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Problem Management: A System Engineering Management Framework Open Access

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Problem management is not recognized as a system engineering process. Unlike risk management where risks could impact a project at some future date, problems impact the project now. Therefore, a robust problem management process should be established (similar to the risk management process described in chapter five of the INCOSE handbook) [1], early in a project's formulation. The process should be continuous throughout all phases of the project life cycle and should be included as a part of the project System Engineering Management Plan. The process should at a minimum address: problem identification, problem assessment, problem root cause investigation, and problem corrective action planning and reporting. It should also include a roll-up of all current problems, problem closure, and the development of a strong interface with the project's knowledge management system. This paper proposes a problem management systems engineering framework, based on the foundations of risk, opportunity management and knowledge management, which could be used by corporations, government agencies, and programs to establish a robust problem management process for use on their projects.

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