Systems engineering – the right way

Referencing yesterday’s post, what makes systems engineering the right way to conduct project management?

Well, my opinion is that SE delivers:

  • A project in discrete risk-controlling stages, with useful auditable outputs at each stage
  • Outputs are of recognisable (if not completely open) standards, protecting both client and contractor
  • Project stages are logically coherent. They follow on from each other in a sensible way (if you are laughing at this then you’ve probably not had to conduct a project for a large enterprise)
  • If each stage is completed successfully and to a high standard, then the subsequent stages become easier and lower risk

I’d like to think that in my own work I add an additional warning and beneficial outcome

  • Requirements (an early stage) are traceable from a strategic level within the client, and are not gathered piecemeal at operational or tactical levels

If requirements are not anchored at the strategic level, then their coherence can end up being very poor. This introduces serious risk to the success of later stages. What might seem abstract soul-searching is actually very important for the practical meshing of gears when all agree it matters.

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