Subjects covered

  • System and technology lifecycles
  • Lifecycle models
  • Lifecycle tailoring
  • Lifecycle debate
  • Design for COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) and reuse
  • Through life-cycle costs
  • Engineering the supply chain
  • Design for manufacture
  • Design for integration and test
  • Design for support and disposal
  • Case study: Wind turbine
  • Case study: Aircraft
  • Lifecycles for supporting systems
  • Process improvement and CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration)

Lifecycle Management


There are important benefits in understanding what the lifecycle of a technology is and using that understanding to align the processes and teams to its use. The life cycle of any technology or system includes the entire spectrum of activity involved in development, from the identification of a need through to dealing with obsolescence. As the development progresses, there will be interactions between activities in different stages and this leads to concurrent engineering throughout. Although we talk about life cycles in a generic way, it is evident that the most appropriate type of lifecycle will depend on the type of project, the technology involved, the particular constraints, and the state of maturity of the organisations involved. That is why it is essential to have proper tailoring processes to choose the life cycle type best suited to the circumstances and the project.
The specific activities and the duration of each will vary depending on nature,  complexity and purpose of the system as well as the factors above. Even with appropriate tailoring in place, needs, teams, stakeholders may change and processes need to be robust to handle these changes and also to allow for improvement.

Stages in a lifecycle

When developing complex technological products, it helps to apply a 'systems approach', which ensures special attention is given to certain key areas. The life of the product can be divided into life cycle stages as shown in the 'V-diagram below'. After the product is accepted by the customer, it is operated, maintained and ultimately disposed of, often to be replaced by the next generation of product.


Page last modified on 06 dec 13 09:03