Systems engineering for project managers - what you need to know


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This presentation was delivered by Mike Wilkinson at a recent joint APM / INCOSE event that looked at the areas of common interests between the two professions.

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Systems engineering for project managers - what you need to know

  1. 1. Systems Engineering for Project ManagersWhat you need to know, what you may think that youknow which ain‟t so and what the main challenges areINCOSE/APM Joint Workshop – 15 January 2013Prof Mike WilkinsonAtkins Technical Director Copyright © 2013 Atkins Ltd
  2. 2. IntroductionMy Current RolesTechnical Director AtkinsTechnical Director NiteworksImmediate Past-President INCOSE UKVisiting Professor Loughborough UniversityMy Background and HistoryTechnical Direction Technical Infrastructure/GovernanceBusiness Management Systems & CostingTechnical Consultancy IT/Telecoms/SystemsAcademic Research Theoretical PhysicsWhat follows is a personal perspective – not endorsed by Atkins,INCOSE or anybody else! Copyright © 2013 Atkins Ltd
  3. 3. What is Systems Engineering?• “Systems engineering is a discipline that concentrates on the design and application of the whole (system) as distinct from the parts. It involves looking at a problem in its entirety, taking into account all the facets and all the variables and relating the social to the technical aspect.” [Simon Ramo, quoted by RISE]• “Systems engineering is an iterative process of top-down synthesis, development, and operation of a real-world system that satisfies, in a near optimal manner, the full range of requirements for the system.” [Howard Eisner, in Essentials of Project and Systems Engineering Management, Wiley, 2008]• “Systems engineering is an interdisciplinary approach and means to enable the realization of successful systems.” [INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook] Big Idea: SE is both systemic and systematic Copyright © 2013 Atkins Ltd
  4. 4. What is a system?• “A system is a combination of interacting elements organized to achieve one or more stated purposes.” [INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook]• “A system is an open set of complementary, interacting parts with properties, capabilities, and behaviours emerging both from the parts and from their interactions.” [Hitchins, “Putting Systems to Work”] Big Idea: Systems have property of emergence – the whole is greater than the sum of the parts Copyright © 2013 Atkins Ltd
  5. 5. Black box view System Boundary System (P, I, C) -Properties -Interactions -Capabilities Energy Inputs Material Outputs Information Big Idea: SE is all about controlling emergence ConstraintsSystem Environment External (Holistic) View of a System Copyright © 2013 Atkins Ltd
  6. 6. White box view System (P, I, C) System Boundary -Properties -Interactions -Capabilities Component PIC PIC PIC Internal Interactions PIC Big Idea: You Big Idea: can‟t optimise the system bySystems are separately recursive optimising its components Internal (Structural) View of a System Copyright © 2013 Atkins Ltd
  7. 7. There are many types of system - Hitchins‟ five layer model• Layer 5: Socio-economic layer• Layer 4: Industry layer• Layer 3: Business layer• Layer 2: Project or system layer• Layer 1: Product layer Big Idea: There is utility in applying Systems Thinking and Systems Approaches outside of „trad systems‟ Copyright © 2013 Atkins Ltd
  8. 8. Systems and Engineering context Systems Thinking Systems Approaches Business Specialist Engineering Engineering Systems Engineering Systems Science Copyright © 2013 Atkins Ltd
  9. 9. Touchpoint: Process & Lifecycle (cf ISO/IEC 15288) Tailoring Innovation Special Processes Investment Enterprise Policy & Resource Management Management Strategy Management Lifecycle Management Enterprise Processes Decision Planning Assessment Control Making Portfolio, Programme & Risk Configuration Information Project Processes Management Management Management Stakeholder Requirements Validation Operation Disposal Definition Requirements Maintenance Verification Transition Analysis Architectural Service Delivery & Integration Design Operational Processes Engineering &Technical Processes Implementation Acquisition Supply Supply Network Processes Concept Development Production Utilisation & Support Retirement Copyright © 2013 Atkins Ltd
  10. 10. Touchpoint: Tools & Techniques Functional Analysis System Dynamics Maturity Modelling Requirements Definition Choices & Drivers Requirements Modelling Contextual Analysis Option Synthesis QFD Solution Decision AnalysisProblem Analysis Problem ArchitectingCausal Mapping Formulation Architecture Modelling Use Cases Architecture Epoch Analysis Conceptual Modelling Assurance Experimentation Stakeholder Mapping Methods Specialist Models & Analyses Implementation Planning Big Idea: Verification Solution Portfolio Management Importance Implementation Programme Management of models Validation IP Management Project Management Community Forums Copyright © 2013 Atkins Ltd
  11. 11. Other Touchpoints• Competencies and traits – Big picture, breadth, knowledge, communications, leadership, etc• Artefacts – WBS, tasks definitions, risk register/management plan, stakeholder engagement plan, etc• Responsibilities – Requirements management, risk management, stakeholder engagement, etc[see NASA PM SE competency framework][see Eileen Arnold, “Systems Engineering and Project ManagementIntersects and Confusion” INCOSE IS12] Copyright © 2013 Atkins Ltd
  12. 12. Myths, prejudices and misconceptions• SE is nothing more than common sense• SE is just engineering, we do it as part of Mech Eng, Software Eng, etc• SE is just for big defence and aerospace projects – it doesn‟t apply to me• SE only applies at the early stages of a project (or to requirements)• SE people are „techies/geeks‟ (not pragmatic)• All you really need is PM Copyright © 2013 Atkins Ltd
  13. 13. The true value of SE• A way of thinking about complex problems – Scope: Big picture/holistic – Trades: Knowing what‟s important and why, when, etc – Context: Domain, environment, stakeholders and influences – Innovation: Challenging assumptions in a broader context• A way of delivering transformation/enduring change – Levels/focus: Operations, systems & technical, change, supply network – Timescale: Typically through life, enduring capabilities – Outcomes: Address stakeholder concerns and enterprise objectives – Efficiency: Early recognition of problems to avoid expensive rework• A way of bringing together disparate disciplines – Interdisciplinary: Interactions and dependencies – Specialisms: Safety, security, supportability, etc – Integration: Assembling the parts to achieve emergence Copyright © 2013 Atkins Ltd
  14. 14. Challenges facing SE• Inter-profession „jurisdictional competition‟• Market forces driving differentiation• Functional stove-piping in businesses• Local optimisation to achieve key priorities• Unwillingness to „spend to save‟• Inadequate skills in the marketplace• Underpowered/oversold tools and methods• Focus on „technical‟ rather than „soft‟ issues• Craft status• Lack of clarity on motivation/benefits Copyright © 2013 Atkins Ltd
  15. 15. The need for systems engineering… Socio- Technical Multi- Disciplinary Iterative Systemic Incre- Systematic mental…only a whole systems approach can „bring it all together‟ Copyright © 2013 Atkins Ltd