The V-Model of system engineering culminates the engineering industry's experience with the full range of system development modeling from general conceptual modeling to nit-picking development lifecycle models and project management planning. The "V"describes, in a methodical structured approach, the process of requirements development, preliminary design, detail design, and then the closure of all requirements after design via analysis, testing, and verification. At its core lie two guiding practices: Verification and Validation.
Geocent embraces the Project Management Institute Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) standard for verification. PMBOK and IEEE standards define verification as, "The evaluation of whether or not a product, service, or system complies with a regulation, requirement, specification, or imposed condition." Though for the novice verification would only begin with testing, Geocent engineers know that verification measures must be in place from beginning to end. We seek to verify first that we understand what the customer is asking from us. Then we verify that the requirements we help draw up actually do describe that concept and then that the design, before any development ensues, verifiably addresses every requirement. We also understand that the original concept and requirements can change throughout, so we have in place methods and practices that help us identify, incorporate, and verify that we quickly put those changes in place.
Under the PMBOK and IEEE understanding, validation is, "The assurance that a product, service, or system meets the needs of the customer and other identified stakeholders. It often involves acceptance and suitability with external customers." To this end, Geocent engineers are constantly charged with answering the question, "Are you building the right thing?" and seek to involve the customer, the end-users of our deliverables, and all other relevant stakeholders in every step of the development process from concept, to creating requirements, to design, throughout implementation, and throughout the verification and integration processes.
The Geocent Models
At Geocent, the overarching process for systems engineering we use comes from the Systems Engineering "V" diagram shown above. In our direct support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and its major development contractors in the design, development, and testing of space launch vehicles, spacecraft, and payloads for the International Space Station, Geocent uses the
NASA Systems Engineering Handbook (NASA/SP-2007-6105) V-Model process. Numerous other renditions of the V-Model have emerged over the past 20 years, but the two that guide Geocent development the most are the NASA Handbook and the one found in the
International Council on Systems Engineering Handbook (INCOSE-TP-2003-002-03).