System Engineering Management
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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
This book is aimed at the system engineer who is involved in product design and engineering or involved in government contracting and must produce system engineering management plans (SEMPs). It is also applicable to organizations who have or are planning to use the capability maturity model (CMM) to improve their effectiveness. For the intended audience this book is both comprehensive and complete. There are eight chapters, each followed by case studies, questions and problems, and six appendices.
It starts with a foundation of the basics, such as definitions, system engineering life cycle, analysis and concurrent engineering. It then builds upon this foundation by addressing all of the elements of a well-managed system engineering program: integrated product and process development, TQM, configuration management, support and logistics. Each element is discussed in detail and placed into the context of a total system engineering environment.
The chapter on system design requirements is particularly complete and covers every facet of this discipline, including reliability, maintainability, safety, software, etc. There is a lot of good material here, which is reinforced by the next chapter that covers design tools and methods. The design process is concluded by a chapter on design review and evaluation, which is a foundation of good quality practices as well as a well-written SEMP.
The real heart of the book starts in chapter 6, which covers SE program planing. It covers program requirements, the SEMP itself and provides a statement of work. It then provides a complete work breakdown structure for implementing system engineering functions and tasks. This chapter provides a risk management plan that is well thought out and serves as an excellent template. It also addresses the CMM for systems engineering. Much of this material has been superseded by the Software Engineering Institute's CMMI that now covers system engineering, software engineering and integrated product and process development. This is not a problem because the book's coverage of the CMM-SE is consistent with the material in the CMMI.
The final two chapters, addressing system engineering organization and supplier/sub contractor management are to the point and contains a lot of valuable information.
Had the author provided this book in soft copy on an accompanying diskette or CD ROM it would be a best seller on the Beltway because of the time it would save in developing a company-wide system engineering procedure manual.
Consulting companies and IT departments would also greatly benefit from this book because of the structured approach it provides for planning and managing system integration. Unlike their cousins in the government contracting and CMM domains, they generally approach system engineering and integration in a loose fashion that too often results in cost and schedule overruns, or project cancellation. By following the approach outlined in this book consulting companies and IT departments would find that technical, cost and schedule risks would be identified early and controlled, and that the design, integration and implementation of complex systems would enjoy a higher rate of success. This is especially true when multiple vendors are involved in an integration project - the material in chapters 1 (integrated process teams) and 8 (subcontractor management) provides a foundation for managing cross-functional teams. Therefore, I strongly recommend this book for engagement and project managers, and program management offices run by consulting companies and/or IT departments.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2005
This book (or something similar) really should be required for anyone graduating with an engineering degree who intends to work in industry.

Systems engineering is essentially the function that oversees any design effort to ensure that the resulting design does what it's supposed to. As such requirements are the bread and butter of systems engineering. The most visible job of the system engineer then is to turn the customer's desires into functional requirements, and then turn those requirements into something that can be designed to based on the system architecture the designers / system engineers prefer.

For example, consider if you have a city with a river through it and the local government wants to develop a system to carry cars across the river. The system engineer would first turn that desire into functional requirements. These would include requirements like: No. of cars per hour that can transit, can't interfere with riverborne ship traffic, growth in traffic that can be absorbed etc. From this you have something that you can verify design concepts against to see if they satisfy the customer desires, but actually can't pull out the ruler and calculators just yet. Systems engineers / designers would then consider options like a suspension bridge, a ferry system, or a tunnel beneath the river. Each of these system options would have their own architectures and the functional requirements would have to be translated into different design requirements for each. The bridge would have to be so high to allow ship traffic and have so many lanes and bear so much live weight. The ferry system would need so many ferries of such and such a carrying capacity. The tunnel would have to have so many lanes, would require such and such a ventilation capacity, etc. The systems engineer would be involved in determining which of these architectures would best suit customer needs, and then turn the functional requirements into the design to requirements so design work can begin in earnest.

