The use of a Systems Engineering Process Guide to accelerate improvement in Systems Engineering application and expertise

Andrew Parsley, Charlotte N Dunford, York Darren, Mike Yearworth

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

3 Citations (Scopus)


Previous work [1, 2] has shown that engineers in Rolls- Royce need practical experience after attending Systems Engineering (SE) training to gain the confidence needed to use SE techniques without guidance. To encourage the increased use of explicit SE techniques and a systemic approach to their application a guide was created by the engineers in the company who specialise in SE techniques. The guide is interactive and designed to be as simple to use as possible to encourage use. After answering a short series of binary questions that gauge the complexity of the problem and gaps in problem understanding an initial sequence of techniques is suggested. The guide prompts the user to take the results to more experienced colleagues to discuss and improve upon the approach suggested. To support appropriate use of the guide, the guide was introduced after the company had established a community of experienced SE practitioners. Its use is also mandated in company processes, especially at the Defence Bristol site and, increasingly across the company. The goals of the introduction of the guide are to:
(1) increase use of the techniques and their underpinning thinking
(2) have the techniques be used correctly more quickly by engineers new to the approach
(3) increase the number of experienced SE practitioners in the company by teaching people how to choose which techniques to use depending on the needs of their particular problem on their own.
Use of the guide is being increasingly encouraged by senior engineers. Preliminary user feedback suggests that the creation of the guide is having the effect intended but it has also identifed the need to improve the guidance given, especially in the area of problem understanding and requirements elicitation. These developments have resulted in another piece of work which is currently ongoing to gather user feedback and validate the use of the guide in the form of workshops and structured interviews. The aim of this validation work is to find ways to improve the usability and usefulness of the guide and the supporting people and processes in the company. It also aims to confirm that the guide is being used as a discussion aid to critically reflect on the techniques that should be used rather than as a recipe to design.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the IEEE International Systems Conference 2013 (SysCon 2013)
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventIEEE International Systems Conference 2013 - Orlando, United States
Duration: 15 Apr 201318 Apr 2013


ConferenceIEEE International Systems Conference 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Systems Engineering Competency
  • Engineering and Training


Dive into the research topics of 'The use of a Systems Engineering Process Guide to accelerate improvement in Systems Engineering application and expertise'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this