We Launch the System
Launching the system means running the system and producing outputs. In a manufacturing environment this might mean buying commercial off the shelf hardware or software, or it might mean actually making things. Launching the system means allowing the system do what it was intended to do. This also includes the system engineering of deploying multi-site, multi-cultural systems.
This is the phase where the preferred alternative is designed in detail; the parts are built or bought (COTS), the parts are integrated and tested at various levels leading to the certified product. In parallel, the processes necessary for this are developed a�� where necessary – and applied so that the product can be produced. In designing and producing the product, due consideration is given to its interfaces with operators (humans, who will need to be trained) and other systems with which the product will interface. In some instances, this will cause interfaced systems to co-evolve. The process of designing and producing the system is iterative as new knowledge developed along the way can cause a re-consideration and modification of earlier steps.
The systems engineers’ products are a mission statement, a requirements document including verification and validation, a description of functions and objects, figures of merit, a test plan, a drawing of system boundaries, an interface control document, a listing of deliverables, models, a sensitivity analysis, a tradeoff study, a risk analysis, a life cycle analysis and a description of the physical architecture. The requirements should be validated (Are we building the right system?) and verified (Are we building the system right?). The system functions should be mapped to the physical components. The mapping of functions to physical components can be one to one or many to one. But if one function is assigned to two or more physical components, then a mistake might have been made and it should be investigated. One valid reason for assigning a function to more than one component would be that the function is performed by one component in a certain mode and by another component in another mode. Another would be deliberate redundancy to enhance reliability, allowing one portion of the system to take on a function if another portion fails to do so.