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What is Systems Engineering?

Systems Engineering Resources at TONEX, the Leader in Systems Engineering Training, Systems Engineering courses, Seminars and Workshops.

Our goals are to provides quick and easy access to information that will help you intelligently apply systems engineering to Systems and System of Systems (SoS) to your your Systems projects.

Our Systems Engineering include Process, Frameworks, Methods, Principals, Deliverable  Checklists, Templates, Capabilities, Examples and Case Studies. We also provide many Systems Engineering Training Courses, Seminars, Certifications and other Professional Services in conjutctions to PE, PDH and CEU.

What is Systems Engineering? An inter-disciplinary approach and a means to enable the realization of successful systems. Systems engineering requires a broad knowledge, a mindset that keeps the big picture in mind, a facilitator, and a skilled conductor of a team.

Definitions by INCOSE:

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:

  • Operations
  • Cost & Schedule
  • Performance
  • Training & Support
  • Test
  • Disposal
  • Manufacturing

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. International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE)


The term “systems engineering” was first coined in the early 1940s, and DoD began practicing the concept later that decade with the initial development of missiles and missile-defense systems. Systems engineering started gaining momentum following World War II. Because of its role in acquiring and developing large-scale, complex systems, DoD led the way in codifying the fledgling discipline by developing and releasing the first systems engineering standard in 1969. The principles in that baseline military standard (and later revisions) are still valid. Efforts aimed at revitalizing systems engineering have retained those aspects of the discipline that have proven successful in developing complex systems in the past in a framework that has evolved over time.

The Legacy DoD Systems Engineering Model: The original DoD systems engineering model was elegant in its simplicity. That simplicity made it easy to remember while conveying some of the complexities of the systems engineering problem-solving methodology—such as its iterative and recursive nature. It contained three primary, sequential design process steps: Requirements Analysis, Functional Analysis and Allocation, and Synthesis. The model also depicted a block entitled Systems Analysis and Control, which was a compilation of technical management activities and tools. At a high level the model captured the sequential order of the design steps, their interface with the technical management activities throughout their application, and recursive loops between process pairs that ensured all requirements were completely defined, traced, and verified. One major disadvantage of the model was that the verification loop did not adequately convey the role of test planning, testing, and evaluation of results as integral parts of the development process.


Systems engineering is a methodical, disciplined approach for the design, realization, technical management, operations, and retirement of a system.

Systems Engineering Training Courses by TONEX