Establishing written specifications for systems is an important mechanism for accurately communicating between organizations what needs to be constructed or purchased to ensure that the finished product meets the customerís expectations. Procurement specifications are legally binding documents as the technical element of the contract and frequently define the manor for testing the finished product to ensure that the required performance has been achieved.
Statements of Work
Statements of work are needed to clearly defining what work is to be performed by subcontractors on the project and can be pacing items in the procurement schedule. Like the specification, the statement of work (SOW) is part of the entire subcontract package and generally defines not only the work that is required but also the data to be gathered and provided as evidence of proper performance.
Trade studies are often employed to evaluate different design approaches or business options to aid in selecting the preferred approach and establishing the rationale for that selection. Documenting the results of trade studies is often extremely valuable for establishing design rationale that might be re-examined later in a program. Trade study results often establish the rationale for the progression of design from early concept design to the final product and therefore becomes an integral part of the design process.
Analysis of technical, business or financial problems is often needed to help guide decisions or to establish predictions of performance. Performing analyses that are clear and well documented is part of the rigor needed during a complex design and is expected as part of a professionally conducted program.
Reports of systems engineering activities generally form the basis of progress reports to the customer. In addition, trade study results help to maintain good information flow between the project personnel, upper level management and the customer.