharing parts. This webinar will explore the contract levers available to firms to incentivize commonality in their supply chains, and will discuss best practices for incorporating feedback into product development decisions.

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Bruce Cameron

Lean Thinking in an Academic Medical Center — The Beat Goes On

Dr. John E. Billi, Professor of Internal Medicine and Medical Education,
University of Michigan Medical School and Associate Vice President, Medical Affairs, University of Michigan

The University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) has been on the lean journey for the past seven years, creating the Michigan Quality System. UMHS has over 20,000 faculty, staff, and trainees. The goal is to create 20,000 problem solvers who are finding and fixing root causes of problems they face daily. This webinar will briefly recap UMHS' initial approach, results of early experiments, what leaders learned, and how UMHS adjusted. The webinar will cover their current set of experiments, including the transition from scattered projects led by coaches to an integrated approach that incorporates People Development into Process Improvement.

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Dr. John E. Billi

Multisourcing Conflicts: What does a manager focus on?

Nirmalya Banerjee, SDM '11
Development Manager, Open Access Technologies International Inc.

Multisourcing has its own set of challenges. With more people from different organizations on board, conflicts are bound to arise. The complex nature of these conflicts calls for specialized resolution strategies, which means more effort for the client managers.

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Nirmalya Banerjee, SDM '11

Strategies for Evolution and Sustenance of Network Ecosystem

Saujanya Shrivastava, SDM '11
Senior Product Manager, Amazon

Managing a network platform business can be a complex proposition for the platform owner due to various intricacies that are associated with it. These platforms have distinct users, each having exclusive needs and requirements. Also, success of one side is closely interlinked to the success of the other.

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Saujanya Shrivastava, SDM '11

The Incumbent's Dilemma: To fight, follow or flee the attacking innovation?

Dr. Chintan Vaishnav, Postdoctoral Researcher at MIT
and Sergey Naumov, SDM '11

Why do some new technologies become dominant while others fail or coexist with the old? We explore this question by first developing model-driven theory using a comprehensive system dynamics model of technology and industry disruption. Our research uncovers firm-, product-, and environment-level drivers responsible for the success or failure of a new technology and a firm. We then use appropriate case studies to show why in some situations incumbents retain market share, while in others new entrants drive them out.

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Vaishnav

Naumov

Dr. Chintan Vaishnav

Sergey Naumov, SDM '11

Identifying Architectural Modularity in the Smart Grid

Brad Rogers

One significant challenge facing a broader deployment of modern grid technologies is integrating with legacy systems while driving toward elegant, interoperable solutions in future grid integration efforts. This challenge is compounded by the de facto approach of customizing point-to-point integration solutions, resulting in an "accidental architecture" of the existing grid.

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Brad Rogers

Using Systems Engineering Tools to Design a Smart Energy Box

Jonathan Hickey

A network that distributes power generated by Renewable Energy Supplies (RESs) will require a "smart box" in each home in the network to meter power and to connect to and communicate with other elements of the network. These smart boxes will also have to function as control devices to ensure safe and reliable operation of the grid. Use of systems engineering tools such as stakeholder analysis and axiomatic design and STAMP (Systems Theoretic Accident Model and Processes) was effective for development of initial customer attributes and associated functional requirements, design parameters, and process variables, respectively. Inclusion of system-level safety analysis such as STPA in conjunction with the aforementioned systems engineering tools in the conceptual design phase is highly effective in capturing key functional requirements early in the design and development of complex socio-technical systems.

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Jonathan Hickey

The Transformation of the Datacenter: How to solve the exascale problem with this one weird trick discovered by a housewife in Cambridge.

Kurt Keville, SDM '09
Research Specialist, MIT Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies

This webinar will offer a comprehensive overview on the primary issues facing the modern datacenter in the drive to become higher performing and less costly, and methods to address those issues. This presentation will examine the immediate and long-term goals of the primary stakeholders in the supercomputing community, including government, academia, and industry, all three of which have an increasing footprint in the High-Performance Computing (HPC) business.

