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Integrating Program Management and Systems Engineering by Eric Rebentisch

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PREFACE

In 2011, International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) and Project Management Institute (PMI) allied to enhance, foster, and enable collaboration between program managers and systems engineers. Our organizations believed that the two disciplines had developed silos between them that inhibited collaboration and that we needed to change mindsets to remove such barriers. We issued a call to action through a joint whitepaper, Toward a New Mindset: Bridging the Gap Between Program Management and Systems Engineering (Langley, Robitaille, & Thomas, 2011), that identified the following challenge:

While program management has overall program accountability and systems engineering has accountability for the technical and systems elements of the program, some systems engineers and program managers have developed the mindset that their work activities are separate from each other rather than part of the organic whole (p. 24).

Regardless of who was in authority, whose inputs were more respected and accepted, or who better understood the path forward, the whitepaper put forward the proposition that silos focused each discipline on advancing its own approach toward delivering solutions to meet customer needs. The whitepaper went on to say:

Historically, program managers and systems engineers have viewed the stakeholder problem entirely from within their own disciplinary perspectives…. As a result, the two groups have applied distinctly different approaches to the key work—managing ...

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