Dueling Stakeholders and Dual-Hatted Systems Engineers: Engineering Challenges, Capabilities and Skills in Government Infrastructure Technology Projects
JoAnn M. Brooks
John S. Carroll
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management
Jon W. Beard
October 2, 2009
MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 4761-09
Systems engineering projects that support government enterprises face substantial hallenges due to demands from diverse stakeholders and rapidly-changing echnologies. In this paper, we present findings from the analysis of five case studies f systems engineering projects for large government enterprises. We focus on what an be learned from systems engineers, their essential role, and their engineering ractices. As they work to establish interoperability across pre-existing and new echnologies while creating an evolving infrastructure, the engineers commonly face gonistic‖ tensions between groups of stakeholders. Temporal pacing conflicts are specially prevalent, such as those between some stakeholder groups concerned with ast-paced streams of innovation and others concerned with current operations. In esponse, many engineers are following an evolutionary approach, developing new apabilities for incremental modularization and re/integration of technologies and ssociated practices across organizational (stakeholder) boundaries. Additionally, ngineers are leveraging their professional role and developing new skills of influence o support these capabilities for addressing stakeholder tensions. We close by iscussing implications of our findings for the management of infrastructure technology rojects, for organizational design and engineering of government enterprises, and for he changing role of systems engineers.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 43working papers series
Date posted: October 4, 2009 ; Last revised: March 22, 2010
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