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Kurt Keville, SDM '09

System Approach to Prevent Safety and Quality Problems in Modern Automobiles

Qi Van Eikema Hommes, PhD
Research Associate and Lecturer, MIT Engineering Systems Division

Today’s automobiles are characterized by complex Cyber Physical Systems (CPS), where numerous embedded devices are networked to control physical hardware components. These systems are software intensive, and typically developed by globally distributed large multidisciplinary teams. Many such systems already experienced quality and safety problems that could not be traced back to component failures. One such example is the recent Toyota Unintended Acceleration case.

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Qi Van Eikema Hommes, PhD

The Emergence of a Digital Money Ecosystem

Irving Wladawsky-Berger, PhD
Visiting Lecturer, MIT Engineering Systems Division and
MIT Sloan School of Management

We are in the early stages of a very important transformation—the transition to a digital money ecosystem. This transformation is likely to be among the most exciting, important, and challenging initiatives the world will undertake in the coming decades.

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Irving Wladawsky-Berger, PhD

How Self-Organizing "Tribes" are Transforming the Solar Industry

Donny Holaschutz, SDM '10
Co-founder and CEO, Bloomgi

This webinar will offer an interdisciplinary perspective on solar innovation in the United States by examining over 100 case studies. It will use these research findings to describe how self-organizing groups, or "tribes," have become a driving force in transforming the solar innovation industry nationally and globally, and also focus on their potential to transform the value network.

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Donny Holaschutz

A Systems Approach for Addressing the Crisis in Employment and Consumer Demand

Nicholas A. Ashford, PhD., JD
Professor of Technology and Policy
Director, MIT Technology and Law Program

A sustainable industrial system depends not only on good environmental and public health outcomes, but also on sustainable employment and earning capacity. These concerns are likely to dominate future national political debates, requiring changes in the nature of work and employment, and in the ownership of productive capital. Making the economy greener, while certainly necessary for long-term economic and societal survival, does not necessarily mean more and better paying jobs on a large enough scale to make serious progress to reducing unemployment and underemployment.

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Nicholas A. Ashford

Investigations of Platform Savings Reveal Systemic Management Challenges

Bruce Cameron, PhD
Lecturer, MIT Engineering Systems Division

Companies from aerospace to white goods use platforming strategies to deliver more variety to their customers while saving internally by sharing parts and overhead. However, many firms fail to earn a return on their investment in platforms—Black & Decker famously dropped its platforming strategy one generation after a landmark tool family design. This webinar will explore whether such failures are the result of flawed strategy or execution challenges.

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Bruce Cameron

How Software Learns: What Happens after Software Is Shipped

Christine Miyachi
SDM Alumnus and Principal Systems Engineer and Architect, Xerox Corporation

Software architecture has sometimes been compared to building architecture, but that comparison has also been faulted as inaccurate because software has a capacity for adaptive change, while buildings are permanent. Or, at least they appear to be. In fact, buildings are complex systems that change drastically over time—as noted in Stewart Brand's book, How Buildings Learn. Software engineers have a lot to learn from architecture, and building designers can learn a lot from modern software systems. This webinar will examine the aspects of both systems that change—slowly and quickly—with a focus on two system properties in particular: maintainability and extensibility. Can we construct both buildings and software systems with a high degree of maintainability and extensibility? Modern agile software processes produce systems that may be missing these two key properties, and buildings have ignored them for years. This webinar will reveal how software systems can learn and evolve just as buildings do.

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Christine Miyachi

Creative Experimentation: Developing a Skill Critical for Managing Complex Operating Systems (A two-part series)

Steven J. Spear
Senior Lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management; Senior Lecturer, MIT Engineering Systems Division; Senior Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement; and author, The High Velocity Edge

A broad-based capacity for experimentation is critical for organizations to succeed because the systems in which people are embedded are increasingly complex and fast. For instance, medical treatment used to be accomplished by "going to the doctor," a sole practitioner supported by a handful of other professionals, who mastered a body of scientific knowledge through steady practice. Now, thanks to the tremendous advances in medical science and technology, diagnosis and treatment span myriad disciplines and countless professionals.

