The Metamorphosis of Systems Engineering Through the Evolution of Today’s Standards

David Ward*, Monica Rossi, Brendan Patrick Sullivan, Harsha Vardhan Pichika

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


Within aggressive dynamic markets, products today are becoming more complex as they manage rapid technology advancements, shorter system life cycles, organizational changes, and mounting regulatory pressures. Necessitating organizations to respond on several fronts in order to effectively manage the application and adoption of cutting-edge technical standards and systems engineering. These challenges have been identified as forces that are shaping modern industries and defining the systems engineering roadmap. This paper sets out to describe and document this system engineering metamorphosis by leveraging its heritage, as well as past and present standards. It discusses the forces behind this evolution and introduces key SE standards and materials such as ISO/IEC/IEEE 15288 (life cycle processes), ISO/IEC/IEEE 29148 (requirements processes) and the INCOSE Systems Engineering handbook which explain the processes related to systems engineering. These specific standards provide an elaboration of processes that benefit enterprises dealing with products and services of high complexity. This paper also explains the key concepts and tools such as the `tailoring' of processes through a framework and utilization of the input-process-output (IPO) diagram. By providing a snapshot of current challenges in society this paper also aims to provide insight of what can be expected for SE centred and steered design typically encountered in high-tech integrators/manufacturers. In conclusion, organizations, including those in the biomedical and healthcare sectors, that effectively leverage SE standards and the INCOSE SE Handbook can be better positioned to develop safe(r) and more effective products once these approaches become common practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2018 IEEE International Systems Engineering Symposium (ISSE)
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5386-4446-1
ISBN (Print)978-1-5386-4447-8
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event4th IEEE International Symposium on Systems Engineering, ISSE 2018 - Rome Marriott Park Hotel, Rome, Italy
Duration: 1 Oct 20183 Oct 2018
Conference number: 4


Conference4th IEEE International Symposium on Systems Engineering, ISSE 2018
Abbreviated titleISSE


  • Systems engineering
  • Systems engineering standards
  • ISO/IEC/IEEE 15288
  • ISO/IEC/IEEE 29148
  • INCOSE Systems engineering handbook
  • Systems engineering processes, Tailoring processes. Systems engineering in the medical industry


Dive into the research topics of 'The Metamorphosis of Systems Engineering Through the Evolution of Today’s Standards'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this