What makes developing high-tech systems complex? This question refers not only a definition of applying new technologies but also the ability to face multi-disciplinary challenges in a changing, multi-stakeholder business context. In order to manage the increasing complexity, the competencies of engineering professionals must be in line with their role, tasks, responsibilities and the development phases in which they operate.
To manage the development process, companies make use of multiple phases. Each phase has its own goal, deliverables and way of working and requires a different mixture of people and competencies. In general, the following engineering phases are used:
1. Shaping the problem and solution domain
In the early phases of system development, the level of complexity and ambiguity are high. It is important to understand both the problem and solution domain. To develop a high-level system concept, architects and other key stakeholders focus on customer value, the value chain and the business proposition.
2. Guiding and balancing the design
To develop a design at a (sub-)system level, domain architects and lead designers guide teams and need to understand (sub-)system interactions and behavior. Besides functionality, their main focus is on making conceptual choices and trade-offs and managing dynamic behavior of the system.
3. Applying engineering approaches, methods and tools
When realizing a system that covers all stakeholder requirements, engineers work in a team and need to understand the companies' ways of working, processes, tools and technologies. Their main focus is on the completeness and correctness of the component which they are responsible for.
A competency consists of a combination of knowledge, skills and mindset. We therefore talk about what you KNOW, DO and ARE. In order to develop a competency, all three should be taken into account. At an engineering level, the emphasis is more on the application of approaches, methods and tools in a team environment. When you move ‘up’ to design and architecting, the focus shifts more towards system-level reasoning, the ability to make trade-offs at a conceptual level and the development of a mindset capable of dealing with the increasing complexity and ambiguity.
To accommodate the development of knowledge, skills and mindset, we offer three learning concepts:
Develop your professional and/or personal competencies by sharing experiences with peers inside and outside of the company via Special Interest Groups, the symposium, peer circles, etc.
Develop new engineering knowledge and skills by participating in compact learning activities such as courses, webinars, workshops and micro-learnings.
Accelerate system level architecting and leadership competencies by coupling your company’s strategic innovation themes with an in-house competence development program.
Please contact us if you want to develop and accelerate competencies in order to manage the increasing complexity of today’s high-tech innovation.
Besides two competence development managers, ESI has 35 researchers, doctors and professors with a background in industry and/or academia. They combine research, teaching and the facilitation of expertise topics like systems engineering and architecting, model-driven engineering, software legacy, testing and interface management. We mostly work side-by-side four days a week at our industry partners in order to make an impact that matters for industry as well as academia. This is called industry-as-a-lab.
If you want to develop the competencies of yourself or your organization, we can offer you an outside perspective. Depending on your needs, we can connect you to the required expertise and discuss the best way to develop your competencies.
Additionally, we have seasoned process facilitators and work together with partners who are experienced in developing leadership and inter- and intrapersonal competencies. Our main drive is to support technical professionals in the challenges they face when working on complex high-tech systems.
The aim of our competence development activities is to support professional engineers who operate at different system levels in order to increase their performance in a real-life business context. We do this not by developing technical knowledge and related skills but by teaching how to spot new opportunities, take the initiative, interact with stakeholders and put this altogether in a broader perspective. In short, we support engineering professionals in becoming becoming complexitects (see video) who are capable of managing ever-increasing complexity.