A systems engineering approach to dating and relationships

This article reviews various project structures that impact or provide governance to the project and that require key involvement from the program manager and the systems engineer.

These structures include: the structure of the organization itself (functional, project, matrix, and specialized teams, such as Integrated Product Teams (IPTs), Change Control Boards (CCBs), and Engineering Review Boards (ERBs).

Projects are one-time, transient events that are initiated to accomplish a specific purpose and are terminated when the project objectives are achieved.

The systems engineering functions can be: (1) distributed among some of the functional organizations, (2) centralized within one organization or (3) a hybrid, with some of the functions being distributed to the projects, others centralized and others are distributed to functional organization. All other rights are reserved by the copyright owner.

The following figure provides an organizational structure continuum and illustrates levels of governance among the functional organizations and the project. In all cases, it is essential that the organizational and governance relationships be clarified and communicated to all project stakeholders and that the project manager and systems engineer work together in a collegial manner.

The Project Management Office (PMO) provides centralized control for a set of projects.

Because the nature of the work activities are significantly different, it is sometimes more effective to have two persons performing project management and systems engineering, each on a part-time basis.

On larger projects there are typically too many tasks to be accomplished for one person to accomplish all of the necessary work.

An Integrated Master Schedule (IMS) is often used to coordinate the project.

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