Articles & Presentations

Read interesting and informative short articles relevant to systems engineering and projects.

Articles & Presentations

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 […]


A client asked me during the week why I do not advocate the use of Quality Function Deployment (QFD). I feel the answer is important, so here goes. The main reason is that QFD weights Measures of Effectiveness MOEs (which it incorrectly calls requirements) rather than weighting defined ranges of improvement in each of the […]

Systems Engineer or Systems Engineering? Part 1

Editor’s Note: On the 13th of June 2020, PPI’s Managing Director published an article about the concept of systems engineers versus systems engineering. This topic has received much attention in just a few days of its posting. From LinkedIn: Bethany Smythe asked me recently for a view on why the candidate pool of Systems Engineers in the […]

Comparison of PPI’s Football Diagram vs MIL-STD-499B Draft Fig B, 6 May 1994

Commonalities: 1.   PPI’s Football Diagram uses the same graphical concept. Differences: 1.   MIL-STD-499B makes no provision for concurrent (simultaneous) engineering. PPI’s Football Diagram makes explicit provision for concurrent engineering. 2.  MIL-STD-499B uses the term “Functional Analysis” synonymously with “develop functional solution”, ignoring the fact that functional analysis is a technique which has application in both requirements analysis and design. PPI’s […]

Benefits of Model-Based Systems Engineering

I am sometimes asked about the benefits of model-based systems engineering (MBSE) design methods.  The model-based design (MBD) aspect of MBSE is a way of helping get design right the first time, reducing development costs and timescales, where the design is not simple for the designers. MBSE, applied in the right circumstances, allows designers to […]

Two new DIDs on Requirements Traceability available for free download.

There is not a lot of good information available in writing on requirements traceability. Two data item descriptions (DIDs – requirements specifications for data items) are offered by PPI as a service to the systems engineering community. They are: Requirements Traceability Report – Requirements Analysis (RTR-RA) Requirements Traceability Report – System Design (RTR-SD) Both the […]

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