Managing Systems Development through Stages

Alec Fearon

Development programmes do not take place in a single-shot manner, but are split into a number of stages. For example, in UK Defence procurement these stages are: Concept, Assessment, Demonstration, Manufacture, In-service and Disposal.

Each stage is a project in its own right, and applies the systems engineering processes already described. In the early stages - concept and assessment - the products will be the information needed for decision-making. Later stages will concentrate on creating the real product. In all stages, all of the systems engineering processes will be exercised, albeit with changes in emphasis. Fig. 1 depicts this schematically, showing how the concentration of effort shifts from requirements through design to verification as the stages proceed.

Figure 1 Systems Engineering in Stages

Further general statements can be made about managing through stages:

At the end of each stage, the enterprise should:

1 Commitment here applies to all investment and development resources and those in the intended operating environment .

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