Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Systems Engineering - INCOSE View


The International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) is a not-for-profit membership organization founded to develop and disseminate the interdisciplinary principles and practices that enable the
realization of successful systems.

Advance the state of the art and practice of systems engineering in industry, academia, and government by promoting interdisciplinary, scaleable approaches to produce technologically appropriate solutions that meet societal needs.

What is Systems Engineering?

Systems Engineering is an interdisciplinary approach and means to enable the realization of successful systems. It focuses on defining customer needs and required functionality early in the development cycle, documenting requirements, then proceeding with design synthesis and system validation while considering the complete problem:

Systems Engineering integrates all the disciplines and specialty groups into a team effort forming a structured development process that proceeds from concept to production to operation. Systems Engineering considers both the business and the technical needs of all customers with the goal of providing a quality product that meets the user needs.

Important point

The important point to be noted is that systems engineer has to integrate many disciplines and specialty groups into a team effort.

You can download the book Engineering Complex Systems by David W. Oliver et al., 1997

INCOSE Code of Ethics



Engineering is a profession that requires its practitioners to be well educated and knowledgeable. Systems Engineering, in particular, is a unique discipline in that 1) it is highly integrative, spanning elements of many activities, 2) often provides representation of stakeholders' interests other than employer or client, and 3) operates in largely international arenas where value systems, beliefs and customs vary widely. The practice of Systems Engineering can result in significant social and environmental benefits, but only if unintended and undesired effects are considered and mitigated. 

Fundamental Principles
Systems Engineers uphold and advance the integrity, honor and dignity of the engineering profession by:
  1. Being honest and impartial;
  2. Maintaining the highest levels of integrity and keeping abreast of the knowledge of their disciplines;
  3. Striving to increase the competence and prestige of the engineering profession; and
  4. Supporting the educational institutions, the professional societies and technical societies of their disciplines.
Fundamental Duties to Society and Public Infrastructure
  • Guard the public interest and protect the environment, safety and welfare of those affected by engineering activities and technological artifacts.
  • Accept responsibility for your actions and engineering results, including being open to ethical scrutiny and assessment.
  • Proactively mitigate unsafe practice.
  • Manage risk using knowledge granted by a whole system viewpoint and understanding of systemic interfaces.
  • Promote the understanding, implementation, and acceptance of prudent Systems Engineering measures .
Rules of Practice
  • Act legally, honorably, honestly, justly, and responsibly.
  • Respect, protect, and preserve the intellectual properties of others.
  • Honor all legal contracts and agreements.
  • Treat all constituents fairly.
  • Give prudent advice. Be truthful, objective, and maintain your professional and technical integrity.
  • Provide diligent and competent services to the best of your ability.
  • Respect the trust and the privileges granted to you.
  • Avoid conflicts of interest and the appearance thereof.

Materials available for download from INCOSE site

Systems Engineering Glossary

Related Knols

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