Need for More Effective Trade Studies

Today's complex systems are multidisciplinary systems involving challenging missions, advanced technologies, significant uncertainties, and multiple stakeholders with conflicting objectives. Decision-making is central to generating creative alternatives, creating value, managing risks, and meeting affordability goals. Systems engineering trade-offs are needed throughout the system life cycle to inform these system decisions. In the absence of a formal framework, trade-off studies are sometimes performed in an ad hoc manner. Also, some systems engineers may not have an in-depth understanding of trade-off analysis techniques. As a result, some use unsound techniques.

This project began with a need identified by a professional society. The International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) ( has nearly 10,000 members and about 95 members of its Corporate Advisory Board. The INCOSE Corporate Advisory Board documented the need for more effective trade studies. They believed there was a lack of best practices information that crossed the life cycle and aligned with ISO standard (ISO/IEC/IEEE 15288, 2015), the Systems Engineering Handbook (INCOSE, 2015), and the Systems Engineering Body of Knowledge (SEBok, Systems Engineering Body of Knowledge (SEBoK), 2015).

This textbook presents a Decision Management process based on decision theory and cost analysis best practices and is aligned with ISO/IEC 15288, the Systems Engineering ...

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