- 1. Requirements Management
- 1 What is Requirements Management?
- 2 Why do you need Requirements Management?
- 3 Four Fundamentals of Requirements Management
- 4 Adopting an Agile Approach to Requirements Management
- 5 Conquering the 5 Biggest Challenges of Requirements Management
- 6 Three Reasons You Need a Requirements Management Solution
- 2. Writing Requirements
- 1 Functional requirements examples and templates
- 2 Product requirements document template and examples
- 3 How to write system requirement specification (SRS) documents
- 4 Adopting the EARS Notation to Improve Requirements Engineering
- 5 Jama Software Requirements Advisor
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions about the EARS Notation and Jama Connect Requirements Advisor
- 7 How to Write an Effective Product Requirements Document
- 8 Functional vs. Non-functional requirements
- 9 What Are Non-Functional Requirements and How Do They Impact Product Development?
- 10 Characteristics of Effective Software Requirements and Software Requirements Specifications (SRS)
- 11 8 Do’s and Don’ts for Writing Requirements
- 3. Requirements Gathering and Management Processes
- 4. Requirements Traceability
- 1 What is Requirements Traceability and Why Does It Matter for Product Teams?
- 2 Live Traceability vs. After-the-Fact Traceability
- 3 How to Overcome Organizational Barriers to Live Requirements Traceability
- 4 Requirements Traceability, What Are You Missing?
- 5 Four Best Practices for Requirements Traceability
- 7 What Are the Benefits of End-to-End Traceability During Product Development?
- 5. Requirements Management Tools and Software
- 6. Requirements Validation and Verification
- 7. Meeting Regulatory Compliance and Industry Standards
- 8. Project Management
- 9. Measuring Requirements
- 10. Systems Engineering
The Systems Engineering Body of Knowledge (SEBoK)
The Systems Engineering Body of Knowledge (SEBoK) was designed with the belief that if engineers have a living, breathing guide, they can create better work. If you haven’t used the resource before, don’t worry; we’ve created a complete guide so you can learn more and start applying it to your organization.
The speed of product development is greater than ever. And at the same time, 93% of organizations say they feel like they need to make faster and better decisions relative to their competitors. As technology continues to evolve, customer demands increase, and so too does the pressure placed on those in systems engineering — an occupation that steadily adds new jobs each year.
Systems engineers increasingly work in a plug-and-play world that includes complex products and the need to build more resilient systems. Engineers are skilled at solving problems and innovating, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t challenged with navigating this fast-changing-environment.
What Is the Systems Engineering Body of Knowledge?
The SEBoK is organized into wiki pages and includes a variety of resources about systems engineering topics. Three organizations collaborated to create the resource:
- The International Council of Systems Engineering
- The IEEE Systems Council
- The Stevens Institute of Technology
The original SEBoK was developed over a three-year period, from 2009 to 2012. Over 70 different authors from around the world collaborated on the document. New information is constantly added since it’s intended to be a living, breathing resource, with the most recent update published during October 2021.
The SEBoK doesn’t contain the information in itself, but it’s a resource that directs people to the best possible sources for specific content areas. Think about it like a library catalog. If you want to learn more about a specific subject, the library catalog doesn’t provide you with the actual information, but instead directs you to books, articles and other resources to find that content.
Note: While this eBook helps clearly outline the SEBoK, if you are interested in reading the entire living document, you can find that here: SEBoK Table of Contents
Who Uses the SEBoK?
The most obvious audience for the SEBoK is systems engineers, but the content is actually created for many different audiences — many of whom aren’t systems engineers. Let’s take a look at who can benefit from this content.
- Systems engineers. Whether you’re a novice or an advanced systems engineer, the SEBoK provides references to expand knowledge on various subject areas.
- Faculty members. Universities and colleges want to improve their existing programs and design new ones. The SEBoK is useful to determine what content should be included in the programs.
- Certifying organizations. If a company has an in-house certification program or is a certifying organization, they want to understand what other programs require. The SEBoK provides the required content to make those decisions.
- Systems engineers managers. Managers might want to design better processes and learn how others are doing the work to guide those decisions.
- Systems engineer researchers. A researcher may want to get familiar with a specific content area to guide his or her research or fill in knowledge gaps.
The above list is mainly of primary SEBoK users, but secondary users can also benefit from the resource. Human resources professionals, for example, might need background information to support the task of hiring new systems engineers. Non-technical managers might need to better understand deliverables called out in a contract. All of these groups can benefit from learning more about the SEBoK.
Why Was the SEBoK Created?
The SEBoK was created with the thought that many failures are the result of not having the correct information at the right time. Creating common ground among users through this resource is an attempt to minimize these failures. The purpose of the original document, according to the authors of the SEBoK, was to:
- Create a common understanding among systems engineers. The living document attempts to forge a common understanding around boundaries, terminology and common practices to improve work in the field.
- Forge a common understanding among researchers. The body of work attempts to help researchers understand systems engineering limitations and guide research and understanding of current principles.
- Inform interactions. There are many people who need a basic level of understanding about systems engineering but who aren’t engineers. The resource was created to provide them with the knowledge they need to complete tasks.
- Help curriculum developers. People are constantly developing new curricula to shape new generations of systems engineers. The SEBoK is designed to provide a common understanding of what engineers need to know.
- Inform certifiers. The resource was created to help people and organizations that certify systems engineers understand what knowledge is needed today and in the future.
