Systems Engineering Plan (SEP) Preparation Guide

Keywords preparation guide SEP systems engineering plan

The SEP is the blueprint for the conduct, management, and control of the technical aspects of an acquisition program from conception to disposal, i.e., how the systems engineering process is applied and tailored to meet each acquisition phase objectives. The process of planning, developing, and coordinating systems engineering and technical management forces thoughtful consideration, debate, and decisions to produce a sound systems engineering strategy for a program commensurate with the program’s technical issues, life cycle phase, and overall objectives. Thus, the SEP, reflecting that planning, should be tailored to the specifics of the program. The SEP should contain adequate description of the program to determine proper tailoring.

The SEP is the one document that defines the methods by which all system requirements having technical content, technical staffing, and technical management are to be implemented on a program, addressing the government and all contractor technical efforts {Ref DAG Sect}. The SEP is the Program Manager’s plan, but is often jointly developed by the government and its contractor(s). The planning documented in the SEP should answer a series of
critical questions:
• What are the system capabilities, requirements (including statutory, regulatory, and certifications), and associated design considerations to be addressed, hereafter referred to as “Requirements?”
• What is the organizational integration necessary to address these Requirements, defining the systems engineering organization and infrastructure needed to include staffing, individual and organizational responsibilities and authorities, and training needs?
• What is the engineering effort required, work products required, and schedule to achieve the Requirements?
• How will the technical effort be managed and by whom, including technical baseline implementation and control and technical reviews planned to include what metrics, event-driven entry criteria, and exit criteria will be used?
• How will the SEP link with other technical and programmatic planning efforts (e.g. the program acquisition strategy, Test and Evaluation (T&E) Strategy (TES), and Test and Evaluation Master Plan (TEMP), risk management, contract management, and financial management)?

These items convey the core information needed to understand the technical approach planned for a program. The technical approach must answer:
• What are the technical issues and risks?
• Who has responsibility and authority for managing the technical issues and risks?
• What processes and tools will be used to address the technical issues and risks?
• How will that process be managed and controlled?
• How is that technical effort linked to the overall management of the program?

This is the preferred content of a SEP as described in further detail in Section 3.0 Suggested Format and Specific Preparation Guidelines. The SEP is updated as needed to reflect technical progress achieved to date in the program, and to reflect changes in the technical approach stemming from the findings and results of the program’s technical reviews, program reviews, acquisition milestones, or other program decision points. It should include a discussion of how it will be updated. As a minimum, the SEP is submitted for Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) approval at each major program

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manager's guide
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