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Agile Systems & SE

Mission & Objectives

This working group's mission is to provide a body of fundamental knowledge which enables systems engineering and engineered systems to operate in environments of caprice, uncertainty, risk, variability, and evolution (CURVE). See the full Agile Systems and Systems Engineering charter.

This working group views agility as a sustainable system and process capability under CURVE conditions, enabled and constrained fundamentally by system architecture. This architecture delivers agile capability as reconfigurable, augmentable, composable, and evolvable for system and process functionality, during operation throughout the lifecycle. The architecture enables the system or process to respond to new and immediate situational requirements effectively. Effectiveness of response is measured in response time, response cost, response quality, and response scope sufficient to sustain functional intent.

This working group's objective is to focus on fundamentally necessary and sufficient concepts, concept-employment principles, and concepts of operations that enable any system or process to be agile, and to show how these concepts and principles are or might be applied advantageously to a variety of INCOSE-relevant systems and processes of interest, independent of prescriptive interpretation.

Intended Outcomes

  • Identification and justification of necessary and sufficient fundamental concepts for any system or process to be agile.
  • Identification and publication of a relevant body of knowledge appropriate for the Systems Engineering Body of Knowledge (SEBoK).
  • Development and maintenance of appropriate contributions to the INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook that provide fundamental enabling concepts and considerations for engineering agile systems and processes, and for employing agile SE processes.
  • Development of generic Agile Systems Engineering Life Cycle Model fundamentals, compatible with IEEE/ISO 15288 and with agile systems engineering processes of all kinds.
  • Identification and development of informative examples of fundamental agile-system concepts employed in a variety of relevant system or process applications.
  • Socialization of work efforts with papers for INCOSE’s journal of Systems Engineering, papers and tutorials at the International Symposium, INSIGHT theme issues, and educational and tutorial Webinars.



  • Chair: Rick Dove, Paradigm Shift International and Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Co-Chair: Ron Lyells, Self
  • Co-Chair: Larri Rosser, Raytheon
  • Co-Chair: Keith Willett, DoD
Email to request announcement mailings and membership. 

Working Group Products

– INCOSE Webinar – Agile 101: Architecture Fundamentals
– INCOSE Webinar – Agile 102: Requirements Fundamentals
– INCOSE Webinar – Agile 103: Design Fundamentals
– INCOSE Webinar – Agile 104: Quality Fundamentals
– INCOSE Webinar – Agile 105: Operational Awareness
– INCOSE Webinar – Agile 106: Risk Management & Mitigation
– INCOSE Webinar – Agile 201: Problem Space Derived Solution Requirements
– INCOSE Webinar – Agile 202: Mixed Discipline Continuous Integration
– INCOSE Webinar – Agile 203: Agility as a System 
– WG Town Hall – Agile SE Life Cycle Model Fundamentals Project
– WG Webinar – Natural-System Patterns for SEing of Agile Self Organizing Security
– WG Webinar – System Engineering for Software Intensive Projects Using Agile Methods 
– WG Webinar – Agile WG Projects, Methods, and Collaboration Potential
– SE Handbook Section 9.9: Agile Systems Engineering – Published in July 2015
– Agile Systems Engineering Life Cycle Model Fundamentals (WIP)
– Continuous Iterative Development and Acquisition 
INSIGHT Publications
– 2014-Q2, Theme Issue: Agile-Systems Engineering & Agile Systems-Engineering
– 2015-Q2, Article: Needed - Practitioner Attention to Systems Engineering Delivery of Sustainable Value
– 2016-Q2, Theme Issue: Agile Security – Joint project with Agile SE working group
– 2018-Q2, Theme Issue: Enabling and Practicing Agile Systems Engineering
2014 Papers/Panels/Tutorials
– IS14 Paper: Systems Engineering for Software Intensive Projects Using Agile Methodologies
– IS14 Paper: Agile-System Engineering, Part 1
– IS14 Paper: Agile System-Engineering, Part 2
2015 Papers/Panels/Tutorials
– IW15 Tutorial: Modeling Agile Systems and Agile Systems Modeling
– IS15 Paper: Do Teams Using Agile Methodology Need Modeling
– IS15 Paper: The Role of Requirements in Agile Product Realization
– IS15 Paper: Principles for Agile Development
– IS15 Paper: Adaptive Knowledge Encoding for Agile Cybersecurity Operations
– IS15 Panel: Converging on Agile SE Priorities for INCOSE
– IS15 Tutorial: Designing Agile Systems and Agile SE Processes
2016 Papers/Panels/Tutorials
– IS16 Paper: Introduction to the Agile Systems Engineering Life Cycle MBSE Pattern (Schindel/Dove)
– IS16 Paper: Agile SE Process Features Collective Culture, Consciousness, and Conscience at SSC Pacific Unmanned Systems Group (Dove/Schindel/Scrapper)
– IS16 Paper: Merit of Adaptable Pairing as an Agile Systems Engineering Knowledge Management Practice (Leroux/Dove)
2017 Papers/Panels/Tutorials
– SysCon 2017 Paper: Case Study: Agile Hardware/Firmware/Software Product Line Engineering at Rockwell Collins
– 2017 AIAA Aviation Forum Panel: Incremental/Agile Methods—Fit for Demands of Complex Aerospace Systems?
– IS17 Paper: Case Study: Agile SE Process for Centralized SoS Sustainment at Northrop Grumman
2018 Papers/Panels/Tutorials
– IS18 Paper: Case Study: Agile Systems Engineering at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Integrated Fighter Group
– IS18 Paper: Creating Decision Guidance for Applying Agile Systems Engineering 
2019 Papers/Panels/Tutorials
– IS19 Paper: Agile Systems Engineering Life Cycle Model for Mixed Discipline Engineering
– IS19 Paper: Managing Complexity with Agility and Openness
– Appreciative Methods Applied to the Assessment of Complex Systems 
2020 Paper/Panels/Tutorials
– IS20 Paper: Systems Engineering the Conditions of the Possibility
– S20 Panel: Issues, impediments, and Inspiration for Continuous Integration in Mixed Discipline Development

Planned Working Sessions at the Next Events

This working group holds workshops every year at the two main INCOSE events: the International Workshop (usually Jan/Feb) and the International Symposium (usually Jun/Jul). All working group members receive schedule and agenda announcements, and all INCOSE members can view the event planning details on the working group web-site. Non-INCOSE members with interest may inquire at the address shown in the Leadership box.

Planned Presentations at the Next Events

IW21 - Two workshop sessions

INCOSE will provide virtual linkage to the event sessions.

Friday 29 Jan, 1400-1600pm EST (New York), 2000-2200 CET (Spain)
Working group brief overview, then discussion on Agility in the Future of Systems Engineering (FuSE) project

  • This meeting will start with a brief overview of the working group, 
  • then overview the INCOSE Future of Systems Engineering (FuSE) initiative,
  • then present the nine concepts in the FuSE Agility topic with interactive discussion and a poll on importance of the concepts,
  • then a mini workshop on deeper aspects of the top two concepts in the poll.

Sunday 31-Jan, 0800-0900 EST (New York), 1400-1500 CET (Spain)
Project Results: Using Agile SE Decision Guidance Methods In A University CubeSAT Environment.
The objectives of this session include:

  • Raising awareness of the methodology usage experience by a university based CubeSat project (HYPSO) team.
  • Discuss how the assessment methodology improves situational awareness and provides a way to measure Agile response capability.  
  • Solicit additional interested users in the INCOSE community.
  • Then end with a short discussion on how best to integrate with INCOSE FUSE initiative and related agile SE principles.