The more complex a task the less likely that it can be solved by brute force. To successfully approach a complex task, one must use directed thinking.
Directed thinking reduces the relative complexity of the problem so that it can be more clearly processed in the mind, and so that the various thoughts which develop can be more clearly communicated between people.
The "modern" computer system is a symmetry of data analysis, logical operations and information synthesis. Forensic engineering as a process is similar. Data is collected and analyzed, then it is considered and information is synthesized from the data and the considerations. The consideration process is often iterative.
And so by hypothesis and testing, the information that shows cause is extracted from the data and assembled meaningfully, for communication to those who need to know the cause.
Just as the computer fails to provide intelligence, the process' used by the forensic engineer does not contest the skill and intellect of the engineer himself - it cannot provide insight.
It remains necessary to model the work of the engineer, in order to allow strategic planning of an investigation.
The following illustration shows a model for the start to finish work process of a forensic engineering task.
Stage : Opening
· Determine a Need
· Does somebody need to know something?
· Are you the right person for the job?
· Secure the job.
· Preliminary data gathering
o Collaboration Equipment
o Data Needs
o Technical Needs
· Review with customer
· Discovery of pertinent data