When I get a systems engineer, I don’t know what I’m supposed to be getting.
– Anonymous Helix program manager participant
Chapter 4 explained the proficiencies that systems engineers need to perform their jobs well. This chapter presents a method to visualize how strong someone is in each proficiency – a PROFICIENCY PROFILE – or just PROFILE, for short. We begin with three fundamental truths:
- Virtually no one excels in all proficiencies.
- Depending on the roles being played, strength in some proficiencies is more important than strength in others.
- Often, it is a team of systems engineers who collectively possess the necessary proficiency strength to complete a task, not a single individual.
These truths drive the importance of PROFILES and several distinct uses for them:
- Personal PROFILE. Created for an individual systems engineer, it can be used as a self‐assessment tool to better understand personal strengths and weaknesses.
- Validated PROFILE. Managers or peers can validate a personal PROFILE. The validated version can be a basis for career counseling and guidance, helping a systems engineer seek the best education, training, and mentoring to support current and future roles and positions.
- Screening PROFILE. A candidate applying for a position can complete a profile, which can then be used as a screening tool for a discussion during interviews.
- Exemplar PROFILE. Leaders at any level, charged with growing some portion of the systems engineering ...