Agile Systems Engineering

Agile Systems Engineering

1st Edition - September 24, 2015

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  • Author: Bruce Douglass
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128023495
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128021200

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Agile Systems Engineering presents a vision of systems engineering where precise specification of requirements, structure, and behavior meet larger concerns as such as safety, security, reliability, and performance in an agile engineering context. World-renown author and speaker Dr. Bruce Powel Douglass incorporates agile methods and model-based systems engineering (MBSE) to define the properties of entire systems while avoiding errors that can occur when using traditional textual specifications. Dr. Douglass covers the lifecycle of systems development, including requirements, analysis, design, and the handoff to specific engineering disciplines. Throughout, Dr. Douglass couples agile methods with SysML and MBSE to arm system engineers with the conceptual and methodological tools they need to avoid specification defects and improve system quality while simultaneously reducing the effort and cost of systems engineering.

Key Features

  • Identifies how the concepts and techniques of agile methods can be effectively applied in systems engineering context
  • Shows how to perform model-based functional analysis and tie these analyses back to system requirements and stakeholder needs, and forward to system architecture and interface definition
  • Provides a means by which the quality and correctness of systems engineering data can be assured (before the entire system is built!)
  • Explains agile system architectural specification and allocation of functionality to system components
  • Details how to transition engineering specification data to downstream engineers with no loss of fidelity
  • Includes detailed examples from across industries taken through their stages, including the "Waldo" industrial exoskeleton as a complex system


System engineers, particularly those in aerospace, defense, automotive, transportation, and rail, as well as embedded software developers across disciplines

Table of Contents

    • Dedication
    • About the Author
    • Preface
      • Audience
      • Goals
      • Tooling
      • Where to Go After the Book
    • Acknowledgments
    • Chapter 1. What Is Model-Based Systems Engineering?
      • 1.1 Key Systems Engineering Activities
      • 1.2 Systems Engineering Data
      • 1.3 Lifecycles of the Systems Engineer
      • 1.4 Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE)
      • 1.5 Summary
      • References
    • Chapter 2. What Are Agile Methods and Why Should I Care?
      • 2.1 The Agile Manifesto
      • 2.2 Benefits of Agile Methods
      • 2.3 Applying the Agile Manifesto to Systems Engineering
      • 2.4 Agile Best Practices for Systems Engineering
      • 2.5 Putting It All Together: The Harmony Agile MBSE (aMBSE) Process
      • 2.6 Summary
      • References
    • Chapter 3. SysML Introduction
      • 3.1 SysML at 30,000 Feet
      • 3.2 UML Extension Mechanisms
      • 3.3 Organize Your Models Like It Matters
      • 3.4 Key SysML Views and Core Semantics
      • 3.5 Minimal SysML Profile
      • 3.6 Summary
      • References
    • Chapter 4. Agile Stakeholder Requirements Engineering
      • 4.1 Objectives
      • 4.2 The Stakeholder Requirements Workflow
      • 4.3 The Example Model: T-Wrecks, the Industrial Exoskeleton
      • 4.4 Identifying Stakeholders
      • 4.5 Generating Stakeholder Requirements
      • 4.6 Modeling Stakeholder Use Cases Scenarios
      • 4.7 Create/Update Validation Plan
      • 4.8 Summary
      • 4.9 Moving On
      • Reference
    • Chapter 5. Agile Systems Requirements Definition and Analysis
      • 5.1 Objectives
      • 5.2 The Systems Requirements Workflow
      • 5.3 Identify System Use Cases
      • 5.4 Generating System Requirements
      • 5.5 Analyzing Use Cases
      • 5.6 Create/Update Logical Data Schema
      • 5.7 Dependability Analysis
      • 5.8 Create/Update Verification Plan
      • 5.9 Summary
      • 5.10 Moving On
      • References
    • Chapter 6. Agile Systems Architectural Analysis and Trade Studies
      • 6.1 Objectives
      • 6.2 Architecture Analysis Workflow
      • 6.3 Assessment Methodology
      • 6.4 Identify Key System Functions (and Properties)
      • 6.5 Define the Candidate Solutions
      • 6.6 Perform the Architectural Trade Study
      • 6.7 Merge the Solutions into the Systems Architecture
      • 6.8 Summary
      • 6.9 Moving On
      • References
    • Chapter 7. Agile Systems Architectural Design
      • 7.1 Objectives
      • 7.2 Architectural Design Workflow
      • 7.3 Identify Subsystems
      • 7.4 Allocate System Requirements to Subsystems
      • 7.5 Allocate Use Cases to Subsystems
      • 7.6 Create/Update Logical Data Schema
      • 7.7 Create/Update Subsystem Requirements
      • 7.8 Develop Control Laws
      • 7.9 Analyze Dependability
      • 7.10 Summary
      • 7.11 Moving On
      • References
    • Chapter 8. The Handoff to Downstream Engineering
      • 8.1 Objectives
      • 8.2 The Handoff to Downstream Engineering Workflow
      • 8.3 Gather Subsystem Specification Data
      • 8.4 Create the Shared Model
      • 8.5 Define Subsystem Physical Interfaces
      • 8.6 Create Subsystem Model
      • 8.7 Define Interdisciplinary Interfaces
      • 8.8 Allocation Requirements to Engineering Disciplines
      • 8.9 And Downstream Engineering Begins
      • 8.10 And System Engineering Continues …
      • References
    • Appendix A. T-Wrecks Stakeholder Requirements
      • Project Overview
      • T-Wrecks High Level Use Cases
      • General Requirements
      • Encase Use Case
      • Balance Use Case
      • Walk Use Case
      • Monitor System Use Case
      • Move Limbs Use Case
      • Manage Power Use Case
      • Startup Use Case
      • Self Test Use Case
      • Provide Visibility Use Case
      • Monitor System Use Case
      • Shutdown Use Case
      • Proximity Detection Use Case
      • Configure Use Case
      • Communicate Use Case
    • Appendix B. T-Wrecks System Requirements
      • T-Wrecks High Level Use Cases
      • Requirements Table (Initial Set)
    • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 452
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Morgan Kaufmann 2015
  • Published: September 24, 2015
  • Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128023495
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128021200

