Feature-based PLE: ISO Standards and Process Framework
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SPECIAL INVITATION: Preview the Process Framework

Feature-based Product Line Engineering: ISO Standards and Process Framework

Greetings from Dr. Charles Krueger, BigLever CEO:

Feature-based Product Line Engineering (PLE) is emerging as one of the foremost areas of innovation within the systems engineering field today. Over the past few years, the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) has recognized the growing importance of PLE, which prompted the organization’s leadership to propose and sponsor a new standards initiative with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) on Feature-based PLE. 

INCOSE has long been the premier driving industry force behind maturing and advancing the discipline of systems engineering. Paul Clements, BigLever's VP of Customer Success, and I participate in INCOSE to help build awareness and understanding of the latest PLE approaches and proven best practices, and to help promote widespread adoption. 

The ISO PLE standards initiative is vitally important to the systems engineering community, which will benefit from definitive guidance on the best practices in Feature-based PLE. I am thrilled and honored to say that I have been selected by INCOSE and ISO to lead this effort as editor for the new standards. In my editor role, I work closely with experts from across the globe to develop a clear, crisp, and concise specification that engineering organizations can apply to best comprehend, tailor, and adopt the most efficient, effective and proven modern PLE approaches that are enabling the industry’s most notable PLE success stories.

The new standard, designated ISO/IEC 26580, is in its third draft form, with help from both the INCOSE International Working Group for PLE and the ISO/IEC JTC 1 (Joint Technical Committee on Information Technology) SC7 (Standards Committee on Software and Systems Engineering) WG 4 (Working Group for Tools and Environment). I will be traveling to Kuantan, Malaysia next month to attend the next ISO JTC1/SC7 meeting to advance it through the next steps of the standards process.

We are also collaborating with our partner, Method Park, to create a new Feature-based PLE Process Framework that is derived from the same principles and practices that are being applied in the new ISO PLE standards.

A key part of BigLever’s holistic onePLE solution, this framework is specifically designed to allow organizations to speed PLE adoption by leveraging a consistent, proven, off-the-shelf template of best practices. 

>> Request a PLE Process Framework preview demo.

About the Feature-based PLE Process Framework

As PLE matures and evolves into an enterprise-level solution, it’s increasingly important that organizations have a well-established framework for PLE deployment — a Concept of Operations template that lays out the organizational structure and puts that structure into motion by clearly defining PLE-related processes. 

This is especially critical for enabling each group within an enterprise, and across the engineering lifecycle, to implement PLE best practices using a standardized process template — thus avoiding the inefficiencies and pitfalls of ad hoc and one-off approaches.

In partnership with Method Park, BigLever has developed the new Feature-based PLE Process Framework to provide comprehensive guidance for allowing organizations to successfully define and establish a PLE ConOps that adheres to the principles contained in the new ISO standards. Built using Method Park’s Stages Process Management System, the framework provides an invaluable “starting point” for modeling PLE processes that can be tailored for each enterprise, or each group within the organization. 

Companies can use the framework to efficiently establish organizational roles and responsibilities, and define and implement the precise processes needed for allowing their workforce to transition to and operate efficiently within the PLE paradigm. This framework is designed to improve cross-functional communication and alignment in PLE deployments by having everyone work to the same, consistent, well-defined, and visualized set of processes.

Preview the PLE Process Framework

The BigLever team is currently working with Method Park to launch the Feature-based PLE Process Framework to the engineering community at large; however, we would like to offer you a preview!

Please let us know if you would like to learn more about the Feature-based PLE ISO standards and how the process framework supports these standards. We would be happy to provide a preview demo of the process framework for you or your team. Send us your request at demo@biglever

Best regards,
Charles W. Krueger
BigLever Software CEO

About Feature-based Product Line Engineering 

As market demand for product sophistication and diversity continues to grow, companies face new levels of systems engineering complexity. It is not unusual for engineering teams to spend as much as two-thirds of their time dealing with the mundane tasks of managing the mounting complexity of product variation. 

Feature-based Product Line Engineering (PLE) dramatically reduces this engineering complexity through a fully unified approach across the full lifecycle, from portfolio planning to multi-discipline asset engineering, product marketing, manufacturing, sales, and service. By providing a “single source of feature truth,” it enables a holistic view into the feature variations for a product family, eliminating the need for different variant management mechanisms across the organization. 

PLE Success Stories

The following success stories spotlight Feature-based PLE deployments by some of the world's largest forward-thinking organizations:

How Automotive Engineering Is Taking Product Line Engineering to the Extreme

The More You Do, the More You Save: The Superlinear Cost Avoidance Effect of Systems Product Line Engineering

A Methodical Approach to Product Line Adoption

Lessons from AEGIS — Organizational and Governance Aspects of a Major Product Line in a Multi-Program Environment 

PLE in the Media

As PLE gains momentum in the engineering community, the media's interest in PLE grows in tandem:

Digital Engineering: BigLever Stakes PLE Claim In The Enterprise

Automotive Design & Production: Managing Product Lines by Focusing on Features

Embedded Computing Design: Product Line Engineering — Intelligent manufacturing for intelligent products

Manufacturing Engineering: PLE Helps Engineering Teams Reduce Product Development Complexity

John Day's Automotive Electronics: Advanced PLE Puts the Auto Industry in Overdrive

About BigLever Software

BigLever Software™ is the long-standing leader in the Product Line Engineering field. BigLever’s holistic onePLE™ solution delivers the leading-edge technology, proven methodology, business strategy and organizational change expertise needed to efficiently transition to and operate a game-changing PLE practice.

The company’s state-of-the-art PLE methods and tools provide a unified, automated approach for feature-based variant management. This approach extends across the full lifecycle including engineering and operations disciplines; software, electrical, and mechanical domains; and tool ecosystem.

Some of the world’s largest forward-thinking organizations across a spectrum of industries are leveraging BigLever’s PLE solution to achieve competitive advantage through order-of-magnitude improvements in productivity, time-to-market, portfolio scalability, and product quality. For more information, visit

Contact BigLever: 
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