DARD Consulting Limited (DARD) offers consultancy, advice and solutions in the areas of systems engineering, system risk engineering and software engineering.

The following sections indicate some of the capabilities within DARD and provide examples of specific activities that can be provided to address the routine problems encountered in these areas. These services can be provided to you in a variety of ways, ranging from short detailed objective assessments of your business or project that help you realign your activities with the objectives to longer assignments working amongst your team to identify and create a suitable solution.

Please refer to Duncan's CV for a record of Duncan's experiences that enables DARD to offer these services.

If you would like to discuss how DARD might be of assistance then please contact us.

Systems Engineering

The activities that enable the design and delivery of complex systems requiring multi-disciplinary skills that deliver the desired value to end-users throughout the system's life from concept to disposal.

Typical examples of problems encountered in Systems Engineering include ill-defined requirements, insufficient end-user involvement, inadequate management of change/conflict, unclear scope, lack of involvement of relevant experts, insufficient evidence that requirements are met, etc.

The presence of any of these will impact costs/timescales and ultimately the acceptability of the system to the end-users.

There are many approaches that can be adopted to minimise the effect of these problems. Below are examples of Systems Engineering services which DARD Consulting can provide:

  • Assess requirements and associated processes
  • Elicit and document requirements
  • Advise on process improvements e.g. requirements management, dealing with change, review methods
  • Design of DOORS schema
  • Improve requirements tracing e.g. by creation of explicit argument and justification for how a requirement is met
  • System design and architecting using UML/SysML
  • Low cost prototyping of risky areas e.g. dynamic modelling
  • Facilitate workshops with stakeholders/experts

System Risk Engineering

The activities that ensure that the risks associated with use of a system throughout its life are known, managed and accepted.

System Risk Engineering includes management, analysis and control of all forms of risks presented by use of a system. The risks include safety, operational and business risks.

DARD Consulting has acquired expertise specifically in management of safety but believes many of the principles and skills can be usefully applied to other types of risks, albeit perhaps with less rigour. The key difference being that Law and Society have more influence on how safety risks are controlled and what limits are achieved than, for example, on risks associated with whether a business loses personal data or whether it is unable to trade for a week.

Below are examples of Risk Engineering services which DARD Consulting can provide:
Note: For those not familiar with Safety Engineering, the word 'hazard' is used below and can be interpreted as "the potential to cause harm", and in the interests of simplicity can be considered equivalent to a risk. Similarly 'safety' could be interchanged with 'risk'.
  • Advice on improvements to existing Risk Engineering processes
  • Assess hazards, risk reduction measures, residual reported risk
  • Organise and facilitate hazard identification workshops
  • Hazard Log management
  • Analysis to support derivation of safety requirements to meet safety targets
  • Support in safety management and safety planning compliant with standards e.g. Defence Standard 00-56
  • Assess your suppliers' safety management competence
  • Training on safety engineering to you and your suppliers
  • Support in creating Safety Arguments, using GSN or other means
  • Support in designing / producing (electronic) Safety Cases e.g. through use of Adelard's ASCE tool
  • Support in reviewing / authoring Safety Cases

Software Engineering

The activities that enable the design and delivery of software artefacts that deliver the desired value to end-users.

Software, often as a complex system in its own right, can suffer from the general difficulties identified above in systems engineering, and can benefit from being dealt with in a similar way.

Below are examples of Software Engineering services which DARD Consulting can provide:
  • Software design of critical and non-critical applications using UML
  • Development of critical embedded applications using C
  • Achieving compliance with MISRA C:2004 and DO-178B
  • Development of ad-hoc tools (using SQL, PHP, Python, Perl and VB) to aid communication, data analysis, data manipulation, process monitoring and process improvement
  • Advice on improvements to software development processes covering requirements specification, detailed design, development and verification, as well as support processes such as configuration and change control