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2013 What is System Engineering? Print
August 2013

This article is an inhouse training note and it explains what is meant by System Engineering Management and the differences to Project Management and Quality Management.

What is System Engineering?

o System Engineering refers to the approach for implementing an engineering solution to a problem. The scope of System Engineering includes managing System Requirements, external and internal interfaces at an engineering level, developing designs and specifications, and proof of compliance with user and various requirements.

o A System Engineering Management Plan describes the system engineering approach (see diagram), activities, products, processes, tools and controls that will be used to support and ensure the successful development, deployment and commissioning of an engineering project including its maintenance and support capabilities.

System Engineering Approach

o The most proven approach is a V-shape model which shows how user requirements are flowed down to design and sub-system designs and finally design details of components before assembly and tests of the system can be undertaken.  As each level is completed, verification is carried out against a higher level requirement.

o All steps are iterative horizontally and vertically

Essence of System Engineering

o A System Architecture diagram is one showing the Work Breakdown Structure and the linkages between various components at each level of development.  This must precede all detail technical works.  

o Standards for compliance shall be stated at the outset. 

o Deliverables include User Requirements, Design Concept Documentation, Implementation and Commissioning plans, Operating and Maintenance manuals.

o SE focuses on engineering of technologies and works hand in hand with Project Management (resources) and Quality Management (process).