A Systems Engineering approach is all about getting the right solution to the right problem throughout the lifecycle.
Systems Engineering differs from sector to sector, however consistently it is a disciplined and structured approach which is used to stand back and understand the whole problem across all disciplines and constraints, rather than focusing solely on the individual elements. From this grounded understanding solutions can be managed to ensure they meet the end-users needs and deliver fit-for-purpose solutions to time, quality and cost.
In most cases, System Engineers are experts in the discipline and processes of Systems Engineering, but rarely are they experts in the field of the technical problem. This enables them to truly distance themselves from potential solutions, and work with the subject matter experts to define the problem in such a way that it doesn’t predispose a solution, and in doing so ask the fundamental “stupid” questions.
For example, a designer may specify a need to buy a specific car, whereas a System Engineer would be looking to specify what needs to be transported, how frequently, and the characteristics of the loads – enabling the supply chain to support the decision. In doing so, it opens up other options such as public transport, couriers, different car or van designs, etc. Depending on the requirements, it may be satisfied by a combination of those options for a fraction of the price – especially when training, maintenance, etc. are factored in.
Within MMI, Systems Engineering is delivered through 3 key areas:-
- Requirements Management – Specifying the right problem and managing its delivery throughout the project lifecycle is key to getting the right solution for the right price on time
- Asset Management – Risk based investment and supervision of physical and intangible assets to deliver long term value for stakeholders
- Asset Performance (ARM/RAM/TRAM) – Understanding existing assets and predicting potential of new assets to inform investment