July Dinner Meeting: “Patterns of Success in Systems Engineering”
Date: July 11, 2012
Location: Amphora Restaurant
1151 Elden St.
Start Time: 6:00 PM
Menu: The menu consists of Caesar salad, choice of one entree, and carrot cake. Entree choices are:
-Chicken Cordon Bleu with ham and Swiss cheese, served with mashed potatoes and vegetable
-Grilled pork loin chops (2), served with roast potatoes, vegetable, and apple sauce
-Penne pasta with vegetables (Vegetarian)
Cost: Members can pay via Paypal on Registration page. For non-members, payments will be collected via cash or check at the event. Please do not mail cash or check to the location of the event.
-INCOSE-WMA members: $10
-Student Division members: Free
Presentation: “Patterns of Success in Systems Engineering”
Abstract: Despite numerous attempts at reform of systems engineering and acquisition processes, government acquisition of IT-intensive systems has remained resistant to improvement. Both more and less oversight has produced equally unsatisfying results. Better requirements gathering, evolutionary development, etc., all aimed at solving specific problems, seemed not to produce lasting results.
The objective of this effort was to discover patterns of success in the systems engineering of information
technology (IT)-intensive systems in a government acquisition environment using the method of positive
deviance. Positive deviance is an approach to improvement based on the idea that every community performing an activity has certain individuals or teams whose attitudes, practices, strategies or behaviors enable them to function more effectively than others with the same resources and environmental conditions. It is a search for what works.
Thirty government programs were identified, each with some notable success in the acquisition of ITintensive capabilities. Twelve were selected for extensive follow-up and analysis, including detailed interviews with front-line practitioners who cope with the demands of the government acquisition system and are in a position to influence or observe positive deviance in their environment.
This presentation describes two large-scale success patterns that were observed, each with several
recurring sub-patterns. “Balancing the Supply Web” addresses “social” interdependencies among
enterprise stakeholders who have different equities in the capability being developed. “Harnessing
Technical Complexity” addresses the technical interdependencies among system components that
together deliver an operational capability for the enterprise. The large-scale patterns are two sides of the
same coin. The programs studied achieved success because of the way they each navigated through these
George Rebovich is the director of the MITRE Systems Engineering Practice Office. He has held a variety of systems engineering positions at MITRE to include leading technical departments and groups, sponsor and technology projects, and serving as the chief systems engineer of a classified C4I system program.
Mr. Rebovich serves on systems engineering technical committees of the IEEE and NDIA and has authored or co-authored numerous articles, papers and reports. He is the author of invited chapters in several systems engineering books and is a co-editor of the CRC Press book Enterprise Systems Engineering: Advances in Theory & Practice. He is the technical lead on the MITRE Systems Engineering Guide and is a co-author the Department of Defense Systems Engineering Guide for Systems of Systems.
Mr. Rebovich holds a B.S. degree from the U.S. Military Academy, an M.S. degree (mathematics) from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a certificate of Administration and Management from Harvard University, and is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. Before joining MITRE, he served in the U.S. Army, including assignments in the U.S., Europe, and with the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam. Mr. Rebovich is a former assistant professor of mathematics at the U.S. Military Academy.
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