odt-demo reviewers’ introduction

I want to offer a little background on this project and my intent. Let’s start with intent. I want to bring a tool that supports a method that I learned as Structure Decision Management and Requirements Management back into the world. I envision this tool as an on-ramp to formal methodologies for decision driven management or systems engineering and a reasonable tool for individual use in decision-making. Big “SE” with simulation, etc. is covered by existing tools which are too hard to use and too expensive to quickly start using (more at the cdsolns link below).

The tool is based on a method developed by my colleague, John Fitch, at Systems Process Inc. in the late ’90s and that had been initially integrated in QSS DOORS (removed in the Telelogic take-over early 2000’s). I gravitated to the method because while engineering is heavily weighted on knowledge and experience, it is more about applying that knowledge and experience to relevant information in the moment to make (preferably good) decisions.

The method offers a repeatable, teachable process that provides for knowledge capture, teamwork and continuous improvement – all talking points espoused by the ‘quality’ gurus of the ’90s (when I was working my way into systems engineering). The method can be executed with paper or spreadsheet, but once you start executing the method, data overload becomes a factor, so a tool is really needed (plus it is the 21st century).

The methodology and tool support decision-making as a first-level discipline. This tool is meant to be a demonstration of Structured Decision Making and Management, the application of Decision Patterns and the integrating of decision management in the engineering process as shown by the Product Design pattern, and a base for less technical/general decision making as demonstrated by the Example Project and Life Design patterns. Links are “coming soon” to provide traceability between StakeholderNeeds => Requirements, Requirements => Requirements, Requirements => Criteria and Alternatives => Requirements are on the roadmap. I would have liked to release with linking, but there’s enough here to chew on and if I don’t send this out I may lose my nerve (AND I’m doing a light discussion/demo on the 23rd).

 I just realized I have a lot more to espouse but I’ll save it for blog posts or something.
So with that background, the tool can be found at:  odt-demo.cdsolns.com I suggest this light ‘getting started’ to get logged in:  http://coherentdecisionsolutions.com/odt-demo-getting-started Some other thoughts are here:  cdsolns.com/the-open-decision-tool-demo We’re building documentation so it is a bit light at this point.

A couple of question I’d appreciate your input on are:

  • I know there are things to fix, to make better and make easier , but first – is there anything here that is worth putting more work into?
  • The next sprints will add links between domain elements and some visualization for navigating the links – what else would you need to make a case for using tool?
  • What are the pain points in getting started?
  • Exactly how bad is purple, yellow and pink?

Documentation is sparse, so contact me with questions about the method or tool rather than struggling. All feedback is appreciated. Hit the “feedback” button in the title block or contact me directly at bruce.lerner@cdsolns.com . Thank you for taking a look at it.