What is Systems Engineering
What is Systems Engineering?
In today’s world, we are often confronted with the keyword “system”. To my understanding, a system is a construct or collection of different elements that together produce results different if the elements were used alone. The elements, or parts, can include people, hardware, software, facilities and policies that manage these systems. The interconnected parts create results, that can vary from physical, mental or abstract systems. A great analogy, is the human body, we are a system built out of cells, muscles, blood etc…
So, to create working systems, we use Systems Engineering, which is an engineering discipline whose responsibility is creating and executing an interdisciplinary process to ensure that the customer and stakeholder’s needs are satisfied in a high quality, trustworthy, cost efficient and schedule compliant manner throughout a system’s entire life cycle.(1) This process is usually comprised of the following seven tasks: State the problem Investigate alternativesModel the system IntegrateLaunch the systemAssess performance Re-evaluate
According to the steps above, we can consider Systems Engineering as a cycle, where the main goal is the realization of successful systems. Every cycle in Systems Engineering starts from a problem, let’s suppose PC, people need a powerful device to run some calculations for them. A system engineer, reasons the problem and “cuts” it into chunks that can be solved, managed, and implemented. Different people work on building the physical parts of the PC, others on creating the software parts and other people work to manage the people who are building all the parts. So, what does a systems engineer need to know? It is the job of a systems engineer to balance and define the requirements of each subsystem to achieve the best possible final design. The engineers within each subsystem are tasked with optimizing their piece of the project under the given constraints with regard to the project as a whole. They are responsible for the system concept, architecture, and design. They analyze and manage complexity and risk. They decide how to measure whether the deployed system actually works as intended. They are responsible for a myriad of other facets of system creation. They must understand the interactions between the systems and how the overall requirements apply to each one. No matter the size of the project, systems engineers are tasked with the same general goals. Although systems engineering looks different in different applications, the underlying methods utilized remain consistent across different projects. The outcomes of any such projects should share similar characteristics: they should have subsystems, even with opposed constraints, integrated together in a way that ensures the most efficient operation of the overall system. This, if done properly, will result in a project that is best suited to fulfill its specifications; if not done properly, the system may not function at all.