Dueling Stakeholders and Dual-Hatted Systems Engineers: Engineering Challenges, Capabilities and Skills in Government Infrastructure Technology Projects

43 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2009 Last revised: 5 Feb 2014

JoAnn M. Brooks

MITRE Corporation

John S. Carroll

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Jon W. Beard

MITRE Corporation

Date Written: October 2, 2009

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Brooks, JoAnn M. and Carroll, John S. and Beard, Jon W., Dueling Stakeholders and Dual-Hatted Systems Engineers: Engineering Challenges, Capabilities and Skills in Government Infrastructure Technology Projects (October 2, 2009). MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 4761-09. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1481911 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1481911

JoAnn M. Brooks (Contact Author)

MITRE Corporation ( email )

202 Burlington Road
Bedford, MA 01730
United States

John S. Carroll

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

E52-563
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-2617 (Phone)
617-253-2660 (Fax)

Jon W. Beard

MITRE Corporation ( email )

202 Burlington Road
Bedford, MA 01730
United States

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