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Why Every Industry Needs Systems Engineering

Why Every Industry Needs Systems Engineering

INCOSE’s definition of Systems Engineering (SE) is “a transdisciplinary and integrative approach to enable the successful realization, use, and retirement of engineered systems, using systems principles and concepts, and scientific, technological, and management methods.”

SE may seem daunting and exclusive to our industry for many who are unfamiliar. However, investing the time into learning the basics of SE will bring about a huge ROI by simplifying your product or system. SE is one of the most useful tools that any professional, in any industry can use. Whether you’re involved in technology, manufacturing, computing, or business administration, it can make your job easier. Below are four reasons why every industry can benefit from SE.

  1. It simplifies complex systems.

Everyone makes mistakes when they don’t have checks and balances for their work. When a system gets too complex, it makes it harder to understand and keep track of all the moving parts, increasing the chances of mistakes and oversights.

SE was created in part to manage the increasing complexity of modern systems, and many of the techniques developed over the years – such as systems architecture, modeling, and optimization – are effective. Every industry has a process that could use SE to ensure their work is correct.

  1. It makes the balancing act easier.

Everyone multitasks once in a while to get the job done. If you’re doing two things at once, there’s no way you can give the full quality they both require. Similar to simplifying complex systems, SE makes it easier to balance the considerations of a given project.

Everything from budget and technical feasibility to client needs, stakeholder requirements, and proposed changes are manageable through SE. Furthermore, SE is transdisciplinary, meaning that it not only brings together multiple disciplines but also transcends those disciplines by giving them a way to synergize. SE will ease your mind by dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s for every part of the job.

  1. It reduces cost.

SE can reduce the cost of your projects significantly by cutting down on time, labor, and supplies. For example, if you’re building a Mars Rover, instead of building a physical prototype and testing every iteration at an enormous cost, SE allows you to test the design virtually and catch any errors without wasting money on physical prototypes.

This is not a replacement for physically building the Mars rover in the end, but it does save you all the time and money it takes to physically build and test it for system errors. Every company has a product or service that could use a more efficient process, saving them money.

  1. It gets the results.

A 2012 study published by the Systems Engineering Institute found a strong link between SE and program performance. According to the study, out of the businesses that utilized SE the least, only 15% of them reached a high performance. In contrast, out of the businesses that utilized SE the most, 57% of them reached a high performance. The relationship between SE and program performance couldn’t be clearer.

Every industry aspires to elevate in these 4 areas. It’s important to educate people on SE and why everyone can and should utilize it. You don’t have to be an engineer to use basic principles of SE and improve your workflow.

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