Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University
Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University

Digital Library


An Appraisal of Systems Engineering: Defense v. Non-Defense

  • “In today's systems, it is very difficult to draw a line between where the system ends and the software begins, because the software becomes an integrating part of the system.
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  • Abstract

    In this podcast, Joseph Elm analyzes differences in systems-engineering activities for defense and non-defense projects and finds differences in both deployment and effectiveness. This research is the result analysis of data collected from the 2011 Systems Engineering (SE) Effectiveness Survey performed by the National Defense Industrial Association Systems Engineering Division, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society, and the SEI. This analysis examined the differences in the deployment and impact of SE activities between defense-domain projects and non-defense projects. The analysis found significant differences in both the deployment of SE in the two domains and the effectiveness of the SE. The report identifies specific process areas where effectiveness in one domain is noticeably higher than in the other. Further research to understand these differences will benefit both domains by enabling them to share best practices. 

About the Speaker

  • Joseph P. Elm

    Joseph Elm is currently the program integration manager in the SEI's Software Solutions Division where he works on seeking customer-focused solutions that integrate across the division's various research initiatives. Elm has also led strategic programs for the SEI's CERT Division and served as acting director of the SEI's Acquisition Support Program, which tries to improve software acquisition practices throughout the Department of Defense and other U.S. government agencies. He is also one of only 212 people worldwide certified by the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) as an Expert Systems Engineering Professional.