Guide to Systems Engineering Body of Knowledge (SEBoK)*

Keywords guide to SEBoK SEBoK

The scope of SE does not encompass the entire ES domain. Activities can be part of the SE environment, but other than the specific management of the SE function, not considered to be part of SE. Examples include system construction, manufacturing, funding, and general management. This is reflected in the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) top-level definition of systems engineering as, “an interdisciplinary approach and means to enable the realization of successful systems.” (INCOSE 2012) Although SE can enable the realization of a successful system, if an activity that is outside the scope of SE, such as manufacturing, is poorly managed and executed, SE cannot ensure a successful realization.

Again, a convenient way to define the scope of SE within the ES domain is to develop a Venn diagram. Figure 2 shows the relationship between SE, system implementation, and project/systems management. Activities, such as analyzing alternative methods for production, testing, and operations, are part of SE planning and analysis functions. Such activities as production line equipment ordering and installation, and its use in manufacturing, while still important SE environment considerations, stand outside the SE boundary. Note that as defined in Figure 3, system implementation engineering also includes the software production aspects of system implementation. Software engineering, then, is not considered a subset of SE.

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