Jon, I don't think I could have said it better (in fact, I know I couldn't). You really just described the biggest hurdle to model-based design. Because it's an entirely new way of thinking and because it requires a completely different mentality of cross-functional collaboration, there will ultimately be push-back from engineers who don't thoroughly understand the benefits and are reticent to make any kind of change.
To embrace this on a grand scale throughout an engineering organization will require a robust change management effort and as you mention, a champion. Bringing in model-based design tools on a piecemeal basis won't be enough to foster any kind of sweeping process change.
Thanks, Beth. Here's a book I recommend highly, "Driving Technical Change; Why People on Your Team Don't Act on Good Ideas, and How to Convince Them They Should," by Terrency Ryan, published by The Pragmatic Bookshelf. The author describes the types of people we typically find on a team, from the uninformed and the herd to the cynics and irrationals, and he explains how to work with them and get them on-board with new tools and techniques. (OK, you can't convince the irrational people.) Although the book used programmers for its examples, the information applies equally well to engineers who should adopt model-basded design. At 128 pages, the book is easy to read in one evening.
John and Beth are correct about the challenge of embracing Model-Based Design for developing embedded systems. My own experience is that companies gradually adopt, usually starting with control system engineers. The progression is usually multiyear, beginning with desktop simulation, moving to real-time testing and validation, and ending with code generation for production systems. This approach provides increasing value at each stage, can be woven into existing design practices, and avoids the unwanted shock of a complete change to a development process. Industries are in different stages of Model-Based Design adoption. The Aerospace and Automotive industries are leaders, primarily because their software systems are very complex. In 2010, Design News discussed, http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=229640, how the Automotive industry is adopting Model-Based Design. Within the industrial markets, automation suppliers developing motor controls and power backups, and solar and wind energy companies developing renewal energy sources are the furthest along the path. As my colleague Ken Karnofsky said in the article, "Software complexity is the big driver." But we are seeing more interest from the traditional machine builders. Recently an engineer with whom I was meeting pointed out that it is the software that running in machines that is becoming more complex, not only the hardware.
Thanks for the perspective, Tony, and a great description for how the adoption tends to unfold within organizations. Jon: Thanks for the recommendation on a book for change management. Whether it's about leading a culture of model-based design or some other type of major process change, I imagine there are some good takeaways for overcoming resistance.
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