Systems And Projects

There are many definitions of systems, one of which is simply that ''a system is any process that converts inputs to outputs'' [1.1]. We look here at systems by example and, for that purpose, start by examining a radar system. This is certainly a system, performing the functions of search and tracking of objects in space, as in an air route or surveillance radar at or near an airport. A

system normally has functions that it carries out (such as search and tracking), and it does so by means of its subsystems. At the same time, such airport radar systems, together with other systems (such as communications and landing systems), are part of a larger system known as an air traffic control (ATC) system. Examined from the perspective of an air traffic control system, the radar systems actually serve as subsystems of the larger system. In the same vein, the air traffic control system may be regarded as a subsystem of a larger national aviation system (NAS) that consists also of airports, air vehicles, and other relatively large systems (e.g., access/egress) in their own right.

Our view of systems, therefore, is rather broad. In the preceding context, the radars, air traffic control, and national aviation system are all systems. Such systems normally are composed of hardware, software, and human elements, all of which must interoperate efficiently for the overall system to be effective. We adopt this broad perspective in the definition of systems, drawing on examples that affect our everyday life, such as automobile systems, telephone systems, computer systems, heating and cooling systems, transit systems, and information systems.

Projects are formal enterprises that address the matter of designing and developing the various systems just cited. A project is an assemblage of people and equipment, and it is normally managed by a Project Manager (PM). Project personnel work toward satisfying a set of goals, objectives, and requirements, as set forth by a customer. Projects may also have a limited scope of work, dealing only with, for example, the design phase of a system, rather than its construction or entire life cycle. The success of a system is dependent on the skills of the people on a project and how well they are able to work together. Ultimately, the success, or lack of it, is attributed to the many skills that the PM is able to bring to bear in what is often an extremely complex situation and endeavor. The PM, in short, must not only have considerable technical skills, but must also have a deep understanding of the fine art of management.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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