A rational and framework for establishing a systems engineering community within the the Army
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Army acquisition programs are faced with increasing technical complexity and interdependence as most program products must integrate into a system of systems. Low quantity of systems engineers and poor quality systems engineering is credited as central to program failure. In an Army Systems Engineering Forum, the Army System of Systems Engineer (SoSE) asked what could be done to recruit, train, certify, and retain systems engineers. This paper answers that question, and identifies that it cannot be "fixed" in isolation of addressing an Army culture that does not focus its efforts on training the personnel it already has. Quantity issues are not being addressed at the service level with recruiting efforts. Organizations do not have formal collateral personnel exchange programs, yet many perform systems engineering functions. Training and certification gaps exist despite availability of training because personnel are not mandated to be certified to accept positions, in many cases. Systems engineering, although not blameless, is not the only issue. We also explore how the technical background of those that blame or want to "fix" systems engineering is an unbalanced perspective and omits the organizational issues and individual contributions of systems engineers and the other members of the program manager's (PM) team.
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