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municated clearly to program managers and to thecontractor.Communication – Trust and IntegrityClearly, one of the fundamental requirements foran effective systems engineer is the ability to com-municate. Key to effective communication is therudimentary understanding that communicationinvolves two elements—a transmitter and areceiver. Even if we have a valid message and thecapacity for expressing our positions in terms thatenable others to understand what we are saying,true communication may not take place if theintended receiver chooses not to receive our mes-sage. What can we do, as engineering managers tohelp our own cause as far as ensuring that ourcommunications are received and understood?Much can be done to condition others to listen andgive serious consideration to what one says, and,of course, the opposite is equally true—one cancondition others to ignore what he/she says. It isprimarily a matter of establishing credibility basedon integrity and trust.First, however, it is appropriate to discuss thesystems engineer’s role as a member of the man-agement team. Systems engineering, as practicedin DoD, is fundamentally the practice of engineer-ing management. The systems engineer is expectedto integrate not only the technical disciplines inreaching recommendations, but also to integratetraditional management concerns such as cost,schedule, and policy into the technical manage-ment equation. In this role, senior levels of man-agement expect the systems engineer to understandthe policies that govern the program, and to ap-preciate the imperatives of cost and schedule. Fur-thermore, in the absence of compelling reasons tothe contrary, they expect support of the policiesenunciated and they expect the senior engineer tobalance technical performance objectives with costand schedule constraints.Does this mean that the engineer should place hisobligation to be a supportive team member abovehis ethical obligation to provide honest engineer-ing judgment? Absolutely not! But it does meanthat, if one is to gain a fair hearing for expressionof reservations based on engineering judgment, onemust be viewed as a member of the team. The indi-vidual who always fights the system, always ob-jects to established policy, and, in general, refusesto try to see other points of view will eventuallybecome isolated. When others cease listening, the
Chapter 20Management Considerations and Summary2031Ethical Issues in Engineering, Johnson, Ch 15.communication stops and even valid points of vieware lost because the intended audience is no longerreceiving the message—valid or not.In addition to being team players, engineeringmanagers can further condition others to be recep-tive to their views by establishing a reputation formaking reasoned judgments. A primary require-ment for establishing such a reputation is that man-agers must have technical expertise. They must beable to make technical judgments grounded in asound understanding of the principles that governscience and technology. Systems engineers must