It is not fundamental mathematics or strict laboratory science
Itis a mix of HR, project management, business, rational decomposition, trade studies, requirements traceability, integration, testing, verification and validation, operations, and end of life cycle disposal of systems
Standardizes the flow-down and traceability of specifications for complex products from customer requirements through production, operation , and disposal
What is Systems Engineering?
Systems Engineering is an interdisciplinary approach and means to enable the realization of successful systems.
It focuses on defining customer needs and required functionality early in the development cycle, documenting requirements, then proceeding with design synthesis and system validation while considering the complete problem:
Cost & Schedule
Training & Support
What is Systems Engineering?
Systems Engineering integrates all of the disciplines and specialty groups into a team effort forming a structured development process that proceeds from concept to production to operation.
Systems Engineering considers both the business and the technical needs of all customers with the goal of providing a quality product that meets the user needs
Why has Systems Engineering Emerged as A Distinct Discipline?
The term itself was not formally used, nor was the importance of the concepts recognized, until after World War II.
Complexity increased orders of magnitude with the creation of coupled mecho-digital systems, especially in defense (P-51 Mustang versus the Trident in 10 years)
Face it, the addition of people to a late project will only make it later
In computer systems, the issue of decomposition and system management reared its ugly head with optimistic programmers saying "This time it will surely run," or " I just found the last bug."
The false assumption is that things will take as long as they “ought to take” and things will work as planned.
Nothing works out as planned the first time - Systems Engineering attempts to mitigate this issue
The Role of the System Engineer
Any engineer acts as a systems engineer when responsible for the design and implementation of a total system.
The difference with “traditional engineering” lies primarily in the greater emphasis on defining goals, the creative generation of alternative designs, the evaluation of alternative designs, and the coordination and control of the diverse tasks that are necessary to create a complex system.
The role of Systems Engineer is one of Manager that utilizes a structured value delivery process
The Systems Engineering Process
The major steps in the completion of a typical systems engineering project are the following: (1) problem statement; (2) identification of objectives; (3) generation of alternatives; (4) analysis of these alternatives; (5) selection of one of them; (6) creation of the system, and, finally, (7) operation.
Some examples of Systems Engineering Process activities are:
Activity Network Diagrams and professional quality project and task schedules
Object-oriented methodologies and distributed networked IPDT’s
Using Systems Engineering Methodologies
Some People think of SE tools and methodologies as solution providers - plug in a bunch of “stuff” and get THE answer, design, schedule, cost estimate, etc…this is wrong.
Systems Engineering provides a means for discretizing systems problems into chunks that can be solved, managed, and implemented - the scheduling, costs, and interdisciplinary issues are identified, but continuously change and emerge
Is Systems Engineering the Solution to all of the World’s Systems Problem?
... but it does help manage some of them
Suggestions for Further Reading
International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) web pages (2001), http:\\www.incose.org, October 2001.