Innovation Trends

How Can Systems Engineering Evolve Amidst Constant Change

Today I ask and expect more and more of technology. I ask it to park my car and keep me safe behind the wheel. I rely on it in the life-critical arena of medicine and healthcare. I use it to protect me, and it also defends those who protect and defend us.


The pace and rapidity of change in technology, demand, and possibility, creates the necessity for systems to keep up. We are at the 10th Anniversary of INCOSE’s Great Lakes Regional Conference, where much attention has been paid to understanding the past and present state of systems engineering, but also looking ahead to what the future holds. I cannot help but keep analyzing the goals and aspirations set forth by INCOSE for the future of systems engineering.

With all the technological demands, the potential for risk increases. INCOSE states that “Humanity has always attempted, through engineering and technology, to make the world a better place” while acknowledging that “With our ever-evolving society, however, come new and ever greater challenges” (p2 Vision 2025). Society is a living breathing thing, and systems engineering strives to set forth a discipline that reacts right along with it, creating systems that enable a safer, more livable world. There are many steps that INCOSE had laid out across many different areas to continue to evolve systems engineering amidst such constant change. One area where we are poised to contribute in aiding the future of systems engineering is around the fact that, as INCOSE puts it, “Techniques for analyzing interactions among independent systems and understanding emergent behaviors in SoS must mature and become commonplace (e.g., agent based simulation).”

The work we are doing at Jama around traceability will enable engineers a path to navigate the systems engineering process confidently. It allows understanding of trends in the data with which engineers are working. People (humans) are still the main players on the main stage, but the technology and tools they have at their disposal (like Jama) will continue to grow and evolve with them, and the world driving their systems engineering practice.

So here’s to GLRC10 and the future of systems engineering!