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Strategy Bridge

Systems Engineering Glossary

Term Definition

A time-based plan of milestones/ activities for performing work or achieving an objective.


A group of functionally related items in the system hierarchy.

Service Component Architecture (SCA)

A developer framework for building Service-Based Architecture services.  It provides both multi-protocol and multi-language support.

Service-Based Architecture (SBA)

The principles, structures, and methodologies for linking together loosely coupled systems/ services, typically through shared data or common logic/ direction.

Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)

Principles, structures, and methodologies for linking together loosely coupled systems/ services, typically through shared data or common logic/ direction.  Also known as Service – Based Architecture.

Soft Systems Methodology (SSM)

An approach to solving complex, unstructured human problem situations based on holistic analysis and systems thinking.

Software Architecture

The structure or structures of a system comprised of software components.  The architecture identifies constraints, connections, and the relationships among the components including databases and potentially physical implications.

Software Architecture Document (SAD)

Documentation of a project’s architectural overview, architecture specifications, and design rationale.

Software Engineering

The application of a systematic approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of software.

Software Requirements Specification (SRS)

An artifact of he definition process that contains all of the requirements for a software product.  It is the starting point for software architecting.

Specialty Engineering

Engineering discipline areas that focus on a specific aspect of a system rather than the whole, such as reliability, maintainability, cybersecurity, human factors, etc.


Requirements about which a buy or implementation decision has been made, usually described in a document that precisely defines the technical performance characteristics of a system or system component and the criteria for acceptance.

Spin Development

A software technique for evolutionary creation of a product (similar to agile development) using short development and delivery cycles.

Spiral Development

An incremental development process that matures capabilities prior to introduction to the implementation phase of a product.

Spiral Model

A conceptual model product development that illustrates iterative risk reduction activities prior to a linear-sequential implementation process.


An individual or group that can affect or may be affected by a given project, product, or activity.

Stakeholder Expectations

Needs, desires, capabilities, and constraints that are expressed by those who have a vested interest in the system.


A document that establishes criteria, methods, processes, and practices accepted by an approving organization.


A grouping of components within an element that perform a major and distinct function.

Success Criteria

The specific accomplishments that must be satisfactorily demonstrated in order to progress further in the life cycle.