Accession Number:



A Systems Thinking Approach to Engineering Challenges of Military Systems-of-Systems

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

Corporate Author:

Defence Science and Technology Group Canberra BC ACT Australia

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Systems-of-Systems SoS is broadly acknowledged as an engineering challenge for defence organisations, due to high complexity of various military SoS and their development processes. Inadequate understanding of SoS problems and inability to manage complexity encountered in planning, development and operation of multiple interdependent SoS can undermine not only performance and effectiveness of engineering practice and development activities, but also quality of their products and outcomes. This report introduces a systems thinking-based approach, SoS thinking, which offers a language and a thoughtful process to conceptualise, understand, communicate about and assess military SoS. Based on the multidimensional thinking, high complexity of SoS problems can be explored and addressed through using a set of SoS lenses in a number of important aspects, including the problem space, diversity, interdependencies, design paradigm, development states and technical statuses. SoS thinking provides a foundation for further developments of adequate methods, metrics and solutions for SoS engineering practice.

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement: