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Systems engineering: Challenging complexity
Systems engineering: Challenging complexity

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Stage 3: Identification of objectives and constraints (where would we like to be?)

This stage forces the project team to make explicit the objectives and constraints associated with the problem or opportunity. This is valuable for several reasons.

  • It forces everyone concerned to clarify what they hope to achieve.

  • The need to agree objectives and constraints can bring into the open disagreements that otherwise might emerge only at a later stage of the approach.

  • The process of defining, elaborating and agreeing objectives and constraints helps to maintain commitment to the project.

  • It lays the foundation for subsequent activities, since once the objectives and constraints have been defined it is possible to decide what is needed to achieve or avoid them.

Objectives and constraints can be quantitative or qualitative.