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The International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) and the Project Management Institute (PMI) believe that program management and systems engineering share vital objectives.

These include:

  • Delivering value and benefit to customers and end users
  • Integrating the required experience, knowledge, and roles to successfully achieve objectives and complete initiatives
  • Functioning effectively in a more complex environment where program requirements and outcomes are not clearly defined or have numerous components to manage.

INCOSE and PMI believe that through strong collaboration, the two organizations can help their practitioner communities achieve their shared objectives.

Analysts are quite clear: For many years, a cultural barrier has been growing between practitioners of systems engineering and of program management.

The reasons are somewhat involved, but basically, while program management has overall program accountability and systems engineering has accountability for the technical and systems elements of the program, some systems engineers and program managers have developed the mindset that their work activities are separate from each other rather than part of an organic whole.

Consequently, work often costs more, takes longer, and provides a suboptimal solution for the customer or end user.

Additionally, historically, program managers and systems engineers have viewed the stakeholder problem entirely from within their own disciplinary perspectives. As a result, the two groups have applied distinctly different approaches to the key work—managing the planning and implementation, defining the components and their interactions, building the components and integrating the components.

The leaders of INCOSE and PMI have been leading the charge to overcome this cultural barrier and mindset. By working together, the organizations have fostered a team approach this is projected to benefit their members and their organizations, and ultimately the stakeholders who depend on them.

Want to learn more? Tonex offers Program Management and Systems Engineering Training, a 3-day course designed for project practitioners and systems engineers interested in learning the fundamentals of systems engineering and project management. Systems Engineering and Project Management Training course evaluates options for bridging the gaps between Program/Project Management and Systems Engineering practices and frameworks.

For more information, questions, comments, contact us.

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