Of course as design work continues and large components are broken down into smaller and smaller design components the systems engineer continues to guide the choice of how to configure the lower tier of design components, and to allocate design to requirements for them. If the system engineer has done their job right when all the design components are integrated into each other the resulting system really does what it was intended to do and meets the functional requirements.

This book tells you in a very clear, completely comprehensive, and extremely well laid out manner how to do this. It also tells you why you should do this, and how it is beneficial. The writing is straightforward, always to the point, and easily understood. The topic is pertinent and can help you understand how systems are actually engineered in the real world, a very rare and very appreciated breath of fresh air in engineering textbooks.

The author also covers all the aspects of systems engineering planning, including scheduling, budgeting, contracting, and system verification / validation, etc. Systems engineering is largely a management function so this information is interesting and necessary for the subject.

This book will be extremely helpful for engineers of any stripe who want to put their work into context, systems engineers for how to do what their supposed to do, and for contractors and government purchasers to implement processes to guarantee that they get a system that does what they want. (Provided what they want is feasible of course!)

Certainly recommended and a book that I use frequently for reference.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2008
I read this book while taking a masters course in system engineering. Over all, the book was clear and written in a format that allowed for self study. This was very helpful for me since my course was primarily online. The material was slightly redundant. The central thesis of the book was the fact that a system engineer needs to conduct the proper upfront planning as well as establish clear processes to ensure successful system development/delivery. The goal of System Engineering is to provide a system that meets the customer's need/requirements. This book introduces how this can be accomplished through a repeated process.
The redundant nature of the text requires a lot of cross reference (page flipping) between chapters in order to match the text description with the figure discussed. The book is more managerial then technical; most laymen will be able to read it without assistance from an instructor. Expanded explanations of reliability engineering as well as ID/prioritization of Technical Performance Measures would have been helpful. This textbook provided a good introduction to the SE process. I highly recommend this text book if you work as a System Engineer or Project Engineer for the Navy or Marines. This book references and will support their standard acquisition process. I give this book 4 of 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2013
I would recommend this book for anyone trying to streamline or improve their company's productivity, regardless of whether they have an engineering background. The book explains how to apply basic engineering principles (design, analysis, feedback, etc.) to any production system, from small software projects to large industrial and aeronautic projects. He references a wide array of disciplines ranging from software engineering to the military (DoD), and his writing is clear and easy to read.

The book maintains a focus on "providing a system that will fulfill a designated customer (consumer) need." Throughout the text, the author keeps referring back to a figure in the first chapter (Fig. 1.12) to hammer home the importance of a disciplined approach: conceptual design, then preliminary design, followed by detailed design. He also repeatedly reminds us that the engineering role does not end with design, but continues through production, support (maintenance), and retirement phases of the product life cycle. The book concludes with seven case studies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2011
This book is very useful because it brings forth the management perspective of Systems Engineering. I would recomend this to anyone who is a program manager, or higher level SE.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2012
This is a good primer for basic systems engineering knowledge. This book should be used to start your systems engineering experience and then delve deeper in other books.
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on December 24, 2013
My daughter was taking a class that used this book. Being a consulting engineer I wanted to see what was being taught. The book is a little wordy however it covers the material. it is worth the effort to look at systems engineering to understand what the big picture is. There are many books on how to do development, program or code. None of those address the bigger issue of identifying what must be solved and how to accomplish that.
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Excellent coverage of the topic, especially for those who lack formal education in the process. The first 6 chapters are the real meat of the book, but follow on chapters are valuable for System Security engineers as well. References are consistent, advice on processes well explained.
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on November 5, 2014
The book happens to match my writing style, so I am able to understand it quite well, but be warned, the author is very verboose! semtamces are uncessarily complicated and lengthy. it was required for my class and did the job it was intended to do. thank you!
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on April 12, 2014
A great text - full of "Real World" examples. A text that should be periodically read as a review for individuals in the field for a long time and a "must have" text for anyone starting in the field.
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