Systems Optimizing the Product Development Process


This four-day course provides a comprehensive and rigorous review of the systems engineering development process. DoD 5000 series acquisition instructions are used as a guide to model the engineering process from customer concept definition (CDD) to contractor development and operational testing (TEMP).

Understanding the inherent relationship between program management structures and the systems engineering effort can be used as the basis for improving the systems engineering process. Project restructuring can improve productivity by as much as 10% to 30% in some cases. Class projects are used as an instructional tool to enhance the learning process in developing an understanding of these principles.

Organizational structures can be stove-piped, project oriented, sequential and/or concurrent in nature. Understanding these differences and the application of functional system structures provides the basis for the management optimization process. The allocation of lead engineers to systems engineering, software engineering and hardware engineering process are factors addressed in this course.

The application of “Systems Thinking” methodology is included for consideration as an engineering tool. The application of systems thinking can be used to identify “High Leverage Points” (HLP’s) that help identify key factors in the engineering solution process. The importance of “Trade Studies” using analysis, simulation and prototyping engineering tools used as part of the overall risk mitigation process.

What you will learn:

  • Understanding of the entire product development process
  • Importance of building quality into the product
  • Understand the importance of functional architectures.
  • Ability to understand alternative management structures
  • Ability to build effective WBS and ORG structures

Who should attend:

This course is ideally suited for program manages, project managers, engineering leads, and the engineers responsible for system functional, software, and hardware architecture. This course is beneficial to entry level engineers who have no idea of an end-to-end development process.

Course Outline:

  1. Product Development Process. This module provides an understanding of the engineering development process beginning with customer mission requirements to final operational testing. Topics include: Operational Requirements, Proposal, Statement of Work, Management Plan, Specifications and Integrated T&E.
  2. Product Development Process: This module addresses the importance of the proposal and statement of work. Effective use of these documents can reduce cost and schedule in addition to providing the basis of an efficient and smooth running organization. The application of the engineering “V” and spiral development process complete the program development module.
  3. Application of Systems Thinking: Understanding the basics and applying this methodology to the systems engineering process is provided. Trade studies using systems thinking methodology can be applied to both the design and the risk mitigation process. The Apollo moon mission program is used as case study to illustrate the effective use of systems thinking.
  4. Functional Architectures: The importance of the functional architecture and its relationship to the organizational structure is provided. Understanding user needs and objectives through a series of flow charts is used to illustrates the relationships between the engineering design process and a more effective management structure.
  5. Management Structures: The development of actual management structures related to both the work break down structure and the project organizational chart is provided. Comparisons between alternate structures and the benefits of each is included. Topics include: Earned value, cost as an independent variable, cost account manager(s), and the allocation of responsibilities to the management team.
  6. Understanding Product Quality: An understanding of product quality from multiple points of view. Points of view include: customer use and system operability, product development, manufacturing defects, integrated logistics support, maintainability, and system availability. Instructor case studies, such as Ford Pinto, Challenger, and Columbia disasters are used to illustrate failures within the quality and risk management process.


Tuition for this four-day course is $2090 per person at one of our scheduled public courses. Onsite pricing is available. Please call us at 410-956-8805 or send an email to This course has also been titled Systems Engineering Toolkit.


  • Tony Genna has been a course developer and instructor since 2003. Tony’s current educational programs are based on his 35 years of experience combined with corporate feedback from more than 325 engineers since 2006. Tony’s courses are truly living evolutionary products.
    Tony’s approach to teaching often relates his real life engineering experience with the course subject matter. His experiences span 35 years at GE, Hughes, and Boeing. Tony’s course topics include: “Adaptive Modeling & Simulation”, “Sonar and Underwater Acoustics”, “Systems Thinking”, “Systems Engineering Management” and the “Engineering Toolkit” that has evolved since 2006. Class instruction include mini project workshops that are used to actively engage class members in the learning process.

    Contact this instructor (please mention course name in the subject line)

Request On-Site Quote