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Frontiers of Engineering Management

Front. Eng    2014, Vol. 1 Issue (3) : 290-296     https://doi.org/10.15302/J-FEM-2014040
ENGINEERING MANAGEMENT THEORIES AND METHODOLOGIES |
Whole-life Thinking and Engineering the Future
Roger Flanagan()
School of Construction Management and Engineering, University of Reading, PO Box219, Reading, RG6 6AW, UK
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Abstract

Whole-life thinking for engineers working on the built environment has become more important in a fast changing world. Whole-life thinking is not new, every project attempts to balance the initial capital cost with the operating and maintenance cost of an asset. Engineers are increasingly concerned with complex systems, in which the parts interact with each other and with the outside world in many ways — the relationships between the parts determine how the system behaves. Systems thinking provides one approach to developing a more robust whole-life approach. Systems thinking is a process of understanding how things influence one another within a wider perspective. Complexity, chaos, and risk are endemic in all major projects. New approaches are needed to produce more reliable whole-life predictions. Best value, rather than lowest cost, can be achieved by using whole-life appraisal as a part of the design and delivery strategy.

Keywords whole-life thinking      systems thinking      complexity      chaos      risk management through life     
Corresponding Authors: Roger Flanagan   
Issue Date: 04 February 2015
 Cite this article:   
Roger Flanagan. Whole-life Thinking and Engineering the Future[J]. Front. Eng, 2014, 1(3): 290-296.
 URL:  
http://journal.hep.com.cn/fem/EN/10.15302/J-FEM-2014040
http://journal.hep.com.cn/fem/EN/Y2014/V1/I3/290
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