Systems engineering

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Connecting engineering disciplines to deliver innovative products and systems

To maintain a competitive advantage, organizations developing complex products and systems must react quickly and effectively to changing market forces. Functional differentiation through software can boost both innovation and flexibility, but software can also bring complexity to both products and development.

IBM offers systems engineering tools and processes that help connect software engineering with other disciplines such as mechanical and electrical engineering into a structured team effort from concept through operations.

The result is a streamlined development environment that empowers the whole team to respond quickly to changes and opportunities in the marketplace.

IBM Rational solutions for systems engineering help systems engineering teams to:

Featured solutions

Featured products

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    IBM Rational Focal Point

    Evaluate investment scenarios to align product, project, and application portfolio decisions with the overall business value.

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    IBM Rational Team Concert

    Provides agile and formal planning, source code management, work item management, build management, and project health.

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    Rational DOORS

    Requirements management and definition using a collaborative approach, that enables stakeholders and IT teams anywhere in the world to provide input, gain clarity, better achieve consensus, and adapt to changes more quickly.

All products - Systems engineering

Find practical resources for systems engineering


From requirements to unified understanding for systems and software engineers
This webinar outlines how to progress vague ideas of what the system must do into a single unified understanding suitable for transformation into implementation.

Smarter product development needs effective systems engineering
Get greater visibility across your systems engineering data. An Ovum analyst will elaborate on the challenges in development of the next generation of smarter products, the importance of systems engineering and the need for a new approach to gaining visibility of engineering data across tools.

Using Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager to accelerate system changes
Learn about the experiences that EADS had in deploying Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager (RELM). Their business objectives included reduce time and costs for on-boarding project teams with SDLC tools by implementing a solution-as-service in a multinational company, and improving response time and reducing costs to analyze, design and deliver customer requirement changes.

Agile systems engineering powered by Jazz
Traditionally systems engineering is a heavily document-based approach. The arrival of the SysML modeling language changed the face of systems engineering from a process of creating and reviewing documents to a more agile approach where the construction, analysis, and execution of high fidelity systems models is driving successful business outcomes.

Agility in large, complex systems
Complex systems historically follow a traditional, Big Design Up Front process to manage requirements, design, and schedule. Software development is adopting agile methods to better accommodate increasing risk, uncertainty and change. This webcast shows how to blend traditional and agile approaches to increase the collaboration between systems and software activities.

Coffee break chat: OVUM and IBM on system engineering
Software is not only changing the nature of products, but across many product industry sectors, it is arguably accounting for the lion’s share of innovation. This has placed great stress on the systems engineering process. Watch this webcast as Tony Baer, Senior Analyst at Ovum Software, and Dominic Tavossoli, Director of Marketing at IBM, discuss the challenges and solutions that product engineering organizations within must address as they become more software-driven.

New brew model-based systems engineering and agile methodologies at Alenia
How do you mix MBSE and agile? Most aerospace and defense companies are exploring this mix. Bruno Di Giandomenico, of Alenia Aeromacchi describes in this webcast the hurdles a project at Alenia faced and the approach they took to overcome them, and how the IBM Solution for Systems and Software Engineering helped the team monitor best practices and automate tasks, allowing them to focus on value added business activities.

Ten point guide to streamlining product development with systems engineering
Systems engineering can help engineers see the big picture—not just their small piece of the puzzle—with the benefits of faster development, higher product quality, increased innovation and reduced risk. Attend this informal coffee-break style discussion and learn ten key ways that systems engineering can help streamline product development.


Systems engineering – It’s not just for engineers

Greg Gorman Steve Shoaf Systems engineering is increasingly being recognized as an essential technology for successful development of innovative, software-intensive smart products. Unlike the systems engineering in the Apollo age, visualized as a room full of slide-rules and skinny black ties, today’s systems engineering is more pervasive than ever before. Extending beyond typical engineering benefits such as lower costs, higher quality and reduced risk, today’s systems engineering, if utilized intelligently, can have a significant business impact – touching not only engineering, but manufacturing, procurement, support, and planning, as well as affecting future profit opportunities of long-lived products. Join Greg Gorman and Steve Shoaf as they discuss how systems engineering can impact business decisions made outside the engineering organization.

Adopting agile methods for safety-critical systems development

Bruce DouglassAgile methods can bring benefits of discipline and efficiency to software development, and agile can be—and is—applied to the development of safety critical systems. In this podcast, Bruce Douglass answers a selection of questions from practitioners and managers engaged in safety-critical development on the topic of agile adoption.

