Getting Design Right

A Systems Approach

By Peter L. Jackson

© 2009 – CRC Press

392 pages | 91 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9781439811153
pub: 2009-09-22
US Dollars$94.95

Comp Exam Copy

About the Book

Filling a new need in engineering education, Getting Design Right: A Systems Approach integrates aspects from both design and systems engineering to provide a solid understanding of the fundamental principles and best practices in these areas. Through examples, it encourages students to create an initial product design and project plan.

Classroom-tested and industry-reviewed, the text focuses on the steps of a basic design cycle. It first defines the problem, establishes technical requirements, and identifies the customer value proposition. The text then explores the design space, optimizes design choices, and develops the architecture, including behavior, control, and structure. After validating the design, the author presents an accessible treatment of resource-constrained scheduling as a computer puzzle. The final chapter covers the level-by-level decomposition of systems. In addition, the appendices offer useful design challenges for a bathroom-cleaning robot, a home health-care monitoring system, a night-vision system for automobiles, and an Internet-based meal delivery system.

Using a design approach based on simple text-based tools and spreadsheet software, this book presents a formal process for discovering requirements and tackling design problems. It will help mature audiences in professional settings as well as students with limited design and project experience.

Table of Contents

Getting Design Right

What Do We Mean by "Design"?

Why "Getting Design Right"?

What Can Go Wrong?

What Is There to Learn?

Why a Systems Approach?

Design or Engineering?

For Whom Is This Text Designed?

What Is the Design Process?

Learn by Example

Learn by Doing

Is It Worth the Effort?

Why Use a Tabular Approach?

The Getting Design Right Web Site

Required Spreadsheet Skills

To the Instructor: Where This Text Fits

Define the Problem


Define the Project

Define the Context

Define Functional Requirements

Measure the Need and Set Targets


Measure the Need

Translate to Technical Requirements

Identify the Customer Value Proposition

Explore the Design Space


Discover Concepts

Explore Concepts

Identify Subsystems

Optimize Design Choices


Select Concepts

Optimize Parameters

Appendix: The Physics of a Catapult Design (Advanced)

Develop the Architecture


Design the Behavior

Design the Flow and Control

Design the Structure

Validate the Design


Verify Requirements

Manage Risks

Execute the Design


Schedule the Project and Track Progress

Conduct Management Reviews

Iterate the Design Process


Iterate until Feasible

Iterate with Improvement

Iterate by Level

Dive and Surface: A Systems View

What Is Next?

Appendix A: Case Studies

Appendix B: Product and Service Development Challenges

Appendix C: Use Case Behaviors for Toy Catapult


A Summary, Discussions, Exercises, and References appear at the end of most chapters.

About the Author

Peter L. Jackson is director of the Systems Engineering Program and professor in the School of Operations Research and Information Engineering at Cornell University.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Engineering (General)
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Engineering