Strategies for system planning

An Engineer-it module managed by the Institution of Engineers in Scotland (


Critical thinking

Top-down strategy

Risk control

Collaboratve Leadership


Wise governance

Professional integrity


To Engineer

Case Studies

The UK Covid-19 Task Force A successful government project

The development of an optical scanner (p22) How to develop an innovative product

Figure 1 Features of strategies used in system planning

This page provides infomation about strategies that are used in system planning i.e. in the the management of complex uncertainty.

Figure 1 shows key features of the strategies.

Key issues are competence, i.e. the skills of those inolved and governance, i.e. how responsibility, authority and accountabiliy are allocated.

Competence is shown as having two main components:

  • Disciplinary expertise i.e. the abilities of those involved to carry out specific tasks. It is common to require expertise from several disciplines
  • Ethos - the principles that guide the actions of the participants.

Whereas 'what you can do' might be described in term of disciplinary expertise, ethos is 'how you think'.

Critical thinking may be the most important feature of an engineered process. Critical thinkers identify and use guiding principles that lead to engineered outcomes.

Deep collaboration within the project team with unswerving commitment to the project goals are also key features of an engineered process.

Closely related to commitment is the requirement that the process is underpinned by the highest levels of professional integrity.

All this needs to be inspired by collaborative leadership.

Learning for system planning

See Learning for critical thinking