What is the registration of the pilot employee
Introduce and apply systems engineering in large, medium-sized companies.
A major challenge in the introduction of Systems Engineering (SE) is the implementation of the generally applicable theory from norms and standards in a practice tailored to the company. The overriding goal is that SE processes are not only defined in the company, but also sustainably anchored and lived. In this way, SE creates a benefit and is applicable to everyone. The 3DSE has created a concept with seven modules so that typical stumbling blocks can also be avoided with flying colors. Because not only are the challenges great, the demands placed on SE within the company also grow over time. This article exemplarily describes how the step from the decision for SE to the sustainable process implementation succeeds in the context of a large medium-sized company.
Through consulting activities with our customers, we often experience statements that allow the "Introduction of SE" project to start under difficult conditions right from the start. This includes the following statements, among others:
"We are using SE for our largest projects for the first time, so the approach is communicated directly in the company."
"We just take the successful approach of company XY, then we save ourselves the costly introduction."
"SE will address all the problems that have always bothered us!"
"For SE we don't need any additional resources, on the contrary, through frontloading we can save employees later in the process."
In these statements, SE is often seen as a panacea that solves all problems and is also easy to adapt at the same time. But that's not exactly what it is. The introduction can therefore sometimes fail in advance. In most cases, large, risky customer projects are also just around the corner for customers. The staff is often young and not very experienced. The products are not limited to individual hardware components, but are increasingly becoming system solutions. These are then no longer only offered on the domestic market, but internationally with local production or development.
After all, these are the entry requirements for the product to be allowed to be sold in this country at all. The projects have to be handled efficiently so that after sales do not incur a lot of effort due to rework, which costs a lot of time and money. To do this, the project must always be transparent, the required documents must be of high quality and the employees must be incorporated quickly. In order to be able to cope with this quota of challenges, SE is often identified by our customers as a central approach. The decisive factor for the choice of the approach is, on the one hand, the evidence of SE skills to the authorities and clients, which is a basic requirement today for large international tenders and the award of public contracts.
On the other hand, with the help of SE, technical challenges, risks, customer requirements and costs in complex large-scale projects can be better managed. For companies, the ability to survive depends on fundamentally changing the way the organization works in the shortest possible time.
In order to be able to implement this change successfully, our customers need a coherent, holistic approach for the implementation of SE. Developing this approach is the task of the 3DSE. The expectation of 3DSE is, in particular, to develop a tailor-made SE approach that will quickly lead to the desired success based on our many years of overarching industry experience.
The approach is based on seven building blocks:
1) Find a coherent overall approach
It is a basic premise of the order to find a coherent overall approach for the customer. The solution should be pragmatically applicable and adapted to the customer's situation, be based on one another in logical structural stages, address important and urgent issues at an early stage, set realistic objectives and be coordinated with the key stakeholders.
2) Create a snowball effect
One means of bringing systems engineering into the entire organization quickly and sustainably is to reach the largest and sufficient number of key people possible. These are sensitized and qualified with regard to the basic principles, the content in systems thinking, the processes and their artifacts as well as the roles in systems engineering. One goal is to build an SE network with a critical mass of key people and thus informally carry the change into the company. For this purpose, awareness training courses, certifications and alumni events are set up for system engineers who have already been certified.
3) Use (external) SE expertise
In order to be able to quickly define a suitable “state-of-the-art” approach and an SE reference model, it is very helpful to include external expertise at key points right from the start. In addition to bringing in professional experience and know-how, one of the core tasks of the 3DSE is to provide impetus for change. External support can also significantly increase the speed at which the processes and methods are implemented.
4) Test with piloting
An effective method of finding applicable, practicable solutions for users is to adapt the theoretical knowledge and experience of external experts to company-specific requirements using pilot processes. Based on the generic ISO15288, the processes are defined in order to then pilot them in the projects.
During the piloting, the methods and processes are put to the test of the users and fine-tuned. We act according to the motto: “Only make the tried and tested standard!”. In addition, the piloting offers the opportunity to achieve quick success and to do persuasion.
5) Offer operational support in the projects
In order to ensure the acceptance of the new methods and formats in the key projects, it is necessary to provide operational support for the user in the projects. On the one hand, this operational support consists of supporting, accompanying and relieving the project staff in the specific application of the new methods and processes. On the other hand, clear guidelines should be made to ensure the quality of the implementation and the implementation should be continuously demanded and monitored. The provision of operational support is covered by both external and internal capacities.
6) Be "Two Steps Ahead"
The sustainable anchoring of systems engineering in a company requires acting beyond pure piloting and the description of the methods / processes. As part of such an initiative, it is important to have flexible capacities and competencies, to win internal and external customers for the application in the long term, to plan budgets and decisions, to involve top management and to have a plan B in hand in the event of difficulties. In order to be able to think the necessary two steps ahead, an SE office is introduced, for example. For this purpose, the SE office is anchored directly to the division management as a staff unit with an advisory function. The structure is characterized by a bundling of know-how carriers and a high level of customer orientation.
7) Operate target group-oriented communication and change management
A change project runs on many different levels and areas of the company. It is essential to give all employees, their representatives and managers access to the topic and to pick them up where they are with regard to their information needs.
In order to be able to guarantee this, target group-oriented communication is set up and change management is actively pursued. It is important, for example, to visualize the reason and the goals of the changes using a comprehensible change story and to create transparency about the implementation progress, e.g. through reports, newsletters and roadshows.
The implementation of systems engineering within a company is a lengthy process that cannot be completely planned out from the start. When introducing new methods and processes, it is essential to maintain the ability of the organization to work in day-to-day business and to find the balance between the push of the SE implementation and the pull of the SE users. Due to this application orientation, necessary adjustments can be discovered and implemented at an early stage.
Systems engineering is not an end in itself. Through the chosen procedure, the customers of 3DSE can implement Systems Engineering as a valuable tool in order to be able to handle complex large-scale projects effectively and efficiently within the framework of the new market requirements.
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