Systems engineering started to emerge as a formal
discipline in the 1950s, primarily driven by the US DoD
programs of the era. These programs were failing at a
worrying rate and were characterised by: complex and challenging requirements;
incomplete and/or poor definition of these requirements; use of emerging
technologies, reliance on the integration of a number of disciplines;
and high levels of technical risk. The more successful programs
managed these challenges using early forms of what is now
known as systems engineering.
Systems engineering provides
a framework within which complex problems can be defined and
analysed and in which solutions can be considered, specified and
manufactured with a lifecycle focus. Systems engineering therefore
provides an environment in which adequate systems can be delivered,
operated and supported successfully.
Systems engineering focuses on the
system as a whole not on individual parts of the
system and relies on strong inter-disciplinary integration and cooperation. Systems
engineering also focuses on requirements engineering, a top-down
approach, and system optimisation and balance.
Other topics in our resources on Systems Engineering related to Systems Engineering include: