System Engineering Fundamentals For Beginners

We can’t describe the systems engineering fundamentals without being sure that we have same vocabulary particularly for the words System, Systems Engineering and  Architecting.


A system is not just hardware and software. A system satisfies a “Need” and ensures the success of the mission .As per System definition in ISO/IEC 15288:2008 “A combination of interacting elements organized to achieve one or more stated purposes”. A System can be the sub-system of another system such as Air Transportation system depends on Ticketing Reservation system, Air Traffic Control System, Fuel Distribution System, Airport System, On-ground Logistic Support system.

Systems Engineering

The main objective of the Systems Engineering is to satisfy the customer while preserving the industrial interest in term of cost, design, delivery of the solution. System engineering is an interdisciplinary approach where you study the customer needs, constraints and operational problem .How do we get from problem to the solution. The journey from problem to Solution. We can name it Systems Engineering.

 We can define , “Systems Engineering consider both the business needs of the organization and technical needs of the all stakeholders with goal of providing quality product that meets the user needs”. In fact if you don’t know the exact problem than you will never find the correct solution. As per Russell Ackoff, “Successful problem solving requires finding the right solution to the right problem. We fail more often because we solve the wrong problem than because we get the wrong solution to the right problem”. Systems engineering is the Art of mastering complexity.


Architecture is composition of Greek word arkhitektōn, from arkhi- ‘chief’ + tektōn ‘builder’. As per Cambridge dictionary .The definition of an Architect is , “A person whose job is to design new buildings and make certain that they are built correctly”.

Rules, convention, high level design by which we create system that serve functional purpose. We will discuss three use case for Small, Medium and large scale projects. In small scale project we don’t need so much expertise .We need few people , limited skills , rough sketch and job done .In medium scale project need more expertise , skilled resources , proper plan to accomplish the project in committed time frame.In large scale project we need team of specialist , codes , standards, process and procedures , project management , engineering ,Integration ,Testing & commissioning  , large stake holders involvement . What is the difference between Small and large scale projects. We need expert resources, complete project plan, set of codes and standards, high level of integration in different sub-system. We need to partition the problem. Complexity drives the need of Architecting.


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