Collaborative Systems Engineering (CSE) checklist

Task and Objective

The triumphant advance of software in smart products and systems is placing new demands on collaboration processes in the context of distributed product development. This has resulted in the need to replace the existing VDA recommendation on collaboration in collaborative projects (VDA 4961/3), which was published as the SE checklist. In 2019, the task of creating a new recommendation was taken on by the CSE project group, a joint initiative established by the prostep ivip Association and VDA.

The aim the CSE project was to create a common understanding of the scope of system development and define new content for the CSE checklist by involving experts from the participating committees and companies. To this end, the project group examined how the domains involved in the product development process at OEMs and suppliers currently exchange their data and which data standards they use. In 2022, it brought its work to a successful close with the publication of the Collaborative Systems Engineering checklist for all the domains of the V-model (PSI24 / VDA 4961/4).

The CSE checklist provides OEMs and suppliers with support in the context of preparing and implementing collaboration projects by classifying collaboration models and development partnerships. The partners coordinate their data logistics with the help of the checklist and the associated templates in accordance with the collaboration model. The data logistics include their specific communication and CAx infrastructures, the data exchange formats for technical documents and models to be used in the respective systems engineering domains, project management, change and release processes as well as dates, deadlines, costs and responsibilities.

Focus and concrete results

In 2022, the project group completed and published the documentation of the CSE checklist for the systems engineering domains requirements management, system modeling, system simulation, mechanics, electrics/electronics, software, and verification and validation of the systems engineering process. Following integration of the feedback from the user companies, the content of the document was approved by VDA working group Digital Product Development (DPE) and the Technical Steering Committee (TSC). The documentation of the CSE checklist is available to interested parties in German and English on the websites of the VDA and the prostep ivip Association. To simplify its use, it is available not only as a PDF document but also as an interactive version with the name CSE Generator.

Organizational and technical challenges

Including all the domains of the V-model meant that revising the CSE checklist was a very complex undertaking involving a large number of requirements. Only by greatly expanding the number of virtual meetings was the project group able to carry out the required rounds of coordination.

What the project coordinator says:

"Completion of the CSE checklist means that we have done our part. The checklist helps collaboration partners plan and execute their joint projects more efficiently. We thank all those involved for their commitment and active participation, which led to the good result."


Dr. Cornelius Menig, Volkswagen AG

Project coordination

Dr. Marcus Krastel
Tel.: +49 6151 7376 100
E-Mail: marcus.krastel(at)


Audi AG
:em engineering methods AG
Küster Holding GmbH
Leoni AG
Mercedes-Benz AG
Robert Bosch GmbH
Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG
Volkswagen AG
Webasto SE