The Role of Model-Based Systems Engineering

Most systems and software engineers today use the traditional engineering V-model, critical to which is the validation and verification of requirements and linkage between early development activities to corresponding testing activities.

“Whether you start with business requirements and have that validated against user acceptance tests, then move further down into systems requirements and systems tests, verifying right down to components levels with unit tests—those are the practices that apply equally across any process, whether it’s an agile, iterative, hybrid, or traditional approach,” says Michael Azoff, principal analyst at Ovum, a London-based independent analyst and consultancy firm.

What is the role of model-based systems engineering?

Model-based systems engineering (MBSE) is all about reducing complexity, creating a common language, and giving engineers the tools they need to perform more exploration and collaboration earlier in the lifecycle.

Software and system engineers need to ‘design’ before they ‘build’. There are some general practices that are important in MBSE:

Standard-based graphical modelling provides a common language that facilitates collaboration and improves understanding early in the process, achieving stakeholder buy-in.

Process automation uses tools to improve the efficiency of engineering processes; tangible designs to review and critique; and built-in traceability throughout the whole lifecycle to enable rapid prototyping, simulation, and even generate trade studies.

The goal of MBSE:

To reduce the total cost of systems engineering by shortening learning curves and lowering cost with industry standard language; capture system design IP to reduce risks and retain value; optimize allocation to mechanical, electrical and software engineering; and design and build the right system first time.

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