The Practice of Systems Engineering: A Foundation for Technical Leadership

  • Wanda Austin
  • Marilee Wheaton
  • Charles Tang
  • Mark Goodman


Large-scale engineering projects are often in the news, especially when they fail to realize the value promised. Often these failures result in multibillion-dollar cost overruns, and usually “complexity” is blamed for the failure. But even if complexity is the proximate cause, the underlying cause is probably a failure to establish truly beneficial projects initially, and to address risk as the project proceeds. These problems arise from a complex blend of technological and sociological factors that are often apparent to people involved in establishing and executing projects, and yet a principal method for dealing with them receives very little attention. What is offered here is a perspective on why “technical leadership” is so critical to the success of complex engineering projects, and how the practice of effective systems engineering enhances and enables such leadership.


Global Position System System Engineering System Engineer Life Cycle Cost Global Position System Data 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wanda Austin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marilee Wheaton
    • 3
  • Charles Tang
    • 2
  • Mark Goodman
    • 4
  1. 1.The Aerospace CorporationLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.The Aerospace Corporation, and Adjunct FacultyUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Systems Engineering Division, The Aerospace Corporation, and Adjunct FacultyUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Strategic Planning, The Aerospace CorporationLos AngelesUSA

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