Back in 99 I co-authored this paper with Darren Burrowes a colleague of mine on the ADI Minehunter project to capture some of what we’d learned about emergent design attributes and their management on that project. Darren got to present the paper at INCOSE’s International Symposium in Brighton England 1999, lucky bugger… :-).
You’ll see from the paper the practical concerns revolving around managing attributes such as system safety, reliability and technical budgets for a major project. Sometimes I think that ‘system’ level design is simply the budgeting, allocation and management of these attributes.
My conclusion after being a systems engineer for most of my career is that if you’re not managing these intensively for a project then either a) systems engineering is not required, or b) you’re not doing your job as a systems engineer.