Mission Engineering

Mission engineering has often been overlooked as a central element of systems engineering. In general terms, it involves the detailed articulation and analysis of the intended mission of the system that is being engineered. The main purposes of mission engineering are

• To verify that the system has legitimate missions to be executed that are not being carried out by other systems

• To provide a technical basis for the full definition of requirements for the system

With respect to the first point, mission analysis confirms that there is a real need for the system. It forces the very early consideration of the possibility that, for example, minor upgrades of existing systems will not suffice. Many system developments have ultimately failed because this important step was not fully explored. With the complexity and expense associated with our large-scale systems, we must be sure that a real need exists for the new system.

However, mission engineering also serves another critical function by providing a technical framework for defining the requirements for the system. Requirements, in general, flow from the need for the system and the mission that it is designed to accomplish. Thus, the definition of the system requirements is closely related to the mission engineering element. In the systems engineering world, poor requirements almost always lead to major schedule, cost, and performance problems downstream. Flexibility is needed in the handling of and possible updating of requirements as we go through other elements of the systems engineering process. The reason is simple—the systems engineering process is itself a learning process and we find that certain requirements have to be changed as we achieve a more complete understanding of the system.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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