Strategy Bridge

Systems Engineering Glossary

Term Main definition

The inherent quality of a system, including design, technical support data, and maintenance procedures, to facilitate detection, isolation, and timely repair/ replacement of system anomalies.


Two or more entities that interact with one another to produce an effect (emergent property) that is not inherent in the entities themselves.

System Acceptance Review (SAR)

A meeting to confirm that the system meets its performance specifications and that it is ready for acquirer acceptance.

System Approach

The application of a systematic engineering methodology that examines the system as a whole and its impact on its environment.

System Design

Documentation that identifies all the necessary components of a system, their role, and their interaction in order for the system to meet its objectives.

System Design Review (SDR)

The review at which a system level design is approved as appropriate to meet requirements.

System Dynamics

A methodology for understanding the behavior of a system over time.

System Engineering Management Plan (SEMP)

A document that describes the technical approach to how the processes and activities of the life cycle stages will be managed and conducted.  Also known as a Systems Engineering Plan (SEP).

System Integration

The effort to progressively combine all of the system components to ensure that they work together as intended.

System Integration and Test (SIAT)

The process to assemble, connect, and test configuration items within the target environment using real or simulated inputs, and then analyzing the outputs to determine of the system performed as specified.

System Life Cycle

The scope and period of a system’s evolution, beginning with the determination of an unsatisfied need through all subsequent phases and proceeding through system disposal.

System Requirement

A requirement that is applicable to a system within an architecture element.  These requirements for the functional baseline.

System Requirements Review (SRR)

A review that examines and determines success in defining technical requirements based upon user requirements.

System Specification

All of the information that defines the system baseline from requirements to acceptance criteria.


A system under consideration.

System-of-Systems (SoS)

A group of autonomous systems whose interaction with one another provides more capabilities than the individual systems alone provide.

Systems Analysis

A process that transforms needs into products that support requirements and operational scenarios in terms of reliability, maintainability, supportability, serviceability, and disposability, while maintaining performance and affordability.

Systems Diagram

A technique to help understand complex system interactions.  It enables analysis of system boundaries and provides insight into how a change in one factor might have an impact elsewhere in the system.

Systems Engineering (SE)

The interdisciplinary approach governing the total technical effort required to transform a need or opportunity into a system solution.

Systems Engineering Plan (SEP)

A document that describes the technical approach for how the processes and activities of the life cycle stages will be managed and conducted.  Also known as a Systems Engineering Management Plan (SEMP).