Tag Archives: Project management

A few IPT case studies from Integrating PM/SE book

2020-07-02: Now reading: Integrating Program Management and Systems Engineering

I just finished Chapter 7 of this book, which used the F/A-18E/F program—from ol' McDonnell right here in St. Louis—as a case study for how to integrate project management and systems engineering via integrated product teams (IPTs). I've never really thought much about the whys and wherefores of IPTs. They're just part of the air that you breathe on large aerospace/defense programs, projects decomposed into functional teams and subteams and so on. I wasn't sure if IPTs are still in style or not—I think we're all agile now—but clearly aerospace companies are putting that in their job postings, so it must still have some currency.

Anyway. You either have access to that book or you don't. But it is drawn heavily from other references that are readily available. If F/A-18E/F is as good of an example of how to integrate systems engineering and program management as the book describes it—ahead of time, under budget, under weight (in a good way)—then it's something worth learning more about, to see how they did it.

  1. Bailey, E. (1998, April 9). The F/A‐18E/F: An Integrated Product Team (IPT) case study. Institute for Defense Analyses. IDA NS D‐8027. https://www.ida.org/research-and-publications/publications/all/t/th/the-fa18ef-an-integrated-product-team-ipt-case-study
  2. Bailey, E., Nash, S., & Woolsey, J. (1999, January). Integrated product and process development case study, Development of the F/A‐18E/F. Institute for Defense Analyses. IDA D‐2228. https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/citations/ADA379633
  3. White, J. W. (1997). Application of new management concepts to the development of F/A‐18 aircraft. Johns Hopkins APL Technical Digest, 18(1), 21–32. https://www.jhuapl.edu/Content/techdigest/pdf/V18-N01/18-01-White.pdf
  4. Younossi, O., Stem, D., Lorell, M., & Lussier, F. (2005). Lessons learned from the F/A–22 and F/A–18E/F development programs. Rand Corporation. Report MG‐276. ISBN 0‐8330‐3749‐8. https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2005/RAND_MG276.pdf

Now reading: Integrating Program Management and Systems Engineering

Eric Rebentisch (editor), Integrating Program Management and Systems Engineering: Methods, Tools, and Organizational Systems for Improving Performance

I've had this one on my reading list since sitting in on a meeting of the INCOSE PM-SE Integration Working Group at a conference last year. (PM = program management, SE = systems engineering.) The topic is right there on a bridge that I'd like to build... or cross... depending on the day. But now I've bumped it up to the top of my reading list while working with the local PMI chapter to do a joint PM/SE online meeting in September. What topics to cover? I don't quite know yet—so let's start with the topics in the book, fan out on the references, and go from there. I'm thinking about how to get one SE and one PM and have them go at topics from their side of the fence, giving a little bit of perspective for the other side to consider. Stakeholder management will certainly be one. Certification might be another. Or not—or more. There's time yet to figure it out.

No one wants to admit it, because there's professional pride involved, but these two disciplines ("disciplines") are mostly the same thing, but with one side focusing a little more on time and the other side focusing a little more on technical content. At a big organization, they are separated to suit the hierarchy of the organization—nerds go this way, suits go that way. Go to a smaller organization and you'll see what it's really about—time and money and technical content are managed by the people who are available to manage them. Oh you're a program manager? That's great. Hold this screwdriver. Oh you're a systems engineer? That's great. Why is this equipment late and expensive? There's no magic in the title—your product is either in the box or not in the box when it's time to ship. If you need something to make you feel good about your role, get a dog.