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Steven J. Spear

Inventory Productivity: Missing Link Between Supply Chain Management and Sales

Jonathan L.S. Byrnes
Senior Lecturer, MIT

Traditionally, supply chain and sales have been managed relatively independently, despite the critical impact that each has on the other. Systems thinking provides the key to linking these two critical business functions.

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Jonathan L.S. Byrnes

Using Lean Thinking to Transform a Large Academic Medical Center

John E. Billi, MD
Professor of Internal Medicine and Medical Education and Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, University of Michigan Medical School
Associate Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Michigan

Lean thinking is a business system that empowers frontline workers to find and fix the root causes of problems they face daily using the scientific method of problem solving. This philosophy has been applied successfully in many industries, ranging from manufacturing to service. In the past decade, many hospitals and other healthcare entities have begun to use lean thinking to improve operational performance.

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John E. Billi

Start-Up Thinking: How Systems Thinking Helps Entrepreneurial Ventures Start, Grow, and Mature

Sorin Grama, Founder and CEO, Promethean Power Systems; SDM Alumnus
Sam White, Founder and Vice President for Business Development, Promethean Power Systems

Soon after a business plan is hatched and long before manufacturing ramps up, start-ups begin to apply systems design principles to create their breakthrough products. It turns out that systems engineering, an art developed and perfected in large organizations, applies just as well to small entrepreneurial ventures. What can start-ups learn from the likes of Ford and Boeing? Sorin Grama and Sam White, who launched Promethean Power Systems just after Grama graduated from SDM, will discuss how systems thinking shaped their start-up journey and helped them address social challenges while developing their first product.

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Sorin Grama and Sam White

Power System Balancing with High Renewable Penetration: The Potential of Demand Response in Hawai'i

Karl Critz, SDM '10
Clean Energy Innovator and SDM Student

The state of Hawai'i plans to obtain 40% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2030. Balancing intermittent wind with fossil fuel plants can be expensive, slowing adoption. A social and technical infrastructure for temporary reductions in load (demand response) enables 4% greater wind harvesting at 10% less operating cost. This webinar will focus on an investigation that applied a stochastic unit commitment optimization to account for uncertain wind forecasts. Fast-responding demand enabled existing thermal generators to run more efficiently, increased the grid's reliability margins, and infrequently impacted customers. The demand response modeled here could put Hawai'i on a pragmatic path to achieving its energy independence goals and will provide lessons for renewable energy integration on the mainland.

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Karl Critz

A Systems View of Enabling Enterprise Change

Mark Moran, SDM '09
Manager of Portfolio Management and Marketing Operations,
Enterprise Advanced Marketing Group, John Deere

Enterprise change is hard, especially for mature, successful companies. Many of the keys to accomplishing enterprise change come from seeing the enterprise itself as a complex system. This presentation will discuss many of the ingredients necessary for an enterprise to change itself and acquire new capabilities. It will be based on Moran's experience with enterprise change efforts at John Deere.

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Mark Moran

Transforming the Industrial State: The Ultimate Complex System Challenge

Nicholas A. Ashford, PhD, JD
Professor of Technology and Policy, MIT
Director, MIT Technology and Law Program

The most crucial problem in achieving a more sustainable industrial system is lock-in or path dependency due to (1) the failure to envision, design, and implement policies that achieve co-optimization, or the mutually reinforcing of social goals (economic welfare, environmental quality, and earning capacity), and (2) entrenched economic and political interests that game (and gain from) the present system and advancement of its current trends.

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Nicholas A. Ashford

Optimizing the Supply Chain of Medical Devices: A Shared SaaS Platform for Suppliers and Providers (A two-part series)

Jean–Claude Saghbini, SDM '03
CTO, WaveMark Inc.

