The greater level of significance of the continuous cognitive zigzagging between systems (product/project) engineering relative to the traditional project management in the actual practice of system engineering management is apparent (Sharon, de Weck, and Dori 1). This paper summarizes an article by Sharon, de Weck, and Dori, who seek to answer two significant questions about systems engineering practitioners.
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- “While conducting SEM, do they perceive a notion of a project, a product domain, and a combined project-product domain?; and
- What is the extent to which and ways by which systems engineering practitioners deem PM methods as effective for supporting System Engineering Management (SEM)?” (Sharon, de Weck and Dori 1)
The Article Review
The article is introduced by the recognition of the intertwined nature of the association between System Engineering (SE) and Project Management (PM). Further, System Engineering Management is portrayed as an exercise that couples SE and PM and as a continuous procedure, which is carried out through twisting technical product and managerial domains.
The authors then developed the Axiomatic Design (AD) Methodology to cater for four pertinent spheres, including customer, functional, physical, and process domains. Continuous processes of information are emphasized among and between all the pertinent domains right from the planning stages with a key focus put on the product. The authors selected the Project Management Method in the comparison survey. Further, the Objective Process Methodology (OPM) is considered for planning and management.
The third section of the article is concerned with the research population and setting. The research population included 24 mid-career system engineers selected from various firms in the US. OPM was not sufficiently taught to the participants since it was expected that they had the pertinent basic knowledge and consequently the research was conducted through homework.
The methodology adopted in the research formed the fourth section of the article. It was assumed that the participants had a similar minimal level of working knowledge of the tested methods. As such, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) formed the basis for the assignments except for the final project. Consequently, 14 factors were determined guided by the view that SEM entails project and product viewpoints. The practitioners were required to rate the magnitude of the relevance of each of the factors, then the median calculated.
To evaluate whether the participants’ unguided perceptions on the factors would provide replications in the recognition of the 14 factors with predefined latent dimensions, which included project, product, and project-product, the factors were availed randomly to the participants.
Outcomes and analysis formed the fifth section of the article, where the authors presented and pondered on the evaluations of findings on the seven investigated PM approaches about the 14 elements. It was found that project and product are two complementary aspects of SEM. Further, SD, DSM, EVM, and OPM were considered more useful relative to PERT, CPM, and Gantt. In particular, OPM was found to be the most appropriate technique and, therefore, it should be considered as an appropriate foundation for managing the product-project intertwining within SEM. The use of the PPLM approach would link SE and PM permitting concurrent manifestation of the function, structure, and activities of project and product in an all-inclusive incorporated conceptual model.
The article is concluded by giving an overview of the research with a considerable emphasis put on the findings and the complementarity of the product and project domains. Further, the importance of the OPM was emphasized and the authors noted that OPM was in the process of being made an ISO standard for enterprise standards.
Finally, an appendix, involving discussions, figures, and graphs, is provided to give further explanation on some key aspects such as the CPM, PERT, Gantt Chart, SD, DSM, EVM, OPD, and PPLM about the UAV case.
Sharon, Amira, Olivier L de Weck, and Dov Dori. “Project Management vs. Systems Engineering Management: A Practitioners’ View on Integrating the Project and Product Domains.” System Engineering (2010): 1-14. Print.