Many have asked what it is I do at work. Often I don't give a very satisfactory answer. But this Diagram is called the Systems Engineering Process "V" Diagram. It is used to guide development and delivery of technology related projects, in my case "intelligent transportation systems." I most often find my self assigned tasks in the upper left box called "Concept of Operations" or "ConOps" for short. This describes what the technology is supposed to do from the user's point of view.
Sometimes I have also been involved with development of requirements. What is a requirement? A good question. It relates to the ConOps. For example you have all seen traffic monitoring cameras along the freeway. An example requirement is that the camera image be viewed at the traffic management. Sounds simple, but a lot of other requirements must be met in order for that to happen.
Sometimes my role is actually developing these documents. Other times my role involves managing others who are doing them. For example for one County in Florida, I am managing work performed by a designer, an integrator (see on the right leg of the "V"), and a soils testing company (to make sure the poles don't fall down we need to know what the soils are). All the while working on contracting documents, cost estimates, meetings, etc. for the Client who is the County.
I am sure that generates more questions than it answers, but "You asked for it."