Mission Engineering Competencies
Human Capital Development
Mission engineering is the deliberate planning, analyzing, organizing, and integrating of current and emerging operational and system capabilities to achieve desired warfighting mission effects. (DAG 2017). Though systems acquired within the Department of Defense (DoD) have had a mission context, they have often been acquired individually and not as part of a larger mission. The focus on acquiring systems and systems of systems in a way that supports larger missions is an emerging area.
Supported by a literature review of mission engineering and related areas such as systems of systems and capability engineering, the research team has interviewed 32 individuals who are or have been mission engineers. The views of the mission engineering workforce provide a crucial perspective on the emerging area of mission engineering, in particular, the skill sets which characterize mission engineering competencies. The DoD has defined ‘mission engineering’, but there is a range of differing views of the definition and scope of mission engineering and its relationship to systems engineering among current practitioners. The differences in views are reflected in this report, including perspectives from US organizations outside the DoD as well as non-US organizations. It should be noted that mission engineering is an emerging discipline and this report reflects the current state of its maturity.
The current core competencies identified by today’s mission engineers overlap with
competencies which are part of the systems engineering competency base from the Atlas/Helix
research, but with added emphasis on key areas, particularly in terms of the critical mission
context and operational environment and systems of systems perspectives. (Hutchison et al.
2018) The key competency areas are: Discipline & Domain Foundations, Mission Concept,
Systems Engineering Skills, Systems Mindset, Interpersonal Skills, and Technical Leadership.