The United States spends over twice as much on healthcare per person as other industrialized nations. This has prompted initiatives to improve healthcare outcomes and lower costs.

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Jean–Claude Saghbini

Why Systems Thinking is Not a Natural Act

Ricardo Valerdi, Associate Professor, University of Arizona

Competence in systems thinking is implicitly assumed among the population of engineers and managers — in fact, most technical people claim to be systems thinkers. But this competence is not as prevalent as these assertions might lead one to assume. Controlled experiments show that systems thinking performance, even among highly educated people, is poor. This presentation provides a set of systems thinking competencies and demonstrates how these are not as common as advertised. We also discuss how these competencies can be measured.

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Ricardo Valerdi

Anomalies or Leading Indicators? Recent System Failures in IT Security, Manufacturing, and Natural Resource Extraction

Steven J. Spear, Senior Lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management, Senior Lecturer, MIT Engineering Systems Division

In recent months, we've been awash in major system failures -- BP, Toyota, a host of IT security breaches at the International Monetary Fund, Apple, Sony, Citibank, and elsewhere. The purpose of this webinar is to explore two alternative explanations of why so many complex operating systems have failed so significantly in rapid succession The webinar will also offer insight into how complex operating systems can be managed for far greater success.

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Steven J. Spear

Five Capabilities for Enterprise Change: Approaches for Integrating Continuous Improvement and Strategic Change Across Organizations

George Roth, Principal Research Associate, MIT

Successful organizations must do more than manage their own changes; they must also adapt and change the larger system in which they operate. The history of and prognosis for managing organizational changes is not good. Researchers consistently find that nearly two-thirds of change efforts, whether re-engineering, quality, lean, or other improvement initiatives, do not achieve their goals. There is perhaps nothing more important in business today than for managers and their organizations to be able to learn and change effectively.

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George Roth

Transformation at Bank of America: An Enterprise Systems Analysis

Daniel Wallance, SDM ’11

With a historic collapse of world financial markets and the nearly finished integration of the Merrill Lynch and Countrywide acquisitions, Bank of America Corporation found itself looking inward for initiatives to decrease operational risk and streamline bank operations.

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Daniel Wallance

Scientific Methods to Reduce System Testing Cost and Risk

Madhav S. Phadke, PhD; President; Phadke Associates, Inc

Software and system testing costs industry hundreds of millions of dollars annually. In addition, testing takes multiple months, delaying time to market of key technologies. In this current economic environment, several major defense and commercial firms are embarking on using orthogonal arrays (OA) to reduce the cost of testing and time to market while ensuring that defects are not passed onto the customer.

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Madhav S. Phadke

Designing Systems for People

Todd Reily, Lead Human Factors Engineer, The MITRE Corporation

Today's consumer technology market has evolved in complexity and interconnectedness at an ever-increasing rate. As these products and services become increasingly intertwined, the opportunity for overwhelming the people that use them has heightened tremendously. As a result of this situation, the importance of "user experience" design has risen in the eyes of most organizations. This presentation presents a systems-based, design-centric framework for producing great product or service experiences. It will demonstrate the importance of this type of approach for understanding markets, developing concepts, providing vision, managing uncertainty, crafting requirements, creating prototypes, and testing new markets.

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Todd Reily

How to Manage a Profitability Turnaround

Jonathan L.S. Byrnes, Senior Lecturer, MIT

We now live in the Age of Precision Markets, yet most of the management processes taught in business schools were developed for the prior Age of Mass Markets. Today's savviest managers are exploiting this disconnect by rethinking strategy and, in the process, developing fresh approaches to customer relations, operations, and metrics. Dr. Jonathan Byrnes believes that every business has enormous potential waiting to be unleashed and in this webinar, he offers bold new strategies to help you find and grow your islands of profit.

