Systems engineering and project management for product development: optimizing their working interfaces
Santiago, Mariela I.
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This work discusses common issues that occur from the inadequate integration of systems engineering into the project management process. In so doing, this work is shaped by the following questions: What are the most common conflicts between Program Management and Systems Engineering during product development? Where in the product development cycle do conflicts occur? How can the conflicts be mitigated? This work identified three main conflicts within the product development process of the four case studies, the Hubble telescope, the Mars Polar Lander, the Demonstration of Autonomous Rendezvous Technology (Program, and the Constellation program. The three main problems are insufficient systems engineering in the product development process, insufficient budget and tight schedule, and inadequate risk management. These three issues eventually led to the mishaps and failures of the case studies examined in this thesis. This work proposes that, in order to mitigate conflicts in the integration of project management and systems engineering, systems engineers and project management should be able to have a common language, understand each others objectives, and understand how these objectives benefit both the product and the project. Therefore, its recommendations are that systems engineers be trained in project management and project managers be trained in systems engineering and that this training should include risk management. In this case, risk management is the common language between systems engineering and project management.
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