One Size Does NOT Fit All

Developing solutions is highly dependent on team size and project complexity.



There are myriad reasons why projects go over budget and/or schedule or outright fail.  While many factors are involved, the importance of a properly sized and experienced system engineering team with properly tailored processes and tools cannot be understated.

While most Systems Engineering handbooks discuss the need to tailor processes, not many provide more than a singular example or method of conducting various systems engineering process activities.  The need for tailoring, based on a variety of factors, is acknowledged, but typically tailoring criteria and methods are left to mystery. The systems engineering process implemented by a large aerospace contractor for a large government contract with stringent technical, cost, and schedule requirements should look much different than one implemented by a small startup developing commercial products for an emerging market.  No doubt, experienced systems engineering leaders can effectively tailor an SE enterprise program based on many years of experience. However, for younger individuals and emerging organizations that don’t have access to these domain experts (“grey beards”), it may be hard to figure out where to start.

Some of the factors that should be considered when tailoring these processes are:

Tailoring Factors

  • Company size

  • Past SE/MBSE Experience

  • Project Size

  • Project Complexity

  • Customer Expectations

  • Customer Requirements

Where coming up with a tailored SE implementation program, additional criteria must also be considered, including:

Tailoring Options

SE Frameworks

  • Traditional

  • MBSE

  • Hybrid

System Complexity

  • Simple

  • Complicated

  • Complex

  • Chaotic

SE Methodologies

  • Waterfall

  • Agile (sprints in short durations)

  • Decoupled Wave

Recently, there has been some work in this area of tailoring SE processes. ISO 29110 guides the tailoring of  SE processes for small organizations. However, does it take into account all applicable tailoring factors? What other factors should be included? Are there other factors that, in general, should be included as tailoring criteria?



Nymbysys LLC is a Model Based Systems Engineering consultancy and training company focused on assessing clients' needs and tailoring nimble, effective, and efficient solutions to their unique criteria, taking into account company size, past MBSE experience, project size and complexity, and customer expectations and requirements. We believe that to maintain relevance and help our customers become industry and domain leaders, we cannot be limited by past convention.