Strategy Bridge

Systems Engineering Glossary

Term Main definition
Float (Schedule)

The length of time an activity can be delayed without becoming a critical activity on the schedule.

Full Operational Capability (FOC)

The state attained when a system achieves full intended operational capability for its specified requirements and is operational in its environment.

Functional Analysis

The process of identifying all of the sub-functions of a system function necessary to perform its goals and objectives.  Relationships and interfaces are captured in the functional architecture.

Functional Configuration Audit (FCA)

The examination of a configured product to verify its performance test results as specified in its functional baseline documentation approved at the PDR and CDR.

Functional Decomposition

An examination of a function to identify (a) sub-functions necessary to accomplish the function, (b) functional relationships, and (c) interfaces.

Functional Flow Block Diagram

A graphical depiction of a system’s functions shown as blocks and their time sequence.

Gantt Chart

A schedule visualization tool in the form of a bar chart showing the planned, baseline, and actual start and finish dates of activities.

Government Furnished Equipment (GFE)

The equipment, items, or facilities provided by the Government to a contractor.

Government Furnished Information (GFI)

The data provided by the Government to a contractor.


A physical entity.

Hardware Configuration Item (HWCI)

A defined component of a system comprised of hardware that is designated and tracked for Configuration Management (CM).

Human Factors

The application of human abilities, behaviors, characteristics, motivations, and performance to engineer a solution that involves human interface.

In Scope

Something that is within the boundaries of a contract or other agreement.

Incremental Development

A phased life cycle approach that involves planned partial system implementation followed by adding increased capabilities until the system fully meets its specifications.

Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V)

An independent review performed by an organization that is not under purview of the development organization, to ensure a product can or will meet requirements.


The system’s supporting environment and facilities.

Initial Operational Capability (IOC)

The first attainment of an agreed definition of minimum system performance in its operational environment.


A verification technique involving visual examination or measurement of product characteristics or the review of design, production, or test documentation to determine compliance with requirements.

Integrated Product Team (IPT)

Multi-disciplinary and cross-organizational teams used to enable a systematic approach to the integrated, concurrent design of products and their related processes.


The process of combining two or more system entities into a single entity at a specified level of the system hierarchy.