Last but certainly not least, we have Bill Schindel’s presentation on The Forces of Modularity. Bill is the President of ICTT System Sciences. Bill’s work for commercial and defense clients and technical societies focuses on recurring patterns in engineered and natural systems, and their implications for practice, education, and research.

Patterns permeate our existence. Our brains are wired to recognize and categorize patterns, and they form the underpinning for how we understand the world. All laws of the physical world are expressed as patterns. As Bill says, patterns give us a way to simplify an otherwise complicated world, by parameterizing recurrence: This thing is exactly like that other thing, except for these variances, so I can react accordingly. PLE-ophiles will immediately recognize familiar turf in that rendering. Alike, yet different. Commonality with variation. As Bill says, PLE and patterns are cousins.

In Bill’s world, all of PLE can be considered but a region in a much larger universe. In this talk, Bill introduces us to that larger universe. He takes us through a thought-provoking tour of features, variation, variation management, composition, selection forces, compatibility requirements, forces of modularity, stakeholder concerns, and more, from a patterns-theoretical perspective, relating these pattern concepts to their PLE analogs along the way, sometimes with surprising results. Patterns and PLE are cousins. Come meet the family, in one of the most thought-provoking talks in Momentum 2021.