Systems Engineering

Systems engineering is a guarantee of success for industrial companies as it offers a holistic approach to development when implementing complex systems. Through the systematic integration of technology, management and customer requirements, it enables the efficient and effective design of products. By integrating technology and management against the background of a systemic view, it enables the efficient and effective design of products. This leads to better quality, cost control and time planning, which ultimately leads to an increase in the competitiveness and success of the company.

Challenges of modern product development

The complexity of many products is changing rapidly these days. In addition, companies generally have to consider a wider context when developing their products. This means complying with regulations, keeping regulatory issues on the radar and upcoming environmental requirements, as well as ensuring an optimal exchange between the development domains. Electronics, software and connectivity often play a central role in today's products - including security aspects and networking. And: functions are no longer only provided by mechanical components or simple mechatronic assemblies - for example in the automotive industry.

A holistic approach to mastering product complexity

Systems Engineering (SE) is first and foremost a view of the product to be developed, its environment and its creation. In this way, SE helps to manage the ever-increasing complexity of products. The product is seen in relation to its environment and its users. In systems engineering, the product is therefore called a system and its components are system elements.

Consequently, this is a systemic view, which results in a systemic approach. This has consequences for product development, the people and processes involved:

  • It starts with the division of tasks and the self-image of those involved: Who takes care of the requirements, for example?
  • And it is also reflected in the relevant processes: when and how do we create a verification and validation plan, for example?
  • And: How do we ensure traceability between the respective requirement and the associated verification?

Systems engineering offers a holistic approach. The aim is to consider the entire life cycle of a system. This begins in the concept phase by systematically analysing the requirements of the business environment, stakeholders and needs. And it continues through development and production to decommissioning (end of life). Utilisation and maintenance are also taken into account.

Thinking in terms of functions

While in classic development the focus is often on the components and the product structure, in systems engineering the focus is on the functions to be fulfilled. These are closely linked to the associated requirements. By analysing the environment and evaluating a wide range of use cases, the system environment and various scenarios are given special consideration - for example for transport, commissioning, use and maintenance.

Why all this?

Systems engineering can really come into its own when a holistic approach or a systemic view of development is required: It is not uncommon for additional domains to be introduced when development is expanded - for example, because electronics development is strengthened alongside traditional design or in-house software is added. There are numerous other reasons why industrial companies convert or expand their product development competences to an SE approach:

  • Handling increasing product complexity
  • Introduction of systematic requirements management
  • Increasing product quality and development quality
  • Reduction of development errors and loops
  • Better understanding or fulfilment of customer expectations


When applied holistically, systems engineering shows its full strengths. In a nutshell, this approach systematically scrutinises the requirements and the product environment at an early stage of product development. This also means that all requirements are consistently linked to test plans and verification results and traceability is guaranteed. This makes the system model a genuine basis for communication, with all its levels of abstraction from application models and system architecture through to detailed implementation by the developers involved. The SE model provides a basic platform for the joint decisions to be made and is the "single source of truth" in day-to-day work.

Your benefit

  • Systems engineering enables complex systems to be developed in a structured and holistic manner
  • It leads to high-quality and reliable products
  • The standardised systems engineering models create a common basis of understanding for everyone involved
  • Early analyses and simulations based on the system models allow risks to be identified in good time
  • The modular structure of the system models promotes the reuse of components