Articles & Presentations

Read interesting and informative stories relevant to systems engineering, construction, project management and more.

Articles & Presentations

What is Systems Engineering?

I am often asked, “what is systems engineering?”. My detailed reply if called for is along the lines: Systems engineering is a set of principles and supporting methods, based on systems thinking, for the successful engineering of solutions to problems. The approach is based on related process elements that are selected and integrated for use […]

A PPI Description of Systems Engineering

PPI has produced a number of definitions of systems engineering at different levels of abstraction and for use in different contexts. One PPI answer to the question ‘what is systems engineering?’ follows. Systems engineering is a set of principles and supporting methods, based on systems thinking, for the successful engineering of solutions to problems. The […]

What is The Wedge Model™? (VIDEO)

In this live-recorded webinar and Q&A session, PPI Managing Director Robert Halligan demonstrates how to apply the Wedge Model™ to your engineering projects to reduce risk and increase success. The Wedge Model™, a substantial elaboration of NASA’s Vee Model of the 1960s, is a framework for the application of verification and validation within large projects to […]

The Wedge Model™

DESCRIPTION OF THE WEDGE MODEL™ Abstract The Vee Model, first defined by Rook in 1986, has served well as a depiction of design of non-trivial systems through physical levels of solution description on the left-hand side of the Vee, and physical realization of system elements, together with their integration to create higher physical level system […]

Requirements Analysis that Works!

Introduction: Innumerable studies have concluded that requirements problems are the single biggest contributor to cost overruns, schedule slippages and loss of capability in systems and software projects. Cost impacts alone of 10%, 20%, 50%, 80% and more are regularly reported by practitioners and researchers. And yet, the cost of making substantial improvements in requirements quality […]

BUILDING A GREAT “Work” Breakdown Structure

1.           INTRODUCTION TO WBS/PBS 1.1         What a WBS Is and Isn’t        Let’s get one thing straight. A “Work” Breakdown Structure (WBS) isn’t a breakdown of work. WBS is a really, really bad name. A “Work” Breakdown Structure is actually a product-oriented breakdown of a project into products and services organized […]

Requirements in Context

What is a requirement? An excellent place to look for a definition is always a universally recognized dictionary. Too many times we redefine terms because we can, and then we end up adding to the plethora of definitions already in existence and thus contributing to further confusion. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a requirement as: “something […]

Does Systems Engineering Work?

Systems Engineering (SE) practitioners and researchers have claimed many benefits of applying SE including improved product definition and development and enhanced performance of businesses. It is no secret that applying a SE process to development can mean a slightly longer problem definition phase, more rigorous verification and validation and overall just an increase in resource […]

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