systems engineer vs project manager

Given the importance of planning and managing the technical aspects of the project, an effective systems engineer will need to have a strong foundation in management skills and prior experience, as well as possess strong technical depth. This is probably one of the reasons that many practitioners sometimes feels that this mindset is easier to connect to and apply in daily project work than the more management-oriented approach found in the Project Management domain. A project manager is responsible for the planning, oversight, and completion of a project, overseeing workers, the schedule, and the overall budget. And you prepare yourself for setting up conditions for all supplier’s participation in the end-user system test. The principles and methodology of Systems Engineering as a discipline is described in INCOSE “Systems Engineering Handbook”[6], which is recognized as an authoritative framework. When comparing numbers of sections and pages spent on requirements management in the PMI and INCOSE handbooks respectively a difference in approach for the two domains emerges: Much more effort is being put into requirements in the systems engineering domain. planning of cost management, cost estimation and budget resembling those of PMI. And all projects can benefit from the mindset of Systems Engineering, in particular (a practitioner will argue) the commitment to requirements definition and refining found is this domain. Resource reallocation, schedule changes, product/system changes and impacts, risk changes: all these and more need to be quickly and clearly discussed between the PM and SE. The main principles of the V-model is that you keep tracking and checking your requirements refining and translation into specifications iteratively as you proceed vertically along the lifecycle, and for each level of detail in the design process you have to consider the horizontal alignment requirements and design with the final verification and validation processes. A number of tools for managing particular types of requirements exists, see e.g. System Engineers only work on high risk projects while project management do mostly low-mid risk projects. in the pharmaceutical engineering industry [10]. As shown in this article the two domains are in fact a bit different in their approach and mindset, and each of them would probably appeal to different kinds of project practitioners, depending on their professional upbringing and working context. The professional literature and the internet are teeming with other definitions and interpretations on what project management is about, but the majority is mostly just rephrasing the abovementioned quote from the PMI. A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. However, the statement catches the distinct characteristic of the Systems Engineering domain, which is the systems thinking and the focus on defining and refining needs and requirements iteratively. However, when leafing through the PMI BOK and the INCOSE SE handbook your first impression is that the two covers more or less the same key issues, just organized differently. For example, in the INCOSE Handbook on Systems Engineering the crucial tasks of defining and refining the scope and requirements for the work are regarded as technical processes rather than a project management process. Step 1: You state, define and refine the high level “user experience” requirements until they are consistent with a broken down list of more specific requirements. Regardless of how the roles are divided up on a given project, the best way to reduce confusion is to explicitly describe the roles and responsibilities of the project manager and the systems engineer, as well as other key team members. As a lot of the recurrent calamities in projects (e.g. In addition, some customers have technical management plans and expectations that the project’s SEMP integrate with customer plans and activities. For example, the PMI handbook elaborates further on 3 examples of different approaches to project life cycles: The INCOSE handbook offers a number of examples on how their generic life cycles stages is applied in different industry practice models. These often resembles the INCOSE 9-stages plan-driven model. Project management is considered both a profession and a generic discipline for managing projects, applicable for all kinds of organisations and all types of projects - not just for engineering projects. Predictive lifecycles – Typically for plan driven projects such as building and infrastrucure projects, Incremental, iterative lifecycles – For projects in which reducing the complexity or providing partial deliveries are crucial. Clearly the System Engineering domain considers requirements definition and refining as crucial processes and keys to success. Systems Engineering versus Project Management, a comparative study, Introduction to the mindsets and framework, Comparing Project Management and Systems Engineering, Key project management processes in the two domains, Oehmen, Josef (2012). Obviously this is an “engineering system” in the INCOSE sense [6] – and equally obviously you will expect a number of complex stakeholder expectations and user requirements for the facility (the overall combined system) to materialize very quickly, considering that the customers are only used to old fashioned parking garages. These elements include products (hardware, software, firmware), processes, people, information, techniques, facilities, services, and other support elements. This page was last edited on 13 October 2020, at 14:19. This framework itself is created in the Project Management domain. The practice of Systems Engineering is management and process oriented in the same way as Project Management, but the processes and their contextualization are somewhat different in the two domains. For the project manager deeply engaged in developing new public administration workflows the Systems Engineering approach is probably just tonnes of meaningless engineer’s gibberish. The Project Management Plan (PMP) and the Systems Engineering Management Plan (SEMP) are key documents used to define the processes and methodologies the project will employ to build and deliver a product or service. If so, what constitutes this difference? However, let’s look into the standard practices of the two domains for their general "authorized" view on life cycle and phase models. ] The PMP is the master planning document for the project. But when consultants start to encroach on the project manager’s purview, there can be conflicts and issues. As shown in Figure 2, on some projects there is no overlap in responsibility. Although the V model is borne within domain of complex software and hardware engineering there is no reason why it should not be applicable for other types of project, e.g. Engineering management degrees might involve more thorough explorations of management techniques and analytical frameworks – six sigma techniques, lean thinking strategies, quality control systems, and in-depth project management – with a specific bent toward engineering applications. Project Management and Systems Engineering has a lot in common, and many project management practioners – in particular the ones with less formal training or academic education - has probably picked up elements from both domains when forming their own practice. if the customer expects to wait maximum x minutes for his car to be retrieved (high level user requirement), the transportation subsystem must have a minimum logistic performance of Y, to be verifiable before installation. The idea of recognizing the two domains as two different mindsets is supported by the joint studies of INCOSE and PMI on better integration of program management and systems engineering [11]. Many project management practitioners struggle everyday with projects which in neither size nor complexity are nowhere near the iconic mega projects from which the Project Management and the Systems Engineering professional standards and methods are developed.

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