Generating Novel Options during Systems Architecting: Psychological Principles, Systems Thinking, and Computer-Based Aiding



Systems Architecting is a decision-intensive process that stands to benefit from access to historical architectural options and the ability to rapidly generate novel ones. Despite this recognition, option generation, and, more precisely, the process of creative option generation has been underemphasized in both the decision making and system architecting literature. This paper reviews the literature on option generation from the perspective of systems architecting. It presents a framework for option generation that exploits systems thinking and psychological principles for stimulating creative option generation. It presents the system concept of an option generation aiding system that can assist systems architects in expanding and systematically exploring the option space in the early stages of architecting and design when cost avoidance is more easily achieved and change is possible.