Integration effectiveness between engineering teams on complex defence programs

Walker, Sam (2016) Integration effectiveness between engineering teams on complex defence programs. [USQ Project]

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As programs grow in size and complexity, it is necessary to form sub-teams of engineers to break down the work to manageable portions. These teams, referred to in isolation as ‘silos’, typically focus on a specialised technical discipline (software, avionics, electrical, etc.). How well teams combine their work, or horizontally integrate (illustrated in Figure 1 - A birds-eye view of horizontal integration), is a huge contributor to the success of a program, in terms of meeting the customer’s needs, within cost and schedule.

The integration of teams is hugely important for Defence, due to the complexity and size of programs, as well as geographic and political challenges. This drives segregation of engineering efforts, as shown in Figure 2 - Breakdown and re-integration of a system. To realign teams in a common direction, develop an integrated product and achieve a successful program outcome, integrating factors are applied. The identification and evaluation of these integrating factors in Complex Defence Programs emerged as a gap in identified literature, and as such is the focus of my research.

The purpose of research into engineering integration is to identify how programs can make the interactions between teams more efficient, in order to deliver the best possible product for Defence. In doing this, I’ve needed to define the value of integrating teams, identify what can be done to integrate teams, and evaluate the efficiency of integration efforts in aligning the direction of sub-teams on a program. This report documents these findings.

The research conducted was primarily qualitative, based upon the perspectives of subject program team members. The identification of integrating factors was achieved through a review of Systems Engineering literature, and the observations recorded in interviews. The evaluation of these factors has been subjective, but surveys have been used to quantify results and identify recurring or commonly held perspectives within the industry.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Major Mechanical Engineering project
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Fulcher, Bob
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2017 02:10
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2017 02:10
Uncontrolled Keywords: integration effectiveness; engineering teams; complex defence programs; sub-teams; horizontally integrate
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0913 Mechanical Engineering > 091302 Automation and Control Engineering
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4007 Control engineering, mechatronics and robotics > 400799 Control engineering, mechatronics and robotics not elsewhere classified

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