Finding and Using the Soul of Systems Engineering 2015-01-2452
The Systems Engineering (SE) “Vee” is generally recognized as one of the primary identifying features of Systems Engineering processes. While there are many specifications which include SE in their titles and show a version of the “Vee” in their process descriptions, there are other specifications which make no claim to be an SE standard but show a “Vee” describing the processes in the specification. There are also specifications which appear to be completely unrelated to SE but describe processes which are very much SE. This wide variety of documents points to the possibility of identifying the common core which composes SE (the soul of Systems Engineering).
To search for the soul of SE, the words in two recognized SE standards along with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) SE standard and multiple Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) standards have been analyzed for alignment of and differences between the models. The analysis shows that there is a core set of concepts between the models (the soul of SE). Building on this analysis, an initial framework for a universal SE model containing common terminology is proposed. The model contains a filtered set of processes associated to design and realization based on technical requirements. Using a single, simplified SE standard could make for more robust processes which could better meet the needs of systems today and into the future (e.g., Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or Multi-vehicle Space Transport Systems).