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Project Engineer Responsibility and Applications

October 15, 2009

Essential Skills for Project Engineering (PE/EPM)

To lead technical projects, drive innovation, and influence others.

What is Project Engineering responsibility:

1. Become more influential 2. Improve your ability to effectively lead projects and teams 3. Identify leadership development goals specific to your individual needs 4. Build relation with your boss and your peers

PE/EPM Manage Many areas?

System Design
Tradeoff Studies Key Characteristics Cost as an Independent Variable (CAIV) Performance Analysis & Simulation Requirements Development/Management Electrical Design Mechanical Design Materials Selection Producibility/ Reliability/Maintainability/Testability Design to Cost (DTUPC) Requirements Analysis and Design SW Implementation S/W Integration & Test H/W & S/W Integration System Performance

Hardware Product Design

The PE Manages Many Activities

Software Product Design

System Integration & Test

Product Delivery Support


Characteristics of a Successful Project Team


Effective Leader Group of interdependent individuals Complementary skills Shared, meaningful purpose Specific goals Well-defined roles and responsibilities Mutual accountability Collaborative approach Confidence Desire for continuous improvement

Big M, Little e
PEs first and foremost responsibility is: Management of the engineering teams effort Effective Project Engineers:
Are effective team leaders and team builders Display commitment and passion Employ right to left thinking andplanning Show a sense of urgency Are results oriented Are detail focused Have strong communication skills

The PE is responsible for program performance

Establishing and getting the program off to a good start Managing engineering activities on a program Keeping the program out of trouble Reporting accurate program status (technical performance, cost & schedule)

The PE/EPM Drives the Engineering Effort on a Program

The Project Engineer is Responsible for all Engineering Execution on the Program
Engineering Cost Performance

Engineering Schedule Performance

Schedule Performance

Engineering Technical Performance

PE/EPM is Key To Program Leadership

Program Manager, XYZ Program

Business Management

Operations Program Management

Project Engineering

Mission Assurance

Material Management

System Engineering

Software Engineering

Electrical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Optical Engineering

Systems Test

Test Engineering

Configuration Management

Reliability & F/A

PE is Responsible for the Entire Engineering Team


The PE/EPM Interacts With Various Teams and Functions

Engineering Management Business Management

PMO Procurement Project Engineer Operations Quality Engineering Team Facilities Export Management


The PE/EPM, with the PM, Leads the Team

Developing Plans & Tracking Progress

Balancing Priorities: Cost Schedule Technical

Preparing/Reviewing Presentations & Reports

Solving Problems Leading, Assisting & Mentoring the Team

Clearly Communicating: Roles & Responsibilities Objectives/Direction Providing Feedback

Role of the Project Engineer

The PROJECT ENGINEER is responsible for the technical performance, cost, and schedule for the assigned program(s). This includes the following:
Organizing the engineering work to support the program schedule/plan Provide leadership and guidance Providing day-to-day direction of the assigned personnel Responsible for the Engineering schedule Ensure Group Leader, Functional Managers and Program Managers are aware of program performance issues (e.g., technical scope, schedule, staffing, etc..) through efficient communications


Additional Roles
Recognize and support the Program Manager as the person ultimately responsible for the program. Provide timely input when the PE perceives the directed course of action will not achieve the divisions goals and if necessary, elevate the problem until it is resolved. Get the job done!


The PE Role in the Engineering Organization is an Extension of Program Management

Extension of program management
Interface with Customer PMO Interface with Executive Mgmt

Adopts extended teams

Business Management Manufacturing operations Procurement Quality Assurance Associate Contractors

Manages Sub-Contracts
Scheduling Issues Technical performance

Project Engineer Objectives

There is an obligation for Project Engineer to:
Keep functional managers informed when there are problems in the functional area (personnel, facilities, or equipment) affecting the success of the program Provide periodic feedback on how assigned staff are performing. Raise issues for resolution when program direction or performance seem to put program goals at risk The PE along with the SE are viewed as the most technically qualified to make performance assessments, the PE has the responsibility of formally alerting Program Management when meeting program technical performance requirements are at risk. Recognize that resources assigned to the program work for a functional manager who ultimately controls the persons time (but functional manager must provide a qualified resource in a timely manner when a resource is reassigned such that program performance or goals are not put at risk!) Insure an up-to-date forecast of resource requirements is available

Project Engineer - Roles

Design adherence to customer SOW and specification requirements, including performance cost and schedule Support and lead the Program Managers kickoff Program responsibility for generating and maintaining program SEMP Conduct the program efforts in accordance with the approved program SEMP Responsible for decomposing requirements and concepts for compliance to contract requirements with the help from the CE & SE Insure all engineering tasks and documentation are scheduled and completed on time Technical lead for design and performance requirements

Project Engineers Roles Cont..


Provide day to day direction for assigned engineers Responsible for hosting and leading design reviews In some cases act as the Cost Account Manager (CAM) Ensure performance to key parameters are monitored and met Review and approve drawings and Change Orders Participate in internal and vendor qualification and evaluation process Provides monthly Technical Project status and all related supports Provides Lessons Learned Supports program close-out

Project Engineering Mission Statement

Project Engineering
Our shared mission is to work to achieve the cost, schedule, technical, and customer satisfaction goals for each program assigned.


How Should Others View PEs?

The PM and others should look upon the PE/EPM as:
The leader and primary interface with the engineers working on the program The person to whom program direction on technical work should be transmitted Responsible for the Engineering schedule Cost account manager The key facilitator and in some cases technical advisor/problem solver on program issues


Project Engineering
The Secrets of Success for PEs
Organization Planning Communication Vigilance - Fact based decision making

The quality of information is vital!


