Title: Addressing tensions of overlapping project management and systems engineering with the elegance of a complex systems governance approach

Authors: Rani Yesudas; Kaitlynn Castelle; Keith F. Joiner; Joseph M. Bradley; Mahmoud Efatmaneshnik

Addresses: UNSW Canberra Cyber, University of New South Wales, Canberra, ACT, 2600, Australia ' Engineering Management and Systems Engineering (EMSE), Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, 23529, USA ' Capability Systems Centre, University of New South Wales, Canberra, ACT, 2600, Australia ' Engineering Management and Systems Engineering (EMSE), Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, 23529, USA ' School of Engineering, University of South Australia, Mowson Lakes, SA 5059, Australia

Abstract: Our research examined the efficiency impacts on project and engineering governance of widespread reporting of increased complexity in these domains, using diverse researchers with focused literature review and consultation at a combined industry and academic symposium on project governance. Our research confirmed that collaboration in project communities is often hindered, especially project management and systems engineering practice. Project communities need to develop a work culture that fosters collaboration, reduce conflict, and limits duplication of work. While project management and systems engineering approaches are complementary, they are often practiced separately. Overlays are likely inefficient and unlikely to persist without resolving the underpinning cultural differences enforced by governance weaknesses - in short, inelegant solutions. Our research identifies seven key Systems Theory propositions for governance to efficiently pathologise tension points that inhibit performance. A case study is used to illustrate our proposed, more elegant approach to project governance. We conclude by outlining future research themes.

Keywords: project community tensions; systems theory; project failures; CSG; complex systems governance; project management; systems engineering; mega-project phenomenon.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSE.2020.109143

International Journal of System of Systems Engineering, 2020 Vol.10 No.2, pp.164 - 193

Received: 13 Dec 2019
Accepted: 03 Feb 2020

Published online: 18 Aug 2020 *

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