How to get the right engineering data at your fingertips, faster

Andy Gurd Amit FisherAs a chief engineer, systems engineer, software engineer, or electrical engineer do you spend too much time searching for engineering data relevant to the task or decision at hand? Do bad things happen when you don't find the right data or get a complete answer? Listen to this podcast to hear Andy Gurd and Amit Fisher discuss these challenges and describe a solution that uses a Linked Data approach to provide searching, reporting and analysis capabilities across multiple, distributed engineering data sources.

Agile approaches for complex product development

Bola Rotibi Jonathon Chard Companies are increasingly looking to agile methods to cut risk, improve quality and increase flexibility in complex product development. But what approaches really work and what benefits can adopters expect to obtain? In this podcast, analyst Bola Rotibi of analysts Creative Intellect Consulting discusses the applicability of Agile approaches to embedded software and complex systems development, drawing upon the results of an in-depth cross-industry study conducted at the end of 2012. Speakers, Bola Rotibi and Jonathon Chard.


How to find and report on related engineering artifacts faster

Watch the videoDo you know how long you or your engineering teams spend searching for engineering artifacts or building documents? This short animation provides some answers, based on industry studies, and introduces a solution with the potential to significantly reduce that overhead.

Impact analysis across multiple engineering disciplines and tools

Watch the videoFrom an engineering change request is it difficult and time-consuming to find all of the impacted subsystems from across multiple engineering disciplines? This short animation highlights a solution that can quickly produce a view of all of the potentially impacted elements.

Conquer systems engineering complexity and accelerate product innovation with IBM RELM

Watch the videoSee how you can tackle the increasing complexity of your web of linked engineering artifacts and extract key threads of interest for the systems engineering task or decision at hand with IBM Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager.

Using systems engineering to streamline smarter product development

Watch the videoSmarter products, enabled by software, are more complex than ever, and are driving a commensurate increase in product development complexity. To help understand and manage the cross-discipline design interdependencies, systems engineering provides a holistic view of product development, allowing manufacturers to connect engineering teams to deliver products that are optimized for their business.

Systems Engineering: Thoughts from a leading analyst

Watch the videoTony Baer, principal analyst from the consulting firm, Ovum, provides some insights into the importance of using systems engineering when developing complex, software-intensive products.

White papers

Strategies to capture greater value from systems engineering
This paper discusses the practices that companies should explore to move beyond traditional PLM and ALM to realize the broader capabilities of systems engineering for reducing time to market, meeting regulatory compliance mandates and improving product quality.

Applying agile principles to the development of smarter products
Agile development has become a cornerstone of most software development organizations. Marked by iterative processes that deliver incremental value over time, agile development has enabled organizations to manage software complexity more effectively and to improve quality and time to market compared with previous development processes

Three imperatives for product and systems development
Organizations developing products and systems in industries such as automotive, aerospace and defense, medical devices and consumer electronics are undergoing a transformation driven by the rapid growth in functionality delivered by software and electronics. This paper outlines an approach for using this shift to gain a competitive advantage.


Systems Engineering for Dummies
This IBM Limited Edition ebook, “Systems Engineering For Dummies,” explains what systems engineering is and how it can help you simplify the development of smart, connected products. If you're looking for ways to expedite time-to-market, ensure business agility, and deliver high-quality smart products while cutting costs, this ebook is for you.

Creating smarter products with IBM Rational systems and software engineering
This e-book describes how to meet the challenges of complex product and software development. Learn about Rational capabilities for systems engineering, real-time and embedded software development, systems of systems engineering and product line engineering.

Self assessment

Aberdeen interactive self-assessment: system design
Benchmark your system design practices against your peers and receive personalized recommendations to help you improve your performance.


The Rational Solution for Systems and Software Engineering sandbox
Try a series of online evaluation exercises to learn how the Rational Solution for Systems and Software Engineering supports a broad range of capabilities across the product and systems development lifecycle.

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  • .

    Using Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager to accelerate system changes

    Webcast: Learn to identify business needs and capabilities addressed by RELM, how to define a RELM solution architecture that addresses those needs, and how to plan the deployment and installation.

  • Aberdeen interactive self assessment

    Benchmark your system design practices

  • Three imperatives for product and systems development

    Gain competitive advantage in product and systems development

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