Systems Engineering Management

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The systems engineering management (SEM) knowledge area contains information associated with managing the resources and assets allocated to perform systems engineering, often in the context of a project or a service, but sometimes in the context of a less well-defined activity. SEM is distinguished from general project management by the focus of the former on the technical or engineering aspects of a project. It also includes exploratory research and development (R&D) activities at the enterprise level in commercial or government operations.

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Each part of the SEBoK is divided into knowledge areas (KAs), which are groupings of information with a related theme. The KAs in turn are divided into topics. This KA contains the following topics:


Implementing systems engineering (SE) requires the coordination of technical and managerial endeavors. Success with the technical aspects is not possible in the absence of the managerial aspects. Management provides the planning, organizational structure, collaborative environment, and program controls to ensure that stakeholder needs are met.

The Venn diagram below provides context for the material in the SEM knowledge area. It indicates that some functions are managed more or less exclusively within the SE function, while others are managed in collaboration with the management of systems implementation and with overall project and systems management.

Figure 1. Systems Engineering Management Boundaries. (SEBoK Original)

With respect to collaborative management specifics, there is no one-size-fits-all way to define the details of where various SEM functions are performed. An in-company SE organization will not run its own accounting system, but will rely on the corporate management organization for this aspect of SEM. A company performing only SE will include the accounting functions as part of SEM. In all cases, the managers of the SE function must be actively involved in the management of all the activities within the SE system boundary, including working out what collaborative arrangements best fit their situation. They must also remain aware of management events in their environment outside the system boundary that may affect their ability to perform. Part 6 of the SEBoK includes relevant knowledge areas for this collaboration, including Systems Engineering and Software Engineering, Systems Engineering and Project Management, Systems Engineering and Industrial Engineering, Systems Engineering and Procurement/Acquisition, and Systems Engineering and Specialty Engineering.


Works Cited


Primary References

Blanchard, B.S. 2004. Systems Engineering Management. 3rd ed. New York, NY, USA: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Sage, A.P, and W. Rouse. 2009. Handbook of Systems Engineering and Management. 2nd Ed. Hoboken, NJ, USA: John Wiley and Sons.

Additional References


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SEBoK v. 1.9.1 released 30 September 2018

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