Project management vs. systems engineering management: A practitioners' view on integrating the project and product domains

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Abstract

While most Systems Engineering Management (SEM) applications use some subset of traditional Project Management (PM) methods and tools, the actual practice of systems engineering management involves continuous cognitive zigzagging between systems engineering—the product domain—and project management—the project domain. Focusing on seven PM methods, we examine two research questions regarding systems engineering practitioners: (1) While conducting SEM, do they perceive a notion of a project domain, a product domain, and a combined project-product domain? (2) What is the extent to which, and ways by which, systems engineering practitioners deem PM methods as effective for supporting SEM? Using analysis of structured questionnaires among 24 participants, we verified that project and product are indeed viewed as two complementary facets of SEM, and that certain PM methods address both domains better than others with respect to particular examined factors. © 2011 Wiley international, Inc.

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