Technical Report: Technical Leadership Development Program – Year 2

Report Number: Technical Report SERC-2010-TR-013-2

Report Name: Technical Leadership Development Program – Year 2

Publication Date: February 1, 2012


In 2009, the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) contracted with the Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC) for Research Task (RT 4) to develop an extension of the DAU Systems, Programming, Research, Development, and Engineering (SPRDE) program that specifically focuses on Systems Engineering (SE) technical leadership. This Systems Engineeering Technical Leadership Program (TLP) specifically will provide leadership insights into SE activities and issues at the system, business, and enterprise levels. In the first year of the project (the Base Year), the team developed a competency model for systems engineering technical leadership, a high-level architecture for approaching technical leadership in the classroom, and an allocation of competencies within this architecture.

In Year 2 (Y2) of RT-4, the team developed the SE TLP curriculum architecture which serves as the proposed architecture for a future DAU SYS 350 SE Technical Leadership course. The SYS 350 architecture is comprised of three loosely coupled lenses the systems (SYS 350A), business (SYS 350B), and enterprise (SYS 350C) lenses. Each of these lenses contains technical leadership focus areas, which reflect the key leadership learning areas believed critical in the context of defense systems acquisition. Additional Systems lens architectural detail was developed which included SYS 350A Syllabus storyboards, specific learning modules for each focus area, lecture topics, case studies,
leadership threads focusing on personal and group effectiveness , and group-based in0- class project work. Full summaries of each of these elements and a mapping between the ―storyboards‖ and the systems engineering technical leadership competency model were developed. The preceding artifacts were used to support the development of a baseline SYS 350A Instructor Pilot course which was conducted with OSD and DAU professionals from 26-30 September 2011 at DAU Ft Belvoir, VA. Subsequent to the SYS 350A Instructor pilot , a SYS 350A Student Pilot was conducted with US Army systems engineering professionals at the US Army Aberdeen Proving Grounds (APG) from 14- 18 Nov 2011.

Additional RT4 Y2 research work included the initial syllabus development for the SYS 350B Business lens. Research artifacts included assessing a SY 350B Topical, Life Cycle, and Holistic content development approaches for assessment of the optimal paths to link SE Technical Leadership learning with the desired learning outcomes. This work will support future preparation SYS 350B Business Lens Storyboard Review in March 2012.