Enabling Teams

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Part 5 on Enabling Systems Engineering explores how systems engineering (SE) is enabled at three levels of an organization: the business or enterprise (hereafter usually just called "business" as a shorthand because a business is a specific type of enterprise that has sufficiently strong central authority and motivation to take steps to effectively enable SE. See Enabling Systems Engineering for more on this.), the team, and individuals. As its name implies, this knowledge area focuses on enabling teams to perform SE. Part 3 Systems Engineering and Management describes how to perform SE once it has been enabled using the techniques described in Part 5.

To download a PDF of all of Part 5 (including this knowledge area), please click here.


Each part of the SEBoK is divided into knowledge areas (KAs), which are groupings of information with a related theme. The KAs in turn are divided into topics. This KA contains the following topics:


Systems engineers contribute to development and sustainment of products, enterprise systems, and the delivery of services. Systems engineers also coordinate the technical aspects of multiple projects that comprise a program. These activities require teams of individuals who share a common vision, and work in a cooperative manner to achieve shared objectives. Not all groups of individuals who work together perform as teams; thus, teams must be enabled to perform SE activities efficiently and effectively.

SE activities are sometimes accomplished by individuals but are more often accomplished by project teams that perform SE activities and provide specialty engineering capabilities (see Systems Engineering and Specialty Engineering). Not all who perform SE activities are labeled "systems engineers." Thus, electrical, mechanical, and software engineers, as well as enterprise architects in IT organizations and service providers may lead or be members of teams that perform SE tasks. Those individuals are referred to as systems engineers in this knowledge area, regardless of their job titles within their organizations.

This knowledge area is concerned with methods, tools, and techniques for enabling project teams to perform SE activities. Three additional topics related to enabling the performance of project teams that perform SE are

  1. What do managers need to know about managing systems engineers and project teams that perform SE activities? Managers can gain insight into what they need to know about managing project teams that perform SE in the topics Relationships between Systems Engineering and Project Management and The Influence of Project Structure and Governance on Systems Engineering and Project Management Relationships.
  2. How do businesses determine value added by SE activities performed by project teams? This topic is addressed in Team Capability.
  3. How does an organization determine the efficiency and effectiveness of SE activities performed by project teams? This topic is addressed in Team Capability.


Primary References

Brooks, F. 1995. The Mythical Man-Month, Anniversary Edition. Reading, MA, USA: Addison Wesley.

Curtis, B., W.E. Hefley, and S.A. Miller. 2001. People Capability Maturity Model (P-CMM), Version 2.0. Pittsburg, PA, USA: Software Engineering Institute (SEI). CMU/SEI-2001-MM-01. Accessed on June 8, 2012. Available at http://www.sei.cmu.edu/cmmi/solutions/pcmm/

DeMarco, T. and T. Lister. 1999. Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams, 2nd ed. New York, NY, USA: Dorset House.

Eisner, H. 2008.Essentials of Project and Systems Engineering Management, 3rd ed. Hoboken, NJ, USA: John Wiley and Sons.

Fairley, R.E. 2009. Managing and Leading Software Projects. Hoboken, NJ, USA: John Wiley & Sons.

Forsyth, D.R. 2010. Group Dynamics, 5th edition. Belmont, CA, USA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Hase, S. 2000. Measuring Organisational Capability: Beyond Competence, Paper presented at Future Research, Research Futures: Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association (AVETRA) Conference (2000). Accessed on June 8, 2012. Available at http://www.avetra.org.au/abstracts_and_papers_2000/shase_full.pdf.

INCOSE. 2010. Systems Engineering Competencies Framework 2010-0205. San Diego, CA, USA: International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE). INCOSE-TP-2010-003.

NASA. 2011. Academy of Program/Project and Engineering Leadership (APPEL), NASA APPEL Performance Enhancement. Accessed on September 15, 2011. Available at http://www.nasa.gov/offices/oce/appel/performance/index.html.

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