Breakthrough Insights

It’s a Tough Job but Someone’s Gotta Do It, Pt. VI. How Jama Helps Systems Engineers

“Engineers are relatively good at logical decisions. The problem is with the assumptions. Testing the assumptions is the most important trait of a good systems engineer. Keep the critical-to-customer requirements always in mind; everything else supports these. Must not strangle the project with many meetings. System Level cannot be the only verification approach—Need to do things right the first time (at lowest level). There are thousands of ways to fail; most have not been explored.

Dr. Steve Jolly, Systems Engineering Director for Lockheed Martin Space Systems. Assembled from material presented at the 2011 NASA PI Forum.

Leave it to the Systems Engineer responsible for overseeing NASA’s early warning alert spacecraft to sum up the worries that keep Systems Engineers up at night.

Here at Jama, we work regularly with Systems Engineers and know how comprehensive their skills and responsibilities are. Many of our customers serve as trusted advisers to Project Managers, and assist in decision making. Most must also be skilled leaders, listeners, negotiators and diplomats. As Jama Solutions Architect Cary Bryczek explains, “To be a successful systems engineer, you should be a natural problem solver and excellent communicator. You need to be able to consider multiple factors and figure out ways for all of these factors to come together and form a whole process.”

Suffice it to say that for Systems Engineers, achieving the desired state of harmonious integration is no easy undertaking:

Tall tasks:

  • Delivering on requirements while dealing with multiple interests, competing agendas and numerous constraints.

Pressure points:

  • Missing out on critical customer feedback during early development stages.
  • Optimizing systems design for integration and balance, with no system or sub-system sacrificed or favored at another’s expense.
  • Being able to accurately assess relationships among the parts of a complex system to understand where compromises in development can be made safely and efficiently without harming functionality.
  • Guaranteeing that different components produced by specialty engineers will work as a cohesive and efficient system or product.

Burning desires:

  • To be able to assess and address, in one single platform, design compatibility, requirements definition, management of projects, cost analysis, scheduling, maintenance needs, ease of operations and future systems upgrades, and to communicate with engineers, managers, suppliers and customers regarding system operations.

With Jama, Systems Engineers can turn foreboding “Twilight Zone” episodes into fearless “Quantum Leap” epics.

How so? You’re able to…

  • Identify possible errors early in the project so they can be remedied before they impact quality.
  • Gain visibility upstream to understand the business requirements being worked on and receive prompt notification of requirements changes that impact tasks.
  • Understand (and help others understand) how complex systems and products integrate and operate, how well they meet overall goals and objectives, and how they can be improved.
  • Communicate easily with the entire project team to get clarification and decisions made, regardless of location.

Read 2 Brains, 1 Product: The Builder’s Dilemma to find out how Systems Engineers can use Jama to balance disciplines and create high-performing systems and products that meet goals and objectives.

Check out other ways Jama helps business and engineering teams get and stay aligned:

How Jama Helps VPs of Sales

How Jama Helps VPs of Product

How Jama Helps QA Leads

How Jama Helps Project Managers

How Jama Helps Business Analysts

How Jama Helps Product Managers