Course Title: Support Solution Architecture

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Support Solution Architecture

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


115H Aerospace, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering

Distance / Correspondence or Face-to-Face

Sem 2 2011


City Campus


115H Aerospace, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering

Distance / Correspondence or Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 2 2016,


City Campus


115H Aerospace, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering


Sem 2 2013,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 1 2016


City Campus


115H Aerospace, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 2 2014


City Campus


115H Aerospace, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering


Sem 2 2012

Course Coordinator: Prof. John Mo

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 6279

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

MANU 2171 Support Environment (or equivalent)

Course Description

This course focuses on consolidation of the learning outcomes of Support Environment courses to further develop the concepts of adopting standard support solutions described by proven engineering models. You will learn the characteristics of different support solution architectures and their applicability to various business scenarios. You will assume the role of a “system support architect” who has the overall responsibility to design and develop system support solutions for the customer. You will evaluate the applicability of different available support solution architecture and recommend to your team and the decision makers (including your customer) the best support solution for the complex engineering asset that you are supporting. A central theme of the course will be the concept of a negotiated model between the major stakeholders.

You will learn a strategic approach to evaluate and test different solution proposals. To be able to decide which system support solution is most suitable for the customer’s support requirements, you will learn how architectures behave in different application context, the rationale for choice of architecture, the business requirements and constraints. You will exercise systems and service oriented concepts and tools for analysing the effectiveness of the solution models, the risks involved, the business processes by which the solutions will operate, the lifecycle management issues and costs, engineering and commercial constraints, organisational model effects and integrity of the information management system. You will also need to think broadly and be creative to meet the demand in future processes, in terms of continuous improvement to sustain and improve value proposition, instigate business process re-engineering and mitigate any foreseeable risks.

The primary goal of this course is to bring together the theory and practice presented in this program into a useable framework for identifying and analysing options for a system support solution. This course is one of the last structured learning-guided courses in your program prior to starting your Master research project and will draw upon all knowledge elements in prior courses and learning.


• Traditional approaches to support business and the need for change

• New approaches and engineering models to support business – performance-based logistics, public/private partnerships, power-by-the-hour

• Support life cycle model, a cradle to grave model of the processes to evolve, commission, operate and withdraw a support capability

• Business process modelling as a means to manage contractual complexity, performance and risk

• Top-level processes, decomposable to identify sub-processes, inputs, outputs and interrelationships

• Proprietary support business models

• Principles of service organisation design

• Recruitment and release Fixed term contracts and other contract options

• "Soft issues" such as Reward and recognition, Leadership, Motivation, Virtual enterprise management, Culture and values, Behaviours


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following program learning outcomes:

1. Needs, Context and Systems

  • Describe, investigate and analyse complex engineering systems and associated issues (using systems thinking and modelling techniques)

2. Problem Solving and Design

  • Develop creative and innovative solutions to engineering problems
  • Anticipate the consequences of intended action or inaction and understand how the consequences are managed collectively by your organisation, project or team

4. Professional Practice

  • Initiate, plan, lead or manage engineering activities
  • Understand the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of contemporary engineering practice in the specific discipline


Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

Upon successful completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Design customised system support architectures to meet needs
  2. Manage the support solution end game and the change to new support approaches
  3. Develop models to quantify the effectiveness of different business solutions
  4. Optimise and evaluate support solutions for both the customer and the company using business solution modelling

Overview of Learning Activities

The course will have at least 6 weeks of online virtual classroom sessions followed by an intensive 3-day session that consolidates the support system design. You will be divided into small groups so you can work together more effectively. Each group will be given an engineering system that requires design of a support solution to sustain or improve its performance. During the online sessions, your group will progressively work on different aspects of the support solution under the guidance of the lecturer. The outcome of these online sessions is a preliminary skeleton of the support solution.

The 3-day intensive session will focus on developing the “complete” support solution using an adopted system architecture. Your group will prepare convincing presentations to a judging panel (like presenting to the Board of Director of your company) about how your support solution works, what benefits it can bring to your organisation and the customer, how it fits the environment, how it sustains the engineering asset, etc. You will have lots of the opportunity to interact with your classmates to exchange ideas and experience in designing and managing complex engineering systems. If you are unable to participate in the intensive session personally, remote participation can be organised using Blackboard Collaborate instead.


Overview of Learning Resources

All online materials are located on "myRMIT" (RMIT’s Learning Management System). Prescribed texts are available from RMIT Library on loan. Additional research papers and other publications are available from RMIT Library or on the Blackboard e-Learning System.

Overview of Assessment

X This course has no hurdle requirements.

☐ All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching).

Assessment item:  Business innovation proposal (individual)
Weighting of final grade:  35%     
Related course learning outcomes:  1, 2, 3, 4

Assessment item:  Business proposal final presentation (group)
Weighting of final grade:  35%     
Related course learning outcomes:  1, 2, 3, 4

Assessment item:  Written business proposal (group)
Weighting of final grade:  30%        
Related course learning outcomes:  1, 2, 3, 4