Our Research Focus

Venn diagram of CEPE's overlapping approachesSystems engineering and product development, Lean and agile management, and organizational change provide the means whereby project and program management practice can be substantially improved.

  • Systems engineering and product development provide a rigorous foundation to successfully manage the product elements that determine success or failure for an engineering program.
  • Lean and agile management provides an organizing framework and management philosophy of continuous improvement that engages the entire program.
  • Organizational change is critical to overcoming the challenges associated with introducing new practices and making improvements a part of the everyday management of programs.

Integration is the Key to Success

By integrating these elements, high-performing engineering programs can exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Effective Benefits: Engineering programs have a clear and shared understanding on how they generate value for the final customer, while also satisfying other key stakeholders in the value chain. This includes intensive efforts to clarify and define high-quality customer requirements, explore trade-offs, and effectively accommodate unavoidable changes in requirements.
  • Efficient Processes and Organization: Processes and organizational structure of the program support value creation and minimize waste, exhibit a smooth flow with efficient handoffs and clear roles and responsibilities, are responsive to the customer, and integrate efficiently with the extended enterprise.
  • Inspired People: Programs have a management philosophy of strong leadership, skilled and motivated employees along the value chain, supportive personal networks and interactions, career paths for both business and engineering experts, draw on everyone’s capabilities, and promote personal and professional development.
  • Consistent Implementation: The program tailors best practices to their specific needs, employs effective change management practices, and integrates program improvements with overall organizational excellence.