Functional Manager
There is an obligation for Functional Manager to:
Contracts with PM and PE to provide skills/expertise to meet program requirements during bid process Provide the qualified resources (personnel, facilities, and equipment) necessary to complete the program on time. Work through PEs when getting involved in program work Involved in programs, to provide timely advice on, and to take timely action when there are personnel or program problems Responsible for meeting overhead budget, indirect labor goals, and program commitments


Program Manager
There is an obligation for the Program Manager to:
Ultimate responsibility for successful program execution and customer

Responsible for maintaining effective communication between team


Establish appropriate program controls to insure cost & schedule objectives

are achieved and work through PE to insure that technical objectives are achieved


Conduct periodic briefings on program status and related issues or problems Control Account Manager for PM Admin budget PM and PE signoff authority on all drawings and ECNs Facilitate overall efforts for cost/schedule Coordinate resolution of customer-identified issues & problems Customer interface on existing and related new business opportunities

Chief Engineer
There is an obligation for the Chief Engineer to:
Chart and develop the Business Area roadmap. Coordinates and drives customer requirements on key products Support and strategize existing or new technologies. Support and interface with the customer meetings/reviews. Visits customers, users, conferences to understand mission requirements and works to drive innovative system architectures to meet those requirements. Interface with IRAD & BD to ensure efforts budgeted and planned support customer requirements Supports programs concerns/issues (development/production). Work with the Project Engineer and System Engineer on existing programs and new development programs.

Systems Engineering
International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) defines systems engineering as:
Systems engineering is an engineering discipline whose responsibility is to create and execute an interdisciplinary process to ensure that the customer and stakeholders needs are satisfied in a high-quality, trustworthy, and cost and schedule efficient manner throughout a systems entire life cycle. This process is usually comprised of the following tasks: State the problem; Investigate alternatives; Model the system; Integrate; Launch the system; Assess performance; and Reevaluate (SIMILAR). The systems engineering process is not sequential. The functions are performed in a parallel and interactive manner.

The Department of Defense (DoD) defines systems engineering as:

An approach to translate approved operational needs and requirements into operationally suitable blocks of systems. The approach shall consist of a top-down, iterative process of requirements analysis, functional analysis and allocation, design synthesis and verification, and system analysis and control. Systems engineering shall permeate design, manufacturing, test and evaluation, and support of the product. Systems engineering principals shall influence the balance between performance, risk, cost, and schedule.


Systems Engineer
There is an obligation for the Systems Engineer to:
Transform an operational need into a description of system performance parameters and a system configuration through the use of an iterative process of definition, synthesis, analysis, design, test and evaluation, and validation. Integrate related technical parameters and ensure the compatibility of all physical, functional, and program interface. This shall be conducted in a manner that optimizes the total definition and design.


Chief Engineer Program Manager
PM Checklist Uphold customer relationships Responsible Pgm cost & schedule Supports monthly Status Provides program oversight/leadership Attend customer meetings/reviews Strategize Attend customer meetings/reviews Develops technology roadmap Supports pgm concerns/issues

System Engineer
Establish requirements & flow-down Provides conceptual inputs Generates SEMP Defines Conops Manages operational modes Conducts system modeling Establishes system budgets Conducts sensitivity analysis Identifies KPP Establishes testability requirements Supports Qual/DVT Validates & reviews data Provide technical oversight Conducts/supports Peer reviews Supports program reviews

Project Engineer


Establish engineering schedule Assemble engineering team Conduct/oversee peer reviews Support program reviews Monthly Technical Project Status Provide program oversight Responsible for the SEMP Identify risk & uncertainty Responsible for Integration and Qual Attends customer meetings/reviews All documentation & program close-out

The Project Engineer, Chief Engineer, and Systems Engineer all have the same goals to provide the best product for our customers. All three groups must work together to achieve this goal
Chief Engineer

System Engineer

Project Engineer

Program Manager


Working With Your Customers Fosters a Winning Outcome

Know your customers
Internal External

Anticipate customer requirements and expectations Manage customer expectations Translate customer needs into specific actions Obtain and respond to customer feedback Open, candid communication develops trust

Meetings / Information
Based on the size and maturity of the program, each PE shall be held responsible for conducting the standard reviews (PSDR, PM checklist (30-day kickoff), SRR, SDR, PDR, CDR, TRR, and PRR) All PM support monthly All Program Reviews. The PE are asked to support their PM during Business Area Reviews In addition, PE shall communicate the health of their program at monthly Technical Program Review and/or Engineering Management Reviews If a program experiences significant interruption whether it cost, schedule, technical, or other this information needs to be communicated up the chain of command as expediently as possible


The PE is the closest to the program and is typically knowledgeable
across all the disciplines. It is the obligation of the team members and the PE to voice issues and concerns as they arise on programs.

Under NO circumstance shall the PE turn a blind eye on improper


The PE represent:
Quality Customer Satisfaction Leadership Integrity People Suppliers

Closing Thoughts.
The PE is a KEY member of the Program Team, with a very difficult job Be a Leader
Team builder that displays a commitment and passion Results and detailed oriented, with a sense of urgency Thinking about both today AND tomorrow

Recognize that you own all of the engineering activities, including cost, schedule and technical performance Learn how to balance and prioritize your time
Focus on ramifications if you chose incorrectly

Become knowledgeable about your supporting functional organizations

Know the leaders and the experts Know what they can do for you Leverage them for your success


Project Engineers wear many hats and typically do what is needed to get the job done It is not easy being a PE
90% of the program problems and issues are aired while only 10% of the good issues are ever raised

Challenged budgets, manpower issues, and short schedules only contribute to the joy of PEs There is a great deal of satisfaction seeing a program successfully complete and transition to production or sustain production to support the war fighter But with all that said:

It takes a special individual to excel as a Project Engineer/Engineering Project Manager


3 Last Closing Thoughts