Technical Report: Technical Leadership Development Program – Year 3

Report Number: Technical Report SERC-2010-TR-013-3

Report Name: Technical Leadership Development Program – Year 3

Publication Date: August 30, 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 the first half of the third year (Year 3), the team has conducted one additional SYS
350A Systems lens pilot, developed SYS 350B Business lens course materials, conducted two SYS 350B Business lens pilots, and has designed a recommended SYS 350C Enterprise curricula and accompanying segment storyboards describing the objectives and proposed delivery of 350C lectures, case studies, student exercises, and the course group project for DAU review. The systems and business lenses contain focus areas, which reflect the key learning areas believed critical in the context of defense
acquisition. The enterprise lens content is focused around a holistic mapping for enterprise change. For the systems and business lenses – additional architectural detail has been developed including specific learning modules for each focus area, including lectures, case studies, leadership threads focusing on non-technical skills, and group based project work. For the enterprise lens, the RT-4 team is in the process of developing detailed materials, though a curriculum framework, syllabus, and outlines have been developed.

The primary materials for the SYS 350A system lens were developed in Year 2; two pilots for the systems lens were developed in Year 2. A third pilot for the systems lens was delivered at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL in April 2012. The SYS 350B business lens materials were piloted with DAU instructors in May 2012 and with students in June 2012. Student feedback was collected after each pilot.