Systems & Software Engineering

For more than 30 years, the systems and software engineers of the Automation and Data Systems Division at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has performed:

  • Systems and software requirements analysis
  • Software design and analysis
  • Software implementation
  • Testing and integration
  • Documentation
  • Turn-key development
  • Software process improvement
  • Independent verification and validation

Using a proven systems engineering process, the Intelligent Systems Department at SwRI is committed to reliably producing solutions of the highest quality. Our commitment to excellence is evident through our appraised attainment of Level 5 within the Software Engineering Institute's (SEI) Capability maturity Model Integration (CMMI®) This distinction is held by a limited number of American companies and even fewer applied research and development institutions.

Benefits of Level 5 CMMI-Based Attainment

Some of the benefits we derive from a CMMI-based process improvement initiative include:

  • Enhanced defect containment
  • Higher customer satisfaction
  • Reduced schedule variance
  • Reduced cost variance

Components of Systems Development Lifecycles

Some of the common components of most systems development lifecycles include:

  • Requirements
  • Analysis and design
  • Implementation
  • Testing and verification

Every phase of the systems development lifecycle is carefully planned, executed, reviewed, and constantly improved. Documentation aids communication between both team members and clients.


Requirements management aims to develop, manage, and maintain product requirements for a project. Managing product requirements is necessary to control and monitor the scope of the project and provide a baseline against which cost and schedule estimates are made. Our requirements management includes careful planning, development, and tracking of product requirements. SwRI engineers have experience with a great number of requirements management tools and know how to use requirements traceability to manage the scope of a project.

Analysis & Design

Analysis and design include the processes necessary to develop a high-level (or preliminary or architectural) design and expand it into a detailed design. SwRI engineers are experience in using unified modeling language (UML), database modeling, and much more. Because of SwRI's unique dual career track, our lead architects have acquired decades of purely technical experience and span the bridge between academic concepts and practical experience.


Implementation is the process of physically construction the work product according to the design. For software, implementation is the physical act of writing the software. We utilize a selection of coding standards based on industry standards for all of the common languages used for software implementation.

Testing & Verification

Code and document reviews are performed to help ensure the quality of SwRI's work products. Reviews ensure that we catch defects very early in the software lifecycle, where the potential cost of fixing the defects is greatly decreased. Engineers also use the following types of testing to verify the quality of our products:

  • Unit
  • Functional
  • Regression
  • Interface
  • System integration
  • Performance

In addition, SwRI's quality assurance processes ensure that we continue to deliver quality results by reviewing products and performing project/process surveillance.

To learn more about how SwRI can help your organization with its systems engineering needs, visit the following pages:

  • Full Life Cycle Development
  • Flexible Teams
  • Systems Integration

Related Terminology

software engineering  •  software development  •  ITS systems  •  medical systems  •  modeling  •  simulation  •  CMMI®  •  intelligent transportation system

Benefiting government, industry and the public through innovative science and technology
Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 10 technical divisions.