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Bridging Systems and Software Architecture

May 2009 Presentation
Anne-Marie Buibish, Caleb Conley, Amy Lange, James Lewis (Raytheon), Elizabeth Penisten

This presentation outlines findings in exploring the relationship between systems architecture and software architecture, identifying the key cost and risk drivers.


Software Engineering Institute



The increasing complexity of large-scale software-intensive systems, along with well- documented software project failure rates, has brought attention to ensuring the architecting process provides value to the system development effort. As architecting processes become integrated into traditional engineering processes, it is important to seamlessly transition among enterprise, systems, and software architecture methods to realize the benefits of architecting to the overall system development. Ineffective transition has introduced the likelihood of increased cost and risk due to "disconnects" as architecture transitions through the various levels of decomposition.

Raytheon has explored the relationship between systems architecture and software architecture in an effort to improve the capability to transition between these architecting activities and improve internal engineering processes. This paper will present Raytheon's findings, including identification of key cost and risk drivers, recommendations for improving the capability to transition, and a discussion on the use of architecture methodologies to analyze the problem.