FRAT – A Basic Framework For Systems Engineering

Presented at INCOSE 2002

Brian W. Mar and Bernard G. Morais

Abstract: Systems engineering can be difficult to implement if the words and framework are not clearly understood by all parties involved. INCOSE has adopted a definition of systems engineering; yet a debate continues over what systems engineering is and how to do it. The authors have developed over a period of many years the FRAT framework for describing the process used to implement systems engineering for any task, the name for which is derived by the first letters letters of the series of words function, requirement, answer, and test. FRAT is based on the hypothesis that four views of a system are needed to completely define any system. These views are what it does (functions), how well the functions are performed (requirements), a physical or actual description of the system (answers), and verification and validation of the system when completed (tests). The FRAT framework has been validated by reviewing all the papers published at INCOSE proceedings. It is important to recognize that the system of interest (a product) is produced by another system (a production system). Both of these systems can be described by the four FRAT views when developing a shared vision of the development process as well as the product being developed.

A link to the PDF paper: FRAT - A Basic Framework