System of Systems Working Group

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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). 

Analytic Enablers Domains

TechOps Domain






Alan Harding


Judith Dahmann 



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): defense, 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. 1. Understand and share what we mean by SoS in our various contexts 

  1. 2. Develop guidance and advice 

  1. 3. Inform and up-skill practitioners 

  1. 4. Exert influence on SE Vision, Standards, INCOSE SE Handbook and SE Body of Knowledge etc. 

  1. 5. Develop the practice of SE for SoS 

  1. 6. Work in partnership with other groups addressing aspects of SoS (e.g. other INCOSE WGs, IEEE, NDIA) 

  1. 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 79 recorded webinars available to INCOSE members - Working Group Webinars (

IW23: International Workshop Focus

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Planned Activities

  • Webinar series – continued programme of webinars, porting library to new INCOSE iNET (Jason Sherey leads) 
  • Review, update and issue a new paper addressing the SoS perspective on systems engineering for the cyber contested environment (Beth Wilson leads) 
  • Develop, review and issue a “Rosetta stone” guide to interpreting the new INCOSE Requirements WG products and ISO/IEC/IEEE 21948 in the context of SoS, Mission Engineering (Beth Wilson leads) 
  • Explore relationship between SoS, Mission Engineering, Capability Engineering and Complexity. We will use a face-to-face workshop to kick off this work, date/location to be confirmed (Judith Dahmann/Duncan Kemp leads) 
  • Review and update the SoS Primer to reflect advances since its initial issue in 2018 (Alan Harding leads) 

Planned Work Products

  • Additional SoS webinars 
  • SoS Perspective on Systems Engineering for Cyber Contested Environment 
  • “Rosetta stone” guide to interpreting Requirements in SoS domain 
  • Deliver “SoS Pain Points a 10-year retrospective” panel session at SoSE 2023 
  • Updated SoS Primer 


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