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A Multidimensional Analysis of Lead Systems Engineer Competencies In The Department of Defense With A Comparison To Industry Project Manager Competences Open Access

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The FY15 Department of Defense (DoD) enacted budget of $560.3 billion dollars funded DoD operations and acquisitions of complex military systems. The acquisition efforts were led by personnel who served in Key Leadership Positions (KLPs) from multiple disciplines to increase acquisition success and reduce execution risk. In engineering, the designated KLP is the Chief Engineer or Lead Systems Engineer. This research analyzed the needed competencies for lead systems engineering positions and identified the preferred competencies from 56 different organizations in 112 online jobadvertisements. Additionally, the top 43 competencies were analyzed viamultidimensional scaling to reduce the data for dimensional interpretation of employer preferences. Six dimensions were interpreted to be preferred by employers as 1-senior engineer, 2-generic manager, 3-advanced cognitive skills, 4-strategic development, 5-program management, and 6-non-engineering cross functional skills. This research is useful for aiding in the selection process of engineering leaders and professional development of individuals desiring increased responsibilities in the future.

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