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National Defense Industrial Association's (NDIA) Top Recommendations on Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) Implementation

July 15, 2020, 5:00-6:00 PM CDT

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Having evolved over decades of what some would say were “missed opportunities”, the re-imagined Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) today can be defined as “an integrated business and technical strategy to achieve competitive and affordable acquisition and sustainment over the system life cycle”.  The technical objective in implementing this approach, mandated by Congress, is to ensure that systems are designed with highly cohesive, loosely coupled, and severable modules that can be competed separately and acquired from various, diverse suppliers.  Numerous diverse benefits and opportunities are afforded by MOSA to acquirers and suppliers alike, but there are also various risks to be considered as well.

This presentation will review specifics of the MOSA implementation recommendations developed and being released now in a white paper by the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Systems Engineering Architecture Committee. This committee, comprised of various members of the defense industry – including contractors, DoD, and the services, applied objectivity, insight, and lessons learned to deduce and inform each recommendation.  By using systems engineering principles to explore and understand the attributes of system modularity and openness, it will be explained what needs to be done today to achieve MOSA implementation success for stakeholders – once and for all.

Upcoming INCOSE Events

Continuing Madness: Methods Behind System Architecting Challenged

455 Regency Park

Learn about the future of systems engineering modeling by learning about the past of systems engineering modeling.

Thanks to everyone for coming to the event. Download a copy of Bob Scheurer's presentation here.

In November, INCOSE-MGC is coming out to the Metro East for a presentation. Bob Scheurer of Boeing will speak about System Architecting.

Event info

  • When: Thursday, 21 November, 2019
  • Where: Bella Milano, O'Fallon, Illinois


  • Who: Anyone who wants to understand the future of systems engineering by examining the past of systems engineering (spoiler alert: they're similar to each other).
  • Abstract

    System architecting has been performed for multiple decades now, yet positive outcomes are still elusive in far too many cases. Observations and lessons learned in a paper written by the author 25 years ago are as relevant now as they were in 1994. Visions shared by leaders today have an appealing allure, just like those shared in times past: claims of greater system development accuracy, completeness, traceability to requirements, and over-all better development economics and customer satisfaction are among those being proclaimed again today. Resultant architectures still suffer from problems for developers and complaints from users and other stakeholders. Then as now, certain necessary ingredients to an architecting process are needed in order to achieve the often-elusive benefits. So, is there anything different today which can lead to better outputs and outcomes than many years ago?

    This presentation will re-examine the architecting methods, tools, training, and other elements of an enabling environment that are used (or not used) today to see what may have really changed. Questions will be raised and answered as to what can be helping versus hurting attainment of architecting success and useful system architectures. It will also explore architecting frameworks today and their implementation to understand if they are meeting their intended purposes. Finally, observations as to what is needed to get to better, more useful architectures and architecture processes will be offered, including the integral need to employ a methodology to reduce or eliminate architecting madness.

    Speaker Bio

    Bob Scheurer is an Associate Technical Fellow at the Boeing Company with 36 years of engineering experience in both defense and commercial industries. He is currently involved with defining, applying, and assessing Systems Engineering and integration practices across Boeing Defense, Space, and Security (BDS), including architecting and model-based systems engineering (MBSE).

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