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Jonathan L.S. Byrnes

The Changing Nature of Research and Innovation in the 21st Century

Irving Wladawsky-Berger, PhD, Chairman Emeritus, IBM Academy of Technology, Visiting Lecturer of Engineering Systems

Over the past century, science and technology have been successfully applied to innovation in the industrial sector of the economy, leading to very high productivity and quality, and to the development of highly sophisticated and complex objects like airplanes, skyscrapers and microprocessors. The 21st century defines a new set of challenges, especially in the complexity of the systems we are now developing in all kinds of industries, including energy, health care, financial services and urban systems.

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Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Systems Thinking and the Development of a Large-Scale, Secure Network for Comparative Effectiveness Healthcare Research

David Hartzband, D.Sc., Lecturer, MIT Engineering Systems Division

SCANNER (SCAlable Nationwide Network for Effectiveness Research, R01 HS19913-01) is a three-year, $8M grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality made to the Division of Biomedical Informatics at the University of California, San Diego. In this presentation, Dr. Hartzband will describe how the design of the SCANNER network takes advantage of innovative thinking in design and deployment. The network does this by enabling edge nodes that own resources (data &/or function) to specify security and usage policies that are separate from application or database logic and that are resolved by specialized servers distributed on the network. The network also makes use of a syndication model for identity correlation that provides a mechanism for very high probability correlation of a user identity with a set of known attributes. The combination of these mechanisms allows for easy sharing of data, analytic function & results across sites.

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David Hartzband

Using Quality by Design (QbD) and Systems Thinking in the Development, Commercialization and Life Cycle Management of Medicines and Vaccines

Anando A. Chowdhury, Director, Organizational Strategy, Management & Operations, Global Science, Technology & Commercialization, Merck/MSD

Healthcare solution providers developing innovative medicines work within a complex ecosystem of pharmaceuticals and biologics technologies, shifting political, economic and regulatory trends, and a multitude of stakeholders that includes patients, physicians, nurses, payers, partners and competitors. What is at stake is nothing short of collectively bending the course of global human health towards improved wellness for all humanity. In this extremely complex environment, there is one strategic certainty: systems thinking is essential.

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Anando A. Chowdhury

Dynamic Time Metered Delivery (DTMD): Potential Effect on the Goals of the Federal Communications Commission's National Broadband Plan

Brian Wenford Jesse Posey, Cofounder, President, and CEO, TelePulse Technologies Corporation

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has stated that broadband is the great infrastructure challenge of the early 21st century. On March 16, 2010, the FCC published "Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan." One of the goals of the FCC plan is to have 100M US households with affordable access to actual download speeds of at least 100Mbps and actual upload speeds of at least 50Mbps. The FCC also has the goal that every American should have affordable access to robust broadband (5Mbps) service. This webinar examines the potential use of Dynamic Time Metered Delivery (DTMD) in the furtherance of these goals using data and analysis from public sources and TelePulse Technologies Corporation (inventors of DTMD).

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B.W. "Jess" Posey

B.W. "Jess" Posey

Status of Grid-scale Energy Storage and Strategies for Accelerating Cost-effective Deployment

John Kluza, Business Development Manager for Emerging Applications at Satcon Technology

The development of emerging grid-scale energy storage technologies offers great potential to improve the architecture and operation of the electrical grid. This is especially important in the face of increased reliance on clean, dependable electricity and with the influx of renewable generation and smart grid technology. However, at the present, grid-scale energy storage is still in an early, developing stage.

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John Kluza

John Kluza

Leadership, Innovation, and Operational Excellence: How Market Leaders Beat the Competition

Steven J. Spear, Senior Lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement

A few, select organizations create substantial, sustainable competitive advantage for themselves even in the absence of strong market position. They do this by generating and sustaining exceptional rates of internally generating improvement and innovation, leading to unmatchable levels of performance--quality, productivity, reliability, responsiveness, safety, and so forth.

