KCT

Knowledge Capture & Transfer

Functions & Attributes

Written By: berge

Industry, government, and academia developed a method to produce complex systems. It is called systems engineering. This methodology and processes could be applied in many areas. It is a logical thought process, looking at the complete system and the environment to analyze and develop the necessary items to reach the desired state.

Functions & attributes analysis is a very small part of systems engineering. The following are some of the basic steps to apply the Functions & Attributes tool:

  1. Prepare a challenge statement
  2. Describe the project or system
  3. List its main functions (purpose, what it does)
  4. List Attributes (characteristics, traits and/or features)
  5. Go through functions and attributes and write down ideas you get to modify, improve, or create the project or the system.
  6. List the elements (parts, or pieces) of your project or system
  7. Next to each item write its function, purpose
  8. For each part write its present or desired attributes (characteristics, traits, or features)
  9. Go through functions and attributes and write down ideas you get to modify, improve, or create each element.
  10. Now integrate some of the ideas from steps 5 and 9.

 

Let’s look at an example of how we could use this tool:

  1. Prepare a challenge statement The challenge is to organize a talent show.
  2. Describe the project or system A talent show where the department and staff could get together during lunch and have a good time.
  3. List its main functions Create fun, camaraderie, and teamwork.
  4. List Attributes (characteristics, traits and/or features) Fun, enjoyable, free, does not interfere with work, all participate, 265 special awards and recognition to winners and organizers
  5. Go through functions and attributes and write down ideas you get to modify, improve, or create the project or the system. · Get management ownership and support · Select creative individuals to join the planning team · List type of talents to include in the show · Define the quantity, types, and quality of the awards · Etc.
  6. List the elements (parts or pieces) of your project or system · Participants · Attendees · Awards · Room · Date and time · Invitations · Etc.
  7. Next to each item write its function · Participants – organize and entertain/show talent · Attendees – attend, enjoy, and hopefully plan to participate in the future · Awards – reward and encourage · Room – hold the show in · Date and time – event details · Invitations – inform and attract participants and attendees
  8. For each part write its present or desired attributes (characteristics, traits, or features) · Participants – friendly, talented, creative, organized · Attendees – friendly, encouraging · Awards – useful, recipients will be proud to receive them, within department budget · Room – spacious, bright, all can get to it easily, close · Date and time – convenient to all, during work hours if possible · Invitations – individual, e-mail, personal, bulletin boards, mailed to homes
  9. Go through functions and attributes and write down ideas you get to modify, improve, or create each element. 266 · Solicit for participants · Talk to a few creative enthusiastic members of your department and get their support · Organize a meeting to gather ideas from the organizing committee · Investigate to see what type of talents are available · Select items to include in the talent show · Prepare a list of the type of awards · Etc.
  10. Now integrate ideas from steps 5 and 9. If you get a new idea add to this list · Get management ownership and support · Select creative individuals to join the planning team · Define the quantity, types, and quality of the awards · Solicit for participants · Talk to a few creative enthusiastic members of your department and get their support · Organize a meeting to gather ideas from the organizing committee · Investigate to see what type of talents are available · Select items to include in the talent show · Prepare a list of the type of awards · Etc.

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