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Delivering complex systems requires the development of optimal designs on time, within budget and with the right level of quality. But even the best detailed design cannot compensate for poor system architecture. Systems engineering is not just a technical activity in the lifecycle - it determines the commercial viability of the entire project. The state-of the art answer to these challenges is Model-based Systems Engineering. This article introduces IBM Rational® Best Practices for Model-based Systems Engineering. Using the UML/SysML as a paradigm-independent modeling language, these practices support the elaboration and verification/validation of system requirements as well as design synthesis through model execution. But modeling is not the solution alone. The key for a successful application of the MbSE paradigm is the up-front defining of the underlying workflow; that is where systems engineering stops and where artifacts are handed off to the hardware, software and test engineers. From these pre- and post-conditions the necessary intermediate artifacts and supporting best practices - that are needed to elaborate the agreed upon hand-off - are derived. This article describes an exemplary systems engineering workflow covering the requirements analysis, system functional analysis, and design synthesis phases plus the essential tasks, associated work products and supporting best practices. Collaborative aspects of the systems engineering lifecycle: requirements engineering and change management, will also be addressed.