A selection method for candidate systems engineers
Gonçalves, Duarte Paulo da Silva
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In South Africa there is a shortage of systems engineers which is being addressed by a systems engineering (SE) development program. The purpose of this research was to design a selection method that could be used to select candidate systems engineers with potential thus increasing the probability of successful development of SE competencies. Based on literature and practical considerations, the following research question was formulated: Can a candidate’s SE competence potential can be predicted from personality preferences, cognition, and values (the SE Profile)? Design science research was used as the research methodology. The 15 Factor Questionnaire Plus was used to assess personality, the Cognitive Process Profile for cognition, and the Value Orientations to assess values. The 21 SE competencies were assessed using the INCOSE Systems Engineering Competencies framework. Specific values (high or low) on a combination of psychological measures are useful for predicting high competence and these vary between SE competencies. Thus psychological measures for SE as a whole cannot be identified as has been done in the literature. The number of engineers with high SE competence is inversely proportional to the number of SE competencies. Cognition measures seem more useful in identifying risk, but do not strongly predict SE competence for the given sample. From this research, no evidence was found that values have been considered previously in the SE selection literature, but values are useful for predicting high competence on at least 11 SE competencies. Because the various SE competencies require different profiles, there are few “super systems engineers”. SE competence required for the project can be achieved through a team rather than a single systems engineer. Assessment can be used as a tool for SE development by detecting anomalies and selecting candidates which have the potential for faster successful development.
- Engineering