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INCOSE International Workshop 2020


by René King

From the 25th to the 28th of January 2020, PPI team members Robert Halligan (Managing Director), Randall Iliff (Principal Consultant and Presenter) and René King (CTI Managing Director) had the pleasure of participating in the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) International Workshop (IW) in Torrance, California. The annual INCOSE IW brings systems engineering practitioners from all around the world together to work to develop the state of the art practice of systems engineering through a series of work sessions and outreach sessions. Work sessions are geared towards improving and completing working group products while outreach sessions are designed to disseminating the current practices and providing opportunity to guide the direction of initiatives.

During the 2020 IW, Robert and René participated heavily in the Systems Engineering Tools Database (SETDB) Project work sessions – the SETDB Project is a joint project by INCOSE and PPI to develop and operate an online library of systems engineering software tools that support systems engineering processes. In addition to the SETDB work sessions, the SETDB Project Team was pleased to demonstrate a functional prototype of the SETDB to the workshop attendees. Good progress was made on the SETDB front and the project is well on track to launch its initial operational capability at the INCOSE International Symposium, which is going to be in South Africa during July 2020.

Randall participated in the ongoing discussion and activity between the Project Management Institute (PMI) and INCOSE to foster the integration between project management and systems engineering. In particular, an overview of the PMBoK V7 was given by PMI and included a Q&A session which made for wonderful discussion. Progress towards creating an MBSE approach for PM-SE Integration was made and next steps outlined to create greater synergy between the organizations and the practices at large. Other notable collaborative efforts include the new American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) – INCOSE Collaboration which aims to transform the high-hazard industry facility development industry by creating a standard that addresses processes and procedures for the design of hazardous waste plants and facilities.

Other exciting developments included the introduction of the newly formed Social Systems Working Group which brings attention to the important intersection of social dynamics, systems science and the practice of systems engineering.
There was also substantial activity surrounding updates on the development of the INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook V5. Constructive conversations were held on how to improve the existing INCOSE SEH (V4) to better reflect the current processes and incorporate additional SE-relevant considerations in development of increasingly complex sociotechnical systems.

The ever-popular Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) track focused on SysML V2 progress and development of data exchange and data management standards for MBSE artefacts for long term archival and retrieval. The MBSE sessions are always well-attended – and rightly so – given its relevance in facilitating industrial transformation to fully fledged digital engineering.
The Empowering Women Leaders in Systems Engineering (EWLSE) sessions focused on negotiation and influencing skills for systems engineering practitioners, technical leads and project managers. Interactive brainstorming sessions were facilitated to discover techniques for solving challenging conflicts in the workplace.

The Artificial Intelligence and Smart City spaces were highlighted as areas where SE practices and methodologies could be of tremendous value in shaping global understanding and development. If you are interested in either of these topics, please consider becoming an INCOSE member and joining the relevant working groups and project teams to make your mark on the application of SE in these highly relevant fields.
During the IW, much progress was made to evolve so many different initiatives that it is impossible to mention it all in one short article. The INCOSE IW2020 webpage contains the full program as well as Working Group Information Sheets that highlight the outcomes of the work sessions for all who are interested.

The IW really is a flagship event for any SE practitioner looking to develop their knowledge and grow their network by collaborating with like-minded people who are looking to make the world a better place through sound practice of SE. It is always a pleasure to be involved in this constructive event. We look forward to the next one. Will we see you there?

PPI Team at the INCOSE IW: 

Robert Halligan FIE Aust CPEng IntPE(Aus)
Managing Director, Consultant & Course Presenter

Randall Illif BSc (Engineering), MSc (Systems Management)
Principal Consultant & Course Presenter

René King BSc (Eng), ASEP
Senior Engineer and Managing Director at Certification Training International (CTI)


Randall Illif, Robert Halligan & René King


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