About the Author

Bruce Douglass

Embedded Software Methodologist. Triathlete. Systems engineer. Contributor to UML and SysML specifications. Writer. Black Belt. Neuroscientist. Classical guitarist. High school dropout. Bruce Powel Douglass, who has a doctorate in neurocybernetics from the USD Medical School, has over 35 years of experience developing safety-critical real-time applications in a variety of hard real-time environments. He is the author of over 5700 book pages from a number of technical books including Real-Time UML, Real-Time UML Workshop for Embedded Systems, Real-Time Design Patterns, Doing Hard Time, Real-Time Agility, and Design Patterns for Embedded Systems in C. He is the Chief Evangelist at IBM Rational, where he is a thought leader in the systems space and consulting with and mentors IBM customers all over the world. He can be followed on Twitter @BruceDouglass. Papers and presentations are available at his Real-Time UML Yahoo technical group ( and from his IBM thought leader page (

Affiliations and Expertise

Chief Evangelist, IBM Internet of Things, Fairfax, VA, USA

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  • MarkusNordstrand Thu May 23 2019

    Informative and funny

    This book is a great read when trying to figure out what role systems engineering has to play in a world where agile methodologies are becoming prevalent. Some agile frameworks mentions systems engineering, but far too often it is overlooked, which does not rhyme well with standards in the automotive industry (ASPICE, ISO26262 etc). This book shows how systems engineering can be agilified by using a particular language - SysML 1.3 - a particular methodology - Harmony aMBSE. The author's preferred tool is IBM Rhapsody, but the book is valid for any SysML tool. As a novice in SysML and the Rhapsody tool, I have found it helpful to in parallel read the Harmony aMBSE Deskbook by the same author in order to be able to know where to click in the tool. By the author also has his own forum where questions are promptly and concisely answered. I especially recommend this book to any systems engineer that is trying to implement the so called Solution Intent in the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), even though the author never mentions this framework explicitly.