Social Systems Working Group

Bringing Social Systems Understanding to System Engineering

Visit our members-only inet page

Working Group Purpose & Mission


Evaluate evolving changes to systems engineering processes and practices and develop measures to integrate social and sociotechnical systems understanding at theoretical, applicative and technical levels, in collaboration through outreach initiatives with the social sciences and interested stakeholder groups.


Transformation Enablers

TechOps Domain






Dana Polojarvi

Shamsnaz Virani

Charlotte Dunford


While the relationship between systems engineering and social science is an area not currently covered in systems engineering standards, handbooks and textbooks, connections between social systems and systems engineering are deep. Through joint work with applicable social science disciplines - such as anthropology, economics, geography, history, law, politics, psychology and sociology - SocWG seeks to 1) normalize the linkage of social science and systems engineering 2) apply sociological principles in the integration of teams and communities that are engineering systems and 3) improve integration of systems engineering with the social scientific evaluation of social and socio-technical systems. We aim to develop useful products that foster the understanding and application of social systems" relevance in systems engineering practice and the development of products for the implementation of social systems engineering in systems engineering processes. In addition, we aim to highlight, demonstrate and develop methods for how systems engineering can be applied in the understanding of social systems.


  1. Regularly assess relationships between systems engineering and social sciences
  2. Identify and support communities of practice at the intersections
  3. Share common challenges, best practices and productive approaches
  4. Enhance understanding of interactions between systems engineering and social systems, and respective drivers of change
  5. Develop work products for and monitor changes in systems engineering processes and practices
  6. Grow in participation and effectiveness


The outcomes of the SocWG include:
  1. Develop working relationships with other working groups
  2. Social systems primer for systems engineering
  3. Guidelines for ethical Practice/best practices
  4. Review and develop contributions to:
    • Tools Database
    • SEBoK
    • SE Handbook
    • ISO standards, such as 15288 (TBD)
  5. IS papers and Systems Engineering journal papers

IW23: International Workshop Focus

Our objectives at IW23 are:

  1. to review and update our working group charter
  2. to provide a status update on our deliverables
  3. to get more people interested in social systems and how they relate to other areas


Planned Activities

  • Virtual meetings/Topical Cafes
  • Conference Participation - IS and others
  • Webinars/mini symposia
  • Yammer presence

Planned Work Products

  • Continued development SE Scope Expansion document
  • Social Systems Primer
  • White Paper(s)
  • Conference Participation
  • Content for Yammer platform
Find out more by visiting the Working Group Yammer community today!


Yammer is INCOSE's social media platform for members. Use your INCOSE-issued Microsoft credential to login and join the conversation. INCOSE credentials are in the form of or   

Contact Us