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SYSTEMS ENGINEERING HANDBOOK
A GUIDE FOR SYSTEM LIFE CYCLE PROCESSES AND ACTIVITIES
INCOSE-TP-2003-002-03
June 2006
INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook v. 3
SYSTEMS ENGINEERING HANDBOOK
A GUIDE FOR SYSTEM LIFE CYCLE PROCESSES AND ACTIVITIES
INCOSE-TP-2003-002-03
INCOSE SYSTEMS ENGINEERING HANDBOOK, version 3
June 2006
Edited by:
Cecilia Haskins
Copyright © 2006 International Council on Systems Engineering, subject to restrictions listed on the inside cover.
INCOSE-TP-2003-002-03
June 2006
INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook v. 3
This INCOSE Technical Product was prepared by the Systems Engineering Handbook
Development Team of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE).
It is approved by INCOSE for release as an INCOSE Technical Product.
Copyright © 2006 by INCOSE, subject to the following restrictions:
Author use: Authors have full rights to use their contributions in a totally unfettered
way with credit to this INCOSE Technical Product. Abstraction is permitted with
credit to the source.
INCOSE use: Permission to reproduce this document and use this document or parts
thereof by members of INCOSE and to prepare derivative works from this document
for INCOSE use is granted, with attribution to INCOSE and the original author(s)
where practical, provided this copyright notice is included with all reproductions and
derivative works. Content from ISO/IEC 15288:2002(E) are used by permission, and
are not to be reproduced other than as part of this total document.
External use: This document may not be shared or distributed to any non-INCOSE
third party. Requests for permission to reproduce this document in whole or part, or
to prepare derivative works of this document for external and commercial use, should
be addressed to the INCOSE Central Office, 2150 N. 107th St., Suite 205, Seattle, WA
98133-9009 USA.
Electronic version use: Any electronic version of this Systems Engineering Handbook
is to be used for personal use only and is not to be placed on a non-INCOSE sponsored
server for general use. Any additional use of these materials must have written
approval from INCOSE.
Permissions: INCOSE has granted permission to member companies of the INCOSE
Corporate Advisory Board to post and use this document internally, subject to the
external use restriction.
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Copyright © 2006 International Council on Systems Engineering, subject to restrictions listed on the inside cover.
INCOSE-TP-2003-002-03
June 2006
INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook v. 3
Preface
Objective
The INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook, version 3 (SEHv3), represents a shift in
paradigm toward global industry application consistent with the Systems Engineering
Vision. The objective for this document is to provide an updated description of the key
process activities performed by systems engineers. The intended audience is the new
systems engineer, an engineer in another discipline who needs to perform systems
engineering or an experienced systems engineer who needs a convenient reference.
The descriptions in this handbook show what each systems engineering process
activity entails, in the context of designing for affordability and performance. On
some projects, a given activity may be performed very informally (e.g., on the back
of an envelope, or in an engineer’s notebook); on other projects, very formally, with
interim products under formal configuration control. This document is not intended
to advocate any level of formality as necessary or appropriate in all situations. The
appropriate degree of formality in the execution of any systems engineering process
activity is determined by:
a. the need for communication of what is being done (across members of a project
team, across organizations, or over time to support future activities),
b. the level of uncertainty,
c. the degree of complexity, and
d. the consequences to human welfare.
On smaller projects, where the span of required communications is small (few people
and short project life cycle) and the cost of rework is low, systems engineering activities
can be conducted very informally (and thus at low cost). On larger programs, where
the cost of failure or rework is high, increased formality can significantly help in
achieving program opportunities and in mitigating program risk.
In a project environment, work necessary to accomplish project objectives is
considered “in scope;” all other work is considered “out of scope.” On every project,
“thinking” is always “in scope.” Thoughtful tailoring and intelligent application of
the systems engineering process described in this handbook is essential to achieve the
proper balance between the risk of missing project technical and business objectives
on the one hand, and process paralysis on the other. Chapter 10 provides tailoring
guidelines to help achieve that balance.
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Copyright © 2006 International Council on Systems Engineering, subject to restrictions listed on the inside cover.
INCOSE-TP-2003-002-03
June 2006
INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook v. 3
It is the intention of the SEHv3 steering committee that appendices will be developed
to elaborate on significant topics, and that these appendices will be available on-line
to members in the INCOSE Product Asset Library (IPAL). The addition of these
on-line descriptions, work sheets, checklists, and how-to guides will evolve over
time, and it is anticipated that all INCOSE members, working groups, and Corporate
Advisory Board member companies will contribute to the creation of this resource.
Actual content will be under the control of the IPAL working group.
Approved:
Terje Fossnes, Chair, INCOSE SEHv3 Development Team
Kevin Forsberg, Co-Chair, INCOSE SEHv3 Development Team
Eric Aslaksen, INCOSE Associate Director, Technical Review
Samantha Brown, INCOSE Technical Director
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Copyright © 2006 International Council on Systems Engineering, subject to restrictions listed on the inside cover.
INCOSE-TP-2003-002-03
June 2006