Systems of Systems Working Group

Applying and advancing systems engineering for systems of systems

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Working Group Purpose & Mission


The mission of the working group is to advance and promote the application of Systems Engineering to Systems of Systems (SoS), often referred to as SoS Engineering (SoSE).

SoS and SoSE are topics that interest a significant number of INCOSE members globally, both individuals and organizations.

Grow in Systems Engineering

Analytic Enablers

TechOps Domain






Judith Dahmann

Alan Harding



This working group addresses the application of systems engineering to all kinds of engineered systems of systems, across all relevant application domains.

This includes directed, acknowledged,  collaborative and virtual SoS (as defined in ISO/IEC/IEEE 21841) and our membership and work covers application domains including (not exhaustive): defence, aerospace, power and energy, transportation, automotive, infrastructure, healthcare.

Anyone with an application area or challenge that might benefit from SoS thinking is always welcome.


The goal of the working group is to expand and promote the body of knowledge of SoS and SoSE and its benefits within the Systems Engineering community through the following enduring activities:
1. Understand and share what we mean by SoS in our various contexts
2. Develop guidance and advice
3. Inform and up-skill practitioners
4. Exert influence on SE Vision, Standards, INCOSE SE Handbook and SE Body of Knowledge etc.
5. Develop the practice of SE for SoS
6. Work in partnership with other groups addressing aspects of SoS (e.g. other INCOSE WGs, IEEE, NDIA)
7. Understand and apply insights from relevant research, contributing to the SoS research agenda


Since its formation the working group has created a substantial body of work, as well as motivating a significant number of conference papers, panels, and interactive sessions.

Highlights include:

  • Webinars: A programme of monthly webinars, open to all INCOSE members, as a forum to share information on SoS. There are over 80 recorded webinars available to INCOSE members (link to be updated)
  • SE Body of Knowledge: Curate and evolve the SOS content in SeBoK Systems of Systems (SoS) - SEBoK (
  • SoS Pain Points: a seminal 2014 Symposium paper on the inherent challenges of SoSE, now embodied in the SE Handbook and SEBoK (iNET)
  • SE Handbook v5: curated sections reflecting the settled view of SoSE
  • SoS Primer: a simple guide to SoS and SoSE Pages - Product-Details (
  • INSIGHT special issue on SoS (Volume 19 issue 3 October 2016)
  • SoS Standards: a concise guide to international standards for SoSE Pages - Product-Details (
  • SoS and Complexity: new SeBoK knowledge area reflecting joint work with the INCOSE Complexity working group System of Systems and Complexity - SEBoK (

IW24: International Workshop Focus

The working group held two sessions at the 2024 International Workshop:

Sunday 28th Jan 1300-1700 PST, a working session exploring SoS implementation approaches (hybrid meeting, open)

Monday 29th Jan 0930-1200 PST, Business Meeting where we review the previous year's achievements and plans for 2024 (hybrid meeting, open)

Meeting notes and presentations are now available on the member-only iNET.

Planned Activities

These are the planned SoSWG activities for 2024 (to be updated following IW2024)

  1. Webinar series – continued programme of webinars, porting library to new INCOSE iNET
  2. Further work addressing the SoS perspective on systems engineering for the cyber-contested environment
  3. Further work on a “Rosetta stone” guide to interpreting the new INCOSE Requirements WG products and ISO/IEC/IEEE 21948 in the context of SoS, Mission Engineering
  4. Explore relationship between SoS, Mission Engineering, Capability Engineering and Complexity.
  5. Prepare for and deliver an INCOSE panel at the SoSE Conference at Tacoma, WA, USA in June 2024 

Planned Work Products

  1. Additional SoS webinars
  2. SoS Perspective on Systems Engineering for Cyber Contested Environment
  3. “Rosetta stone” guide to interpreting Requirements in SoS domain
  4. Deliver “panel session at SoSE 2024


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