Systems Engineering Manual

Keywords SE systems engineering

1.5 System Engineering Process Descriptions:

The SE process descriptions in Chapter 4 include the following information:

· Process Definition. This narrative discusses the function for the process (what to do). The purpose for carrying out the specific SE process and a description of the specific SE process are included. Program implementers may use this information to tailor specific activities to align them with the development events of the program.
· Process-Based Management (PBM) Charts. Each SE element section in Chapter 4 uses PBM charts to describe the SE element process. The PBM charts indicate the major steps of the SE process; inputs to the process and associated providers; possible outputs generated; and associated product customers (from an SE view). The SEM also identifies the supplying (inputs) and using (outputs) processes that are used during process implementation to establish program communication, documentation, and review activities.

The granularity of both input and output products depends on the phase of the AMS lifecycle to which the particular SE element being discussed is applied. For example, Synthesis results are emphasized more in Solution Implementation than during Mission Analysis The process descriptions consist of all aspects of each SE process, including the need to design for safety, security, affordability, performance, usability, operational suitability, and cost of ownership. On some programs, a given activity may be performed informally (e.g., in an engineer's notebook) or formally with interim products under formal baseline control. Each SE process includes these major workflow tasks, which are also shown on the PBM charts.

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The System Engineering Manual (SEM) is a “how to” guidebook. The SEM defines major System Engineering (SE) elements and establishes best practices regarding application of these elements to the National Airspace System (NAS). The SEM is a selected compilation of those proven practices within the SE domain that are deemed most appropriate to analysis planning, design, acquisition, lifecycle support, and management of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) programs. There are many definitions of SE in textbooks, professional journals, and classrooms. The following definition has been selected for the SEM:

'SE is a discipline that concentrates on the design and application of the whole (system) as distinct from the parts. It involves looking at a problem in its entirety, taking into account all the facets and all the variables and relating the social to the technical aspects.'

SE addresses translation of stakeholder needs into system requirements and facilitates the process by which the specification of systems and/or components satisfies those requirements. Although programs differ in underlying requirements, SE provides a logical sequence of step toward deriving good requirements and transforming them into solutions regardless of the program’s size or complexity. These steps generate a series of work products that specify characteristics of systems (at any level), demonstrate and document traceability to stakeholder needs (expressed or implied), and define how the requirements are validated and the systems (and associated components) are verified. To maximize effectiveness, SE commences before any significant product development activities and continues throughout the program’s lifecycle. When performed correctly, SE helps to ensure that program execution is right from the start. Any problems are detected and resolved early. This process reduces program cost and risk.

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