- Create resources for managers and staff. People who aren’t engineers are often involved in the hiring of systems engineers. These individuals require basic knowledge so they can assess the skills of a successful systems engineer.
Access to the SEBoK is free, but the recommended resources often are not. For example, the SEBoK may recommend a specific reference guide that is available for purchase from a publisher. The goal of the SEBoK is to direct the audience to the best possible resources on a given topic — not to be the resource, but to help readers find the resource.
Understanding the Eight Parts of the SEBoK
Each part of the document is divided into “knowledge areas,” which are broken down into eight different themes, as follows:
Part 1: The Introduction
The first part of the SEBoK is the introduction, which explains what is included in the document and provides a brief overview of systems engineering in general. It explains who should use the SEBoK and what content areas are included.
Part 2: The Foundations of System Engineering
Part two includes an overview of all the areas that make up systems engineering foundations. This foundational section includes an overview of all the principles, models of key areas, and basic foundations of how systems engineering is practiced.
Part 3: Systems Engineering and Management
Part three provides general knowledge and practices for systems engineering in the context of management activities. Lifecycle modes are included that relate to the various parts of systems engineering. Part three also covers technical aspects, such as the requirements, architecture, testing, evaluation, and more.
Part 4: Applications of Systems Engineering
The fourth part is focused on how to apply systems engineering principles to a variety of different situations in context. It focuses on products, services, enterprises, and systems of systems, otherwise known as “SoS.” The applications explain the real-world practices of systems engineering.
Part 5. Enabling Systems Engineering
Part five is focused on organization. How can you improve organization in a way that ensures improved performance of systems engineering activities? Considerations include the value proposition, business purpose, convergence, competency, and more.
Part 6. Related Disciplines
The sixth part is focused on how systems engineering relates to other principles. For example, the section covers links between systems engineering and software engineering, project management, and more. It’s also focused on how systems engineering links to engineering considerations such as reliability, availability, and maintainability.
Part 7. Systems Engineering Implementation Examples
Part seven includes real-world examples of systems engineering in action. This includes case study scenarios, where successes and challenges of systems engineering programs are highlighted. It’s a place to uncover best practices and solutions to navigating specific challenges.
Part 8: Emerging Knowledge
Part eight is rooted in the fact that the SEBoK is a living document, and part of it is dedicated to emerging topics that impact the industry.
On the cutting edge, Jama Software® is the first organization to measure traceability thanks to our clients’ participation in a benchmarking dataset of over 40,000 complex product development projects spanning aerospace, automotive, consumer electronics, industrial, medical device, semiconductor, space systems, and more.
Learn more about how traceability is measured, and the business practices that separate top-quartile performers from the rest by reading our Requirements Traceability Benchmark: Requirements Traceability Benchmark
What is the role of a systems engineer?
A systems engineer is tasked with looking at the entire integrated system and evaluating it against its desired outcomes. In that role, the systems engineer must know a little bit about everything and have an ability to see the “big picture.” While specialists can focus on their specific disciplines, the systems engineer must evaluate the complex system as a whole against the initial requirements and desired outcomes.
Systems engineers have multi-faceted roles to play but primarily assist with:
- Design compatibility
- Definition of requirements
- Management of projects
- Cost analysis
- Possible maintenance needs
- Ease of operations
- Future systems upgrades
- Communication among engineers, managers, suppliers, and customers in regards to the system’s operations
Recent Updates to the SEBoK
Keeping current in a fast-changing landscape isn’t an easy task, so the SEBoK is constantly publishing updates. The most recent update was released in 2021 and included several
- The main page was updated. The landing page for the living document was updated so that readers can access the required information faster.
- An “Editor’s Corner” was created. The previous version had a “Letter from an Editor” section, but that was revised to become the “Editor’s Corner.” The new section is focused on emerging trends in the systems engineering space, such as the metaverse and potential systems impacts.
- New navigation was added. Older information that was no longer relevant was deleted, and a new navigation structure was added to help people find the content they need faster.
- Community input was added. Input is constantly gathered from users of the SEBoK and added into the newest versions.
RELATED ARTICLE: Selecting the Right Requirements Management Solution
Resources to Manage Increased Complexity
Systems engineers are increasingly required to manage more complex product development, and the SEBoK helps you stay current on relevant content areas. But it’s also important to have the right tools behind you to more effectively navigate complexities, maintain alignment across teams, and get to market faster.
Jama Connect® helps you more effectively manage product requirements and bring people together in a single place for increased visibility. You can more effectively analyze impacts, track decisions and ensure you’re building the product that you set out to deliver. With our industry-leading solution, you can do the following:
- Improve confidence. Trace requirements throughout the entire development process. Spot risks faster and move forward with confidence that you’re building exactly what’s intended.
- Enhance visibility. Get more visibility into the product development process by monitoring relationships and tendencies between various systems, teams and activities.
- Bring products to market faster. Align your teams, create more efficiency and eliminate expensive rework, so you can deliver products on time and on budget.
- Transition into greater adaptability. Competing in the future requires adaptability so you can make changes fast. You can easily adapt Jama Connect to your specific products and workflows to create an intuitive experience that helps people get up to speed faster.
In This Webinar, Learn More About Systems Engineering in Jama Connect
Systems Engineering Body of Knowledge (SEBoK) was designed with the belief that if engineers have a living, breathing guide, they can create better work.