The earliest references to the term systems engineering dates back to Bell Telephone Laboratories in the early 1940s. The MIT Labs and the Apollo space programs gave a major boost to the discipline. Since then this discipline has come a long way in complexity, scalability and range of applications. It’s seen in modern urban mobility systems — from railways to connected and autonomous vehicles.
“The true system, the real system, is our present construction of systematic thought itself, rationality itself, and if a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory. If a revolution destroys a systematic government, but the systematic patterns of thought that produced that government are left intact, then those patterns will repeat themselves in the succeeding government. There’s so much talk about the system. And so little understanding.”
– Robert M Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
The leading engineering conference, Asia Oceania Systems Engineering Conference (AOSEC) 2019 on 17-18 October 2019 Bangalore, India provided an opportunity for academicians, researchers and industry practitioners to connect and network for the betterment of systems engineering. At the event, Engineering of New Technologies in Complex Systems, most AOSEC delegates acknowledged that the APAC region will experience the greatest rate of adoption of systems engineering practices.
The digitization of data is driving change
An AOSEC speaker from IBM elaborated on systems engineering and its application in the aerospace and defence and automotive industries. These sectors represent one of richest technological challenges. Mission and safety challenges, combined with technological advances, drive increased complexity and sophistication. Thus, large teams of non-conventional and multidisciplinary professionals must contribute in an orchestrated way to achieve end objectives. Commoditization of new age technologies like adaptive, ADAS, UAV’s and rocket technologies has given rise to newer forms of security risks. These dynamics have triggered systems engineering initiatives such as the Model Bases System Engineering (MBSE), Department of Defence (DoD) digital engineering strategy and the INCOSE 2025 vision
Organizations expect tighter integration between the work products and artifacts produced by all the engineering disciplines (including mechanical, electrical, cyber physical, and software). Furthermore, this data needs to be positioned across the development lifecycle for an increasingly diverse set of use cases in support of design optimization and trade-off analysis.
“Get this new innovation to market before our competition beats us to it. Do it flawlessly, less expensively — and most importantly — now!”
With so much competition for market share, and so many consumers who demand new features and functions, this directive is loud and clear. And it resonates throughout the world. It sounds like an insurmountable feat, but can be accomplished with the help of model based systems engineering (MBSE).
AOSEC attendees report that consumer demand is driving complexity
The products we use every day are becoming more complex. That’s because we demand more features, insist on higher quality, desire more connections, and want to customize. Developing these new innovative and increasingly complex products falls on the shoulders the systems and software engineering teams. As products become more complex the job of designing and building them increases exponentially. Experts estimate that defects discovered after a product launch cost up to 200x more to correct than defects found during the requirements stage.1 Furthermore, 47 percent of failed projects missed goals because of poor requirements gathering.2
To remain competitive, you need to embrace a holistic approach for engineering lifecycle management
You need ensure you have data transparency if you want to to leverage AI, analytics, impact analysis, and traceability. The IBM Engineering Lifecycle Management solution is the market leading offering for companies that are seeking competitive advantages because of its integrated services provided across the major engineering functions: requirements, test, workflow management and systems design.
With its integrated capabilities, it can manage the development of the most complex systems and software:
- AI Infused workflows
- Safety-critical development environment
- Industry solutions with built in compliance
- Optimized process models
- Global configuration management
- Adaptive and resilient framework
You don’t have to invest precious engineering resources to manage data migration or develop and maintain interfaces between your engineering processes. You can select the entire ELM solution or choose one pillar to start. As you grow, future ELM pillars will integrate. This provides you with the option to select your own entry point. And you can be confident that rest their final destination will be an integrated insightful engineering at enterprise scale solution. Read more about IBM’s Engineering Lifecycle Management products.
Continuous improvements provide constantly better performance
IBM Engineering recently introduced AI into our Requirements Management solution, a first step in broadening capabilities across the rest of the Engineering Lifecycle Management portfolio. Modeling, test and workflow management solutions will soon include AI. Requirements Quality Analysis (RQA) is currently available for users of IBM Engineering Requirements Management DOORS Next, and will very soon be available for customers using DOORS on premise.
IBM continues to modernize and integrate ELM tools to provide customers with a complete, end-to-end lifecycle approach to systems engineering. In a recent report from Ovum, IBM was named a leader in Engineering Lifecycle Management, with high marks for its Requirements Management solutions. Read the full report: Ovum names IBM a leader in Engineering Lifecycle Management
Learn more about how IBM’s commitment to improvement can help you embrace digital transformation in engineering.
Schedule a consultation to see how IBM AI can help you improve your requirements management.
1. Barry W. Boehm and Philip N Papaccio, Understanding and Controlling Software Costs, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, Vol. 14, No. 10, pp 1462-1477.
2. PMI, Requirements Management: A Core Competency for Project and Program Success, 2014 https://www.pmi.org/learning/thought-leadership/pulse/core-competency-project-program-success
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