Most helpful positive review
42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Key to successful integration projects & CMMI
on February 22, 2001
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 Much of this material has been superseded by the Software Engineering Institute's CMMI that now covers system engineering, software engineering and integrated product and process development.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.