The Five Types of Systems Engineers

I like Joe Kasser's Characterisation of Systems Engineers1 into the following five types, based on their ability to deal with problems and solutions:

  1. This type is an "apprentice" who can be told how to implement the solution and can then implement it
  2. This type is the most common type of Systems Engineer. Type II's have the ability to use the Systems Engineering process to figure out how to implement a physical solution once told what conceptual solution to implement
  3. Once given a statement of the problem, this type has the necessary know-how to conceptualize the solution and to plan the implementation of the solution
  4. This type has the ability to examine the situation and define the problem
  5. This type combines the abilities of the Types III and IV, namely has the ability to examine the situation, define the problem, conceptualise the solution and plan the implementation of the physical solution

This reminds me of my four levels of Project Managers, see the The 4 Levels of Project Management page.

  1. Joseph Kasser, Derek Hitchins, Thomas Huynh, Reengineering Systems Engineering, Proceedings of the 3rd Asia-Pacific Conference on Systems Engineering (APCOSE), Singapore, 2009.