Large Project Management As A Systems Engineering Discipline
Motivation Systems Engineering Framework Project Management Frameworks Agile Processes Putting in all together Bibliography
Modern business is said to be in a "project age." This "age" involves the creation, management and delivery of projects. Business projects, product projects, service projects, government projects.
Project Management is the management of projects. The precise definition of a project and the management processes is difficult without first establishing a context and a business domain.
As well the "normative" approaches are being challenged by heuristic and participative approaches. These challenges bring new and important ideas to the domain of project management. This also brings out diversions to the established definitions and practices, through attempts to be innovative or replace the thread bare processes that have failed us in the past. In some cases the challengers have not "done their homework" or desire to "skip to the end" with new and innovative approaches without first having verified that they are appropriate to the domain and context or that they actually work in real worlds situations.
An Integrative Approach
I have spent several years now in the aerospace and government program management domain. A fundamentally critical concept I've come to understand is that systems engineering provides a unique and powerful tool for integrating many of the issues found in traditional project management methods. Systems Engineering does not replace any of the normative project management process. But it integrates the heuristic and participative processes as well as blend product with process management.
With this understanding in mind, Project Management as a Systems Engineering process takes on new meaning. This meanings removes the distinction between process and product found in the "traditional" (PMI) approaches to project management. In these (traditional) approaches the processes of project management are separated from the delivery of products. These processes are discussed, project managers trained and methods applied independent to the actual work of producing products or services inside a business. But the joining a process and product is not described in these traditional approaches - at least not in the way Systems Engineering does.
This web site is the beginnings of a larger more focused work. Maybe a book, but certainly a set of essays and papers. The goals include:
  • Bringing the Systems Engineering processes found in aerospace to a broader audience.
  • Exposing the traditional project management advocates to the Systems Engineering view.
  • Connecting Systems Engineering process with the Agile Project Management processes. This connection is a natural one., since the Agile Project Management process combine product and process.