INCOSE Initiatives – FuSE initiative: a need for change in Systems Engineering


One of the trends we see in product development, production and operation is that time to market is getting ever shorter and shorter while the systems are getting more complex.  Where classic Systems Engineering problems, like for instance defense, satellite and road infrastructure systems, have development durations of up to several years. Now-a-day’s systems have development times of a few months, weeks or even shorter.  Especially software intensive systems move to applying incremental developments of down to a few days. Machine-learning Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems can develop software modules within minutes or even seconds.  So, we need Speed in Systems Engineering.  For developing these systems the classic V-Model takes way too long and Validation is often performed far too late.
Aside of the need for speed in Systems Engineering, our systems and their context are becoming ever more complex as well as non-deterministic in their behavior.  Autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence (AI) and systems dealing with big data are some examples for this.  Traditionally, Systems Engineers are successful in dealing with complicated systems, but are less familiar with dealing with complex and software intensive systems.  We need to move our discipline towards being able to deal with complexity. The application of proper System Architecture is fundamental to be able to deal with this challenge.
Thirdly, we need to develop an appropriate workforce of capable Systems Engineers. Proper System Thinking is fundamental for tackling the above mentioned challenges. Every student (or even child) should have understanding of the concepts of system thinking.
Together with other organizations, INCOSE has initiated the Future of Systems Engineering (FuSE) initiative. This initiative addresses the changes needed in Systems Engineering, so it remains relevant and able to deal with our future challenges.


Paul Schreinemakers – INCOSE EMEA Sector Director

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