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Steven J. Spear

Steven J. Spear

System Interaction Complexity Metrics and Its Application to Embedded Software Systems

Qi Van Eikema Hommes, PhD, Research Scientist, MIT Engineering Systems Division

System designers have long practiced decomposition and modularization to manage the complexity of systems. The byproduct of modularization is system interactions. Complex system interactions often took designers by surprise, causing schedule delays, rework, resource overruns, system integration challenges, failures, and accidents.

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Qi Van Eikema Hommes

Dr. Van Eikema Hommes

Systems Thinking and Software Architecture

Christine Miyachi, SDM Alumnus and Principle Systems Engineer and Architect, Xerox Corporation

Software architecture is an elusive topic -- even to professionals who work with software day in and day out. Although software architecture is often deemed required, it's frequently dropped when the schedule gets tight (and the schedule always gets tight). However, software architecture will occur by default by daily decisions made by a project team. This webinar highlights specific tools proven to work in real project situations.

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Christine Miyachi

Christine Miyachi

On Developing Business Architectures: A Multi-Framework Evaluation of an Early-Stage Enterprise

Mario Montoya, SDM alumnus and Manager, Business Development, OmniGuide, Inc.

This presentation examines the efficiency and effectiveness of using multiple frameworks to analyze an early stage enterprise within the medical technology industry, Lentesco Luminarium. The company faces a critical choice between two growth strategies: vertical penetration within existing modalities or horizontal growth into new modalities, so Montoya will explore what tools might inform and guide the executive team to make the right decision for Lentesco's particular industry, maturity, and size. In addition to the standard Lean Advancement Initiative suite of tools, he uses Nightingale and Rhodes' eight Enterprise Architecture views, Kaplan's Balanced Scorecard, Piepenbrock's Evolution of Business Ecosystems, McKinsey's 7S framework, and Grave's Spiral Dynamics. He concludes that Lentesco needs to improve transparency and communication, and he suggests the use of the McKinsey 7S framework to put concepts into perspective as simply as possible. For a multiple perspective evaluation, he suggests the EA 8 Views framework.

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Mario Montoya

Mario Montoya

Photo by L. Barry Hetherington

Analysis of Value Creation and Value Capture in the Microfluidics Market

Shailendra Anand Yadav, SDM '10 and Bio-Automation Manager, The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT

In the last two decades, microfluidics has been changing the shape of genomics, drug discovery, proteomics, and point-of-care diagnostics. Advances in the technology have resulted in faster analysis time, increased throughput, and reduced cost, among other important benefits. However, Yadav reports that the life sciences end-users and the microfluidics players themselves are far from fully capturing the value of these advances. As an immature technology, microfluidics is to-date still only in the hands of innovators and early adopters, who are academic laboratories and research institutes. He will analyze the current state of the market and discuss genomics and point-of-care diagnostics that have captured the most value from the technology, while drug discovery has seen the least. He will also recommend short- and long-term strategies for increasing value capture and accelerating the adoption of microfluidics.

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Shailendra Anand Yadav

Shailendra Anand Yadav

Photo by L. Barry Hetherington

The Evolution of Business Ecosystems: Interspecies Competition in the Steel Industry

Akshat Mathur, SDM alum and Ted Piepenbrock, Ph.D.

This presentation builds on the work of Theodore F. Piepenbrock, whose 2009 MIT doctoral thesis, "Towards a Theory of Evolution of Business Ecosystems," proposed that firms in the same industry vary systematically in performance over time as a result of differences in architecture. Piepenbrock defines architecture in terms of the strength, closeness, and the specific morphology of relationships that exist between the core firm and the four markets that are its key stakeholders—product markets, capital markets, supplier markets and labor markets. Mathur extends Piepenbrock's model to examine its validity in commodity industries, specifically the steel industry from the 1860s to the present.

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Mathur

Piepenbrock

Akshat Mathur

Photo by L. Barry Hetherington

Theodore Piepenbrock

Photo by L. Barry Hetherington

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