This post outlines the various technologies and methods used throughout the systems engineering (SE) life cycle and how they are leveraged in the SE process.

1. Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation.

According to INCOSE’s Systems Engineering Vision 2035, systems engineering of the future will evolve to be model-based, enabling next-generation modeling, simulation, and visualization environments to specify, analyze, design, and verify systems. High-accuracy models, advanced visualization, and integrated multidisciplinary simulations will allow systems engineering practitioners to quickly and thoroughly evaluate many more design alternatives than they can today.

Modeling, analysis, and simulation are distinct activities, and digital models are often used, providing many advantages in the systems engineering process. Additionally, for effective modeling, analysis, and simulation, digital models are often parameterized to enable analysis or simulation in a variety of settings or situations. This approach supports technical, managerial, and integrative capabilities and helps systems engineering professionals work more efficiently.

This image help to understand MA&S that is one of SYSTEMS ENGINEERING ANALYSYS AND METHODS

2. Prototyping

Prototyping is a technique that significantly improves the likelihood that a system will meet stakeholder needs. Although prototypes may be used as first products, they are primarily used to enhance learning and are retired after the goal has been achieved. There are two forms of prototyping: ‘rapid prototyping’ and ‘traditional prototyping’.

Rapid prototyping uses rapidly assembled models leveraging existing physical, graphical, and mathematical elements to quickly obtain system performance data. In contrast, traditional prototyping is used to verify critical elements and reduce risk through a partial or complete representation of the system. Traditional prototyping is useful for systems engineering practitioners by allowing them to evaluate modifications needed for system development.

3. Traceability

Traceability of products and systems is defined as the ability to trace the history, use, and location of an object. Traceability involves establishing relationships between life cycle concepts, requirements, and artifacts. Bidirectional traceability automatically establishes two-way links between objects, vertical traceability is referenced at the organizational or architectural level, and horizontal traceability links artifacts at different stages created during their life cycle.

Traceability is promoted through configuration management (CM) processes, and CM identification activities help SE practitioners understand the identity, location, relationships, and origins of data, materials, and components. Digital traceability enables the connection between digital system models and physical assets and the identification of specific physical elements affected when requirements change.

4. Interface Management

Interface management is the process that facilitates the identification, definition, design, and management of interfaces throughout the system life cycle. This process manages the interactions between system elements and external systems and clarifies the requirements for these interactions. Interface management is essential to avoid costly rework during system integration, verification, and validation.

Project teams should treat interface management as a core part of the project plan, sometimes creating a separate interface management plan. The importance of interface management, especially in complex systems, directly impacts the system’s performance, budget, and schedule. Identifying interface boundaries and interactions early in the life cycle ensures safe operation of the system and supports effective interaction in the intended user environment.

5. Architecture Frameworks

An Architectural Framework (AF) is defined by ISO/IEC/IEEE 42010 as conventions, principles and practices for describing architecture within a specific domain or stakeholder community. For example, TOGAF describes AF as the basic structure for developing various architectures. These frameworks ensure coordination, consistency, and reusability across projects, and are especially useful when architectural artifacts are reused within distributed teams or enterprises.

AF provides multiple perspectives and includes architectural blocks that help describe the system, a common vocabulary, and dimensions that link related concerns or solutions. It also defines the governance of architecture activities to help manage capabilities in line with corporate goals.

6. Pattern

In science and engineering, a pattern refers to a regularity that is observed repeatedly in various dimensions such as time, space, and functionality. These patterns are fundamental to the fields of physics and engineering, and have revolutionized the nature and possibilities of human life through mathematical expressions and engineering applications.

In systems engineering (SE), patterns emerge from system requirements, solution architecture, and stakeholder values. Additionally, specific patterns can be identified, such as refrigerator requirements, refrigeration compressor design, refrigerant failure modes, and refrigerator maintenance.

Patterns are important in product development for commercial and defense markets, and are also utilized in socio-technical systems, including methodological patterns for eliciting and validating requirements. Explicitly modeled patterns promote group learning and enable SE practitioners to more efficiently share expertise and intuition gained through decades of experience. Patterns are not “one size fits all,” they contain both fixed and variable elements, and are important for decision-making and action based on their reliability, validity, and applicability.

7. Design Thinking

In systems engineering (SE) practice, understanding and leveraging technical, business, and social relationships to effectively design and manage systems remains challenging. Design thinking offers a complementary approach to systems thinking to address these challenges. Design thinking focuses on exploring human needs and operational and business processes to generate creative solutions.

We present a variety of design solutions through a solution generation process including problem context analysis, redefinition, and idea generation. We use logic, imagination, intuition, and systematic thinking to help you understand stakeholders, challenge assumptions, redefine problems, and realize innovative solutions. Design thinking can also be applied at various stages of the system life cycle, supporting business analysis, identification and validation of stakeholders and system requirements, and definition of system architecture or design solutions.

8. Biomimicry

Natural systems include living and non-living things that are not created by humans. BiomimiCrys is a method of solving human design problems by imitating nature’s strategies. Inspired by nature, systems engineering improves processes, practices, and products by understanding nature’s structure, behavior, and adaptability.

This approach can improve the capability and efficiency of the system and positively change its operational and environmental impacts. Examples include optimizing information processing, operating in extreme environments, and using innovative materials, and nature has strategies to improve performance in all of these areas. SE aims to improve products or processes by utilizing these natural solutions.

[ASEP-Prep] #1. What is System LIFE CYCLE?

[ASEP-Prep] #2. Agreement and Enabling Processes

[ASEP-Prep] #3. Technical Management Processes

[ASEP-Prep] #4. Technical Processes – Concept and System Definition

[ASEP-Prep] #5. Technical Processes – System Realization, Deploy and Use

[ASEP-Prep] #6. Quality Characteristics


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