Let’s talk about the INCOSE conference, and whether or not it’s a good fit for you.

On The Edge

INCOSE is the International Council on System Engineering. As a lot of companies make the transition from traditional mechanical products to smart connected ones, many are turning to system engineering as a way to mitigate the complexity that they’re encountering in the products and the process.

I attended this last year, and I was wondering, “How can you democratize the adoption of system engineering in all sorts of companies?” I was expecting a lot of handholding and a lot of easing into the process. What I found was a number of great technical experts working at the edge of system engineering. That might be agile system engineering, which is very applicable, or it might be lean system engineering. There are a lot of new fields that need to be explored.

Not For Beginners

I wouldn’t say there was a whole lot of focus on just starting off with system engineering. How do we get started? What are the first steps? What are the adoption challenges that you face? What tools do you need? There isn’t very much orientation-type stuff at the INCOSE conference. I don’t see it as a good fit for companies that are just starting out, and just starting to explore those types of changes.

If you’re a company that has been practicing system engineering for a little while, you’re looking to extend your deployment, (or maybe you’ve been experimenting with it for a little), and you’ve been able to have success on a small scale, this may be a good way to overcome some of those challenges. How do you apply systems engineering in new ways?

At the end of the day, INCOSE would probably be the best fit for companies that are at the technical edges, but not for companies that are just starting out with system engineering. That’s my take.