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In this handbook system is generally used in its

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Unformatted text preview: in the first paragraph above. In this handbook, system" is generally used in its generic form. The NASA management instruction for the acquisition of “major" systems (NMI 7120.4) defines a program as “a related series of undertakings that continue over a period of time (normally years), which are designed to pursue, or are in support of, a focused scientific or technical goal, and which are characterized by: design, development, and operations of systems." Programs are managed by NASA Headquarters, and may encompass several projects. In the NASA context, a project encompasses the design, development, and operation of one or more systems, and is generally managed by a NASA field center. Headquarters' management concerns include not only the engineering of the systems, but all of the other activities required to achieve the desired end. These other activities include explaining the value of programs and projects to Congress and enlisting international cooperation. The term mission is often used for a program proThe Technical Sophistication Required to do Systems Engineering Depends on the Project • The system's goals may be simple and easy to identify and measure—or they may be technically complicated, requiring a great deal of insight about the environment or technology within or with which the system must operate. • The system may have a single goal—or multiple goals. There are techniques available for determining the relative values of multiple goals — but sometimes goals are truly incommensurate and unquantifiable. Every system exists in the context of a broader supersystem, i.e., a collection of related systems. It is in that context that the system must be judged. Thus, managers in the supersystem set system policies, establish system objectives, determine system constraints, and define what costs are relevant. They often have oversight authority over system design and operations decisions. • The system may have users representing factions with conflicting objectives. When there are c...
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