Chapter 14Performing Programmatic Trade-Off Analyses

Gina Guillaume-Joseph

MITRE Corporation, McLean, VA, USA

John E. MacCarthy

Systems Engineering Education Program, Institute for Systems Research, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA


It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; it's the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time.

David Allan Coe

Great services are not canceled by one actor or by one single error.

Benjamin Disraeli

14.1 Introduction

Systems engineering is an interdisciplinary field of engineering to design and manage complex engineering systems over their life cycle. Systems engineering defines the processes and methods from design, requirements engineering, performance, testing and evaluation, and many other aspects necessary for successful system development, implementation, and ultimate decommission.

System engineering is a robust approach to the design, creation, and operation of systems. In simple terms, the approach consists of identification and quantification of system goals, creation of alternative system design concepts, performance of design trades, selection and implementation of the best design, verification that the design is properly built and integrated, and postimplementation assessment of how well the system meets (or met) the goals.

NASA (1995)

As systems grow ever more complex, tools, methods, and processes are required to ensure their success throughout the life cycle. This chapter introduces ...

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