• systems engineering;
  • strategy;
  • competitive advantage;
  • framework


The strategic application of systems engineering can lead to sustained competitive advantage for an organization. This paper expands the scope of the systems engineering strategy dialogue from its existing focus which is primarily based on specific case studies to a broader context and introduces a systems engineering strategy framework. The framework defines a state-based model for systems engineering strategy. States are grouped by organization, environment, product or service, and systems engineering process characteristics. These characteristics provide an extensive set of considerations for making a strategic decision related to systems engineering. This paper discusses using the framework to support a variety of systems engineering decisions, including decisions related to investment and risk analysis. Decision makers can apply the framework to make more informed choices that ultimately will lead to an organization's long-term survival. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Syst Eng 15: