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A better world through a systems approach

Resilient Systems Working Group

Mission & Objectives

The mission of the Resilient Systems Working Group is to establish an understanding and approach to systems resilience -- a new subdomain of systems engineering

Resilience is a relatively new term in the SE realm, appearing only in the 2006 timeframe and becoming popularized in the 2010 timeframe.  The recent application of “resilience” to engineered systems has led to confusion over its meaning and a proliferation of alterative definitions.  (One expert claims that well over 100 unique definitions of resilience have appeared.) 


It has been difficult to identify a single definition that – word for work – satisfies all.  However, it is possible to gain a general agreement of what is meant by resilience of engineered systems; viz.,

Resilience is the ability to provide required capability in the face of adversity. 

Scope of the means of achieving resilience

The means of achieving resilience include avoiding, withstanding, recovering from, and evolving and adapting to adversity.

Classically resilience would include “withstanding” and “recovering.”  There is accepted thinking that, for the purpose of engineered systems, “avoiding” adversity is a legitimate aspect of achieving resilience.  Likewise, it is believed that resilience should encompass the system’s ability to “evolve and adapt” to future threats and unknown-unknowns.

Scope of the adversity

Another consideration is to identify the range of adversities that are to be considered by resilience.  We propose that the SE must consider all; i.e., environmental, normal failure and opponent, friendly & neutral parties.


Chairman -- John S. Brtis,  CSEP, PE, PMP,  719-238-0277 <c>
Cochairman -- Scott Jackson, INCOSE Fellow, 949-726-2003

Working Group Products

INCOSE "Insight" Special Issue on Resilience -- April 2015
INCOSE SE Handbook Section on Resilience -- mid 2015
SEBOK section on Resilience Engineering -- Second Revision Delivered September 2017


Planned Working Sessions at the Next Events

Planned Presentations at the Next Events