Decision Making for Sustainable Technical Applications with the SMH Approach

Philipp Kranabitl*, Clemens Faustmann, Hannes Hick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Decision-making is becoming more and more challenging due to the rise in complexity ofmodern technical products. A lot of industries are currently at a crossroads, and a wrong strategicor technical decision may have disastrous consequences for the future of the company. Within thispaper, the SMH approach, that supports decision making processes to put emphasis on sustainablesolutions regarding strategic and technical aspects, is introduced. SMH is an acronym that standsfor a decision making approach that includes systems thinking (S), model-based systems engineering (M) and the human factor (H). This approach deals with the challenge to consider overall boundary conditions and interactions of the system, the decision which models need to be built in orderto have the best data support possible, and the identification what influence the human factor playsin analyzing the data and the consequent decision making based on it. The importance of the humanfactor is often neglected in technical processes, which may lead to costly mistakes. This theoreticalapproach is applied to the use case of a chief executive officer (CEO) who has to decide on allocationof research and development (R&D) resources to future powertrain technologies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8702
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Sustainability
  • SMH approach
  • model cube
  • Decision Making
  • model-based systems engineering
  • credition
  • human factor
  • systems thinking
  • Decision making
  • Model cube
  • Credition
  • Systems thinking
  • Human factor
  • Ecosystem model cube
  • Model-based systems engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Decision Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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