The goal of systems engineering is to enable a holistic system design that will define and communicate how products, users and their environments truly interact.
By adopting this approach, engineering teams can manage requirements cradle-to-grave, ensuring customer needs and quality expectations are met. It also provides the capability to deliver variation and optimize commonality and reuse.
A collaborative systems engineering solution will allow organizations to break down barriers among software, mechanical, and electrical engineering teams, improving collaboration and ultimately driving more innovative products to market.
Best practices for improving system design
System design is the foundation. If you don’t have the design, the other stages cannot be achieved successfully. There are multiple parts of the design exercise including context models, and requirements diagrams, use-case diagrams, and sequence diagrams, and they all work together to deliver a rich understanding of the problem and possible solutions.
Design capabilities should include:
- Requirements engineering: Author and manage complete requirements
- System design: Collaboratively design system specifications using standard (SysML and UML) notations
- Analyze design options: Define product functional areas (hardware, software, electrical, etc.)
How do organizations maximize reuse?
Today’s manufacturers have transitioned from individual products to product platforms and variants that give them speed and agility in the marketplace. The ability to ‘reuse’ systems artifacts enables profitable product line engineering.
Reuse capabilities should include:
- Requirement, model and test reuse: Reuse all artifacts across design project
- Modular design: System of systems design, plus architected reuse
- Product line modeling: Design families of subsystems including commonality and variation
These capabilities not only increase productivity, but also reduce risks by reusing common, proven parts.
A study by analyst firm EMF shows that applying model-based product line engineering approaches can reduce your total development costs by 62% and deliver 23% more of your projects on time.
Best practices for systems validation & verification
Validation and verification work together to help ensure products function as specified. It’s critical that you trace actual test results back to the initial requirements, so there is no room for misinterpretation.
Validation capabilities should include:
- Model verification: Automate design review to find problems earlier
- Test management: Author and manage test cases, test sessions, and results
- Traceability: Capture rich traceability across design artifacts
- Governance: Utilize out-of-the-box systems engineering best practices
Learn how to improve system design, reuse, and system validation and verification from Ovum analyst Michael Azoff, and PTC’s Hedley Apperly. And visit the Systems Engineering Resource Center to hear how top manufacturers deliver innovative products with a collaborative systems engineering approach.