SEM Introduction and Lifecycle Model

The Systems Engineering Methodology (SEM) of the State Unified Information Technology Environment (SUITE) provides guidance for information systems engineering related project management activities and quality assurance practices and procedures. The primary purpose of the methodology is to promote the development of reliable, cost-effective, computer-based solutions while making efficient use of resources. Use of the methodology will also aid in the status tracking, management control, and documentation efforts of a project.

Development of the SEM was governed by the State Unified Information Technology Environment (SUITE) initiative.

This information system engineering methodology is consistent with other methodologies used in State and Federal Governments and private industry. It complies with State of Michigan policy on project management, software configuration management, security, and records management. It should be used in conjunction with all State of Michigan information management programs and initiatives.

It is important to differentiate between the Project Management Methodology (PMM) and this System Engineering Methodology.

The PMM covers all the things a project manager needs to do regardless of whether the project is a software development, package selection, or relocation of his work unit.  The  PMM covers standard areas of project management (Cost Management, Risk Management, Scope Management, Resource Management, Communications Management, Quality Management, Time Management, Procurement Management, and Integration Management) and purposely does not include the separate concepts and requirements of system engineering, leaving that to be included in the SEM. Conversely, this SEM does not reiterate the standards of project management, instead referring to the PMM as appropriate.

The PMM is the methodology for management of the work effort. The SEM is the step-by-step development of the software application.

The State of Michigan has a consistent project management methodology in place which can be used for all types of projects. The State of Michigan now also has a consistent system engineering methodology that is a companion to the project management methodology.

In this way, people can move comfortably from applications development, to infrastructure roll out, to software selection to even relocating to new buildings using the same approach throughout the organization.

The SEM is derived from the principles and standards advocated by information management industry leaders, such as The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Carnegie Melon Software Engineering Institute (SEI), and the Department of Energy (DOE). This methodology is designed to enable State of Michigan project teams to achieve Level 3 maturity on the SEI Capability Maturity Model Integrated (CMMI).

The SEM is intended to be used by individuals, project teams, and managers who are responsible for developing a new computer-based solution or effecting changes to an existing system. The methodology, including its templates, is reviewed on a regular basis and will be modified as needed to keep pace with the changing needs of State of Michigan information systems engineering environment and the continuing technical advances in the information systems industry. As a result of the reviews, it is anticipated that a new release of the SEM will be issued within 12 months of the initial release date.