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In Search of the Elusive Optimum 1998

“In Search of the Elusive Optimum” first appeared as an article in the IEE’s Engineering Management Journal in 1998. Unexpectedly, it turned out to be one of those so-called ‘seminal’ paper, touching - as it did - on a number of delicate issues, including:

  • Why does systems engineering become popular every few years, only to be codified and systematized into sets of procedures that are no longer systems engineering… As a result, systems engineering disappears, only to reappear, seemingly, once every generation…
  • How can we tell when we are “doing the real thing;” i.e., are there any 'Litmus Tests' of Systems Engineering which we can use to tell us if we are not just being systematic…or if we have been pursuing the latest management fad or fashion…BPR, TQM, etc., etc.

Perhaps that is why “..Elusive Optimum” is still being referenced and quoted today…

© D K Hitchins 2017