MBSE Omega Guide

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We note that in the minutes to the MBSE WG meeting, 02/09/2014, which was when it was posed to the Council to start work on an 'Omega Guide', it was phrased as a "How to do MBSE" Guide. link here

The Adoption Guide will not focus on the business case for adoption of MBSE, since there is a parallel sub-group activity MBSE Value. However there will be some mention of reasons for adoption of MBSE under the 'why?' questions.


The Omega Guide team currently comprises the following members:

Member Organisation Role
Julian Johnson Holistem Lead Author
Ian Clark MBDA Member
Robin Nickless AWE Member
Ali Parandeh Atkins Member
Jan Rapacz Dassault Systèmes Member
Neil Burt ??? Member
James Towers Scarecrow Consultants Member


TeamStorming February 2015

The working group held a "TeamStorming" session during the February 2015 meeting in order to explore the question "What should the new omega guide be about?" The outputs from that session can be found below:

A summary of the particular relevance of these outputs to content of the Guide, for convenience, is shown below:

Item Content summary Relevance to Guide content
TeamStorming Overview 16 pp, mostly photos of what should guide be about (concept map), empathy analysis (hearing, seeing, feeling, seeing) for stakeholders (author, publisher, reviewer, user); storyboards. yes, at meta-level: content must address scope and objectives, must be usable, inform audience, give practical guidance to deliver value.
User Empathy Map 2 pp Yes, in some aspects: real-world examples, links to other info/help. Otherwise it is a useful list of characteristics that content should exhibit.
Reviewer ensures appropriate Content scenario 4 pp, reviewer storyboard, beaver / monkey analysis No: more useful for how to run the reviewing process effectively.
Author delivering Practical Guidance Scenario 1 table, 2 figs, author storyboard yes, at meta-level (fine aim, understand need, understand stakeholders): no direct info about suggested content.
Practical Guidance to User Scenario 1 table, user scenario, spanners and responses to combat spanners. yes, at meta-level (not enough info, I don't believe the claims): no direct info about suggested content.
Publihser (sic) delivering Value Scenario storyboard, beavers and spanners yes, at meta-level (inconsistent with INCOSE WG, insufficient scope, lacks innovation...): no direct info about suggested content.

Overview and the 6 W's

The current active thinking of the MBSE Adoption Guide structure is that it is based on 6 key questions, and from the perspectives of at least two stakeholders with respect to MBSE:

  • An individual systems engineer;
  • An engineering manager (with responsibility for a project, or organisational unit / department / function).

Current generic questions are proposed to be (JJ - have deliberately re-ordered to bring Why to top):

  1. Why should I adopt MBSE?
  2. What does MBSE mean for my role?
  3. Where (activity area, disciplines level of decomp) do I employ MBSE?
  4. When (temporal e.g. life cycle phase, criteria) should MBSE be employed?
  5. Who else needs to participate in, or will be impacted by the use of, MBSE activities?
  6. How do I make use of MBSE on my project?

A graphic illustrating this outline is available on the MBSE.org site here: 6-questions poster draft

Status Reports

Omega Team Reference material (source)

The majority of the older material is actually on Alex's mbse.org site, specifically at this link, for those registered for the site:

A summary of the material and discussions on that forum appears in the table below, for easy reference. Any items which are explicit about potential content (as distinct to characteristics it should exhibit, like useability, credibility, etc.), are highlighted in bold. If there are significant points missing, please edit this page and its table content to correct.

Date created Topic title Content summary, especially if relevant to content
5/5/2015 Summary of Omega Men Session at WG Meeting 23/04/15 Notes of meeting. Diagram of aim or post guide awareness: pre-Guide vs post-Guide awareness, both axes competency levels.

Thoughts about guide contents: case studies, languages, applicability of MBSE to specific project. Reference to how aligned with ISO 15288.

16/7/2015 Moving Forward Discussions: refinement to above framework, competency, UKSPEC (yes, no), that MBSE is ‘not new’, stakeholders (inc system engineer, engineering manager) and use case diagram.
21/10/2015 2015 10 20 Omega Group mtg Bham Notes of meeting. Emergence of the Why / when / where / who / how structure, MBSE vs 15288 outcomes, other stakeholders?, reference to PM and RACI framework, benefits and challenges.
7/11/2015 MBSE Question Summary of the 6 questions from Engineer / Eng Manager perspectives, suggestion common questions vs any stakeholder, pointer to OmegaProgress slideset at ASEC (inc slide 9 “how you can contribute”: 3 questions to MBSE WG participants), details of one response to presentation (8 paras), paraphrase of response from JJ “good points, apparently confusion over stakeholders?”, incorporate MBSE during bid phase.

Note that there are also potential content suggestions summarised in MBSE_Omega_Guide, from the Teamstorming session, (see summary table) again highlighted in bold.

Case Studies

This section lists details of any case studies of application of MBSE, or adoption of MBSE, with appropriate supporting information, where that can be made available.

(to be populated).


This section will evolve to contain frequently asked questions about MBSE and its adoption, with responses, supported by references where possible.

(to be populated).

Related Material

Links to external and/or INCOSE materials relevant to MBSE Adoption.

Note: Some of the links below may only be accessible to INCOSE members, and you may need to login to INCOSE Connect to access.

Reference Relevance Link
Introducing MBSE by using Systems Engineering Principles, Jonas Hallqvist and Jonas Larsson, 26th Annual INCOSE International Symposium (IS 2016) Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, July 18-21, 2016 Describes one way to introduce MBSE in a company, in an aerospace context. After success on an initial pilot stody, adoption on a much large project was attempted, but stalled due to a number of issues. A systematic approach was adopted to understand all aspects of the transition to MBSE from the current situation: processes affected, incremental small steps, coordination, risk analysis, training. Subsequently a re-focus on systems engineering principles, including clarity on systems engineering purpose: describe different views of the systems architecture and design by using SysML in a modelling tool. Subsequently producing a model of their (MBSE) modelling environment, its capabilties, and its emergent properties (for instance, support for creating training material for the chosen method). A useful conclusion with many lessons-learned including: adopt holistic view to the change; keep focus on the why-change; think big, start small, evolve; prototype change, but beware scaleability; address all stakeholders; involve people that have gone through change before; ensure good leadership; form an effective commucation plan. link
Getting Started with MBSE in Product Development, Nichole Kass and James Kolozs, 26th Annual INCOSE International Symposium (IS 2016) Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, July 18-21, 2016 Prompted by concern about the complexity of default underlying MBSE schema, the authors developed a simplified schema that underpinning basic V lifecycle systems engineering processes, and cross-cutting concepts (traceability, definitions, documents, issues). The authors explain aspects of this simplied schema and its relationship to supporting systems engineering processes, and how even on larger, more complex projects, they adopt and then refine and extend this schema required for the specific project. link
CAB Update, MB Transformation, V1.1.8, Model-Based Transformation: Planning and Assessment Instrument This is a presention made to the INCOSE CAB at the IW, Jan, 2017. It describes a planning and assessment tool proposed in support of transformation from conventional SE to model-based SE. The tool's framework is primarily ISO 15288 processes, and a traffic light scale of adoption of MBSE. The later slides also makes reference to the INCOSE 'ASELCM' pattern, 1 target system, 2 lifecycle domain system, 3 system of innovation. link


Using wiki in support of Omega Guide development

Useful tips for those new to use of a wiki are available in wiki for Omega Guide development.

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