Strategy Bridge

Systems Engineering Glossary

Term Main definition

An asset, such as people, equipment, facilities, technology, and budget used to perform project tasks.


A formal process to evaluate and approve the current status of an approach, plan, or design and make a decision about next steps.


The potential for failure to achieve established/ approved objectives for safety, technical performance, schedule, or cost on a project.

Risk - Informed Decision Making Process (RIDM)

A process to develop decision alternatives with an explicit consideration of the risk associated with those alternatives.

Risk Analysis

The examination of the probability that a given risk will occur and the seriousness of the impact.

Risk Assessment

The process of identifying all system (product) and programmatic risks.

Risk Management

A systematic, continuous process that identifies, assess, plans, mitigates, tracks, controls, and documents project risks throughout the life cycle.

Risk Management Framework (RMF)

The process for applying cybersecurity to systems throughout the product life cycle.

Risk Mitigation Plan (RMP)

A document that details anticipated risks and identifies strategies to ameliorate those threats or hazards that can adversely affect the project.


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.