The adoption of a Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) approach can be draining. In the author’s experience from his previous employment, new adopters face a number of blocking arguments that inhibit getting an MBSE initiative off the ground. These arguments can be even harder to refute when, as in the author’s case, the MBSE enthusiast has had no prior experience of the approach but ‘feels’ the MBSE approach is a better way. These blocking arguments usually take the following form:
• Blocking Argument 1 – ‘We don’t have time for Systems Engineering’.
• Blocking Argument 2 – ‘… but you can do this in [insert office tool of choice here!]’
• Blocking Argument 3 – ‘It takes too long to learn’.
• Blocking Argument 4 – ‘I can’t see this fitting in with our current ways of working’.
• Blocking Argument 5 – ‘The tools cost too much’.
While it may be tempting to stop an activity or effort and admit that one cannot get an initiative off the ground, these blocking arguments represent an opportunity to have a meaningful dialogue. In preparation for these inevitable conversations, this paper provides an opportunity to be forewarned and prepare oneself to have a constructive dialogue with the objecting stakeholders. The paper borrows an approach from the Science Communication community and uses a two-stage counter-argument approach:
1. The first stage contradicts the argument and
2. The second stage then cites the evidence for the counter-argument.
This approach is an effective method of supporting the necessary dialogue that needs to happen between the systems engineer and their stakeholders.