“The main body of this document is a generic framework. This can be applied in the context of any application, project, organization or enterprise for both individual and/or organizational assessment and/or development. The framework is expected to be tailored to suit the application and domain in which it is applied, combining competencies identified herein with others taken from complimentary frameworks (e.g. Program Management, Human Resources, Aerospace, Medical), or generated organizationally, to define the required knowledge, skills and behaviors appropriate to an area or role.” – Systems Engineering Competency Framework, pg. 6.


May 4, 2021


Rather than defining what IS and ISN’T systems engineering, as was done by GRCSE, SEEE attempts to create a broader competency framework that includes competencies from Industrial, Manufacturing, Systems Engineering, Project Management, and Operations Research, etc. Thus, when employers are looking for people with certain skillsets, the competencies are what are important, not the label that is placed on an aggregated set of them. Many universities do not have degrees in systems engineering, but they do have degrees in these other disciplines. We believe that taking this approach will broaden the reach of systems engineering and INCOSE, while avoiding divisions that fracture the discipline and impose barriers of communication. 

After a review of a very broad set of competency frameworks, SEEE believes that the INCOSE framework provides the most appropriate foundation as it is expected to be tailored to suit the application and domain in which it is applied. Given the broader scope, SEEE’s framework is intended to be a superset of the INCOSE framework, including all of the INCOSE competencies, while being tailored to best suit the academic community in a visual, website application. As such, tailoring took place in two areas: (1) categorization of competencies, and (2) addition of new competencies and increased detail in sub-competencies. This tailoring is described in detail below.



The categorization has been updated to improve visual presentation and navigability for a website application. In addition, the categories names and groups have been modified to be consistent with academic divisions. Each tailoring is described below along with its motivation.

  •  Merged "Integrating Competencies" into "Management Competencies".

Many of the competencies can be viewed as being “integrative”. In particular, the competencies noted in the “Integrating Competency” category are often associated with managerial functions and are not easy to differentiate from managerial tasks. For example, “Logistics” is quite similar to “Acquisition and Supply”, the first being in the “Integrating” category and the latter being in the “Management” one. To reduce confusion and contention, these two categories were combined into one. In addition, the remaining four categories have strong ties to traditional academic divisions.

  • Created new names for remaining four categories.

These four remaining categories have strong ties with academic divisions. The names have been changed to minimize the amount of contention between the academic divisions over who has dominion over “Professional”, “Core”, and “Technical” skills. The following is how SEEE perceives these:

Lead (previously “Professional”) – Personal and interpersonal competencies related to emotional IQ, ethics and professionalism, critical thinking, teamship and communication skills. These capabilities serve to amplify the impact of the other competencies through others. This is primarily the domain of Arts and Humanities.

Understand (previously “Core”) – Analytical competencies relating to understanding, creating and using systems models, including systems thinking, modeling and simulation, experimentation, and analysis and decision making. This competencies provide the analytical support for decision making. This is primarily the domain of System Science.

Design (previously “Technical”) – Synthesis competencies that enable the system design through the lifecycle of conceptualization, architecture, implementation and sustainment. These competencies support the creative design process including design thinking, engineering design, and systems engineering. This is the domain of Engineering.

Realize (previously “Management”) – Management and control competencies that support the actual realization of systems including business fundamentals, lifecycle management, monitoring and control, and operations. These competencies enable the realization and execution of the engineering of systems. This is the domain of Management.

  • Changed color of “Core Competencies” from yellow to red

Yellow was changed to Red to provide great differentiation from the rest of the categories, in particular “Professional” which is gold. The SEEE logo is based on this color scheme reinforces the notion of four major competency groups.

  • Created four subcategories for each category

There are currently too many competencies to view at once. In addition, we wanted to ensure that there was equal visual weighting between the four competency categories, so four subcategories were created for each category. The provides a very balance visual imagine, and does not provide bias to any one of the four competency categories, and academic disciplines.

  • Moved "Critical Thinking" to “Lead” ("Professional Competencies")

Critical thinking is an important skill independent of application. This is a competency over which philosophy could rightly claim ownership, being in the Arts and Humanities.

  • Moved "Capability Engineering" to “Design” ("Technical Competencies")

As defined, this is really the ability to engineer systems at the enterprise and SoS scale. Thus, it is a creative engineering task that involves composition and design, moving it into the “Design” category.

  • Moved "Lifecycles" into "Management Competencies"

“The selection of appropriate lifecycles in the realization of a system.” “Lifecycles form the basis for project planning and estimating.” NCOSE CF, pg. 40. As noted in the INCOSE text, this is a planning function most appropriate in the “Realize” competency category.

  • Moved "Decision Management" to “Understand” ("Core Competencies")
    This is a point worth debating. It has been moved to Core Competencies, but after review, we can see how this goes beyond analysis, and might remain where it is in “Management” as a control function.



As noted earlier, the SEEE competency set is expected to be a superset of the INCOSE SE competency framework. In addition, it is expected that this set of competencies will dynamically be updated based on the input from industry, academics and student/professionals. All of the INCOSE competencies are included in the SEEE set. However, additions have been made in the newer areas of SE including modeling, experimentation and analysis. Each tailoring is described below along with its motivation.

  • Split "Systems Modeling & Analysis" into two competencies, "Modeling", and "Analysis & Decision Making"

Systems Modeling and Analysis represents two different areas of competency, the first being modeling and the second being the analysis of data from modeling or measurements. Each of these areas represent a vast academic disciplines. For example, one could map data science to the analysis portion of this competency. Thus, this competency has been broken into its two major constituent parts.

  • Added "Experimentation" competency

The design of experiments is a critical skill that lies between modeling and analysis. It has been a long-term area of study in engineering design processes and Operations Research.

  • Added sub-competencies within "Systems Thinking" , "Experimentation", "Modeling & Simulation", and "Analysis & Decision-Making"

As noted above, these are broad areas of academic study. Additional sub-competencies have been added to provide additional detail in these areas.






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