In 2014 I researched the additional aspects of Project Line Engineering for the Systems and Software Engineering personas.

User Research


Product Line Engineering Personas

CharlesCharles, Configuration Lead. Charles is in the engineering organization. He is supporting the team(s) by administrating and creating stream and baseline configurations. He has a good product line overview and makes decisions on bets options for component versions.
SusanSusan, Systems Engineer. Performs requirements analysis, modeling and simulation to manage complexity. She collaborates with lead engineers from various hardware and software disciplines to design the system to meet stakeholders’ needs.
PeterPete, Project manager. Pete is managing the schedule and scope of the Mobile AMR 2013 UK project. He create and assigns tasks across the team. He make sure reviews are made and approvals given. He make sure state of artifacts are kept by initiating that baselines are taken. He tracks project measures and make sure artifacts progress to completion.
PamPam, Product Manager. Pam is in the marketing organization. She works closely with customers to understand market needs and opportunities, and defines and manages product and variants to meet customer needs.
MarcoMarco, Development team lead. Leads the Meter Reader platform development team. His agile team delivers feature components to the AMR product line.
TonyTony, Systems Tester. Performs automated and manual testing to validate hardware and system requirements.
danDan, Embedded Software Developer. Creates the software design model and implements the System Engineering model. Designs, implements and unit tests the software model using Model Driven Development.
AllisonAllison, Tools Administrator. Installs, Configures and Maintains tools in production. Maintains project templates and create tool repositories using templates.

AMR Mobile Product team

The personas appear in two types of development teams.

  • The AMR Product teams delivering product variants for multiple markets
  • The AMR Platform team delivering reusable components for the product teams
    the Platform team


The AMR Mobile Product team is responsible for delivering the mobile product variants to the US, EU and UK markets. The team reuses and refines components delivered by the platform component teams. The AMR Meter Reader platform component team is responsible for deliver reusable components for the AMR project line. The teams shares resources for stared tasks, e.g Configuration management, Build and Tool Administration.

Separating the responsibilities of Project and Platform teams is significant and captures patterns of organizing teams and practices around effectively developing product lines. 

Susan, the System Engineer

Systems Engineer
B.Sc., Mechanical Engineering
M.Sc., Systems Engineering
“I see the big picture to manage complexity of the system”

Susan has been with the current company for about 10 years and has over 20 years of systems engineering experience in the industry. Her current project is building a smarter hybrid car. She has a BSc. in Mechanical Engineering, and a graduate degree in Systems Engineering.

As part of her daily job, Susan uses a host of tools that include modeling and simulation, requirements analysis to manage complexity. She collaborates with lead engineers from various hardware and software disciplines to design the system to meet stakeholders’ needs, but also interacts with stakeholders to manage their expectations and to complete the project on time and within budget. She constantly monitors and investigates how all the pieces in the system fit and work together, but currently it is not always easy to get a big picture view of the entire system or up-to-date information on components in the system.


  • Manage complexity of the system.
  • Detailing the requirements of the system.
  • Defining, characterizing, and documenting. subsystems and the interactions among them.
  • Organize and coordinate systems development activities and process.

Pain Points

  • Get a big picture view of the entire system or up-to-date information on components in the system- large dependency of tools knowing how to extract needed information.
  • Maintain awareness of changes throughout the systems development process, more importance on solid process for change management (change records, review proposed changes). This include both formal (reviews, propose changes) and informal (drafting, less reviews of each change, in preparation for peer reviews) change control. There are two main pain point here : (1) changes to requirements coming from different sources (2) communicating the change with the team.
  • Maintain and communicate to ensure all stakeholders are on the same page about the system requirements, design, and so on. This is part of the formal change control (stakeholder reviews as part of change.


  • Collaborate with domain leads to perform. requirements definition, modeling, top-level functional designs to organize and coordinate other engineering activities.Susan collaborates with product management, project management, test, and design. Lifecycle cost analysis is performed by IPT (Integrated Product Team) lead.
  • Act as the primary interface between management, customers, suppliers, and specialty engineers in the systems development process.
  • Susan works closely with marketing to understand customers needs and works with tools architect to ensure tool/process match everyone’s needs.
  • Support change review board.
  • Ensure complete requirements traceability from business requirements to systems to subsystems.

Charles the Configuration Lead

Configuration Lead
“Help me make informed decisions quickly”


  • Organize and coordinate systems development activities and process
  • Work with Systems Integration Organization to ensure integration of components from various disciplines into a coherent and effective system.

Pain Points

  • Have appropriate tools to help with productivity and process guidance- heavily reliance of requirements management tool (DOORS), users must be effectively trained.
  • Create baseline of artifacts stored in all tools used in product development.
  • Efficiently perform review and approval.


  • Identify where different members of the cross function team are to be involved.
  • Oversees preparation of reports, such as statistical and data analysis reports, for all engineering processes.
  • Oversees policies, procedures, protocols and controls that govern operations.
  • Balance across products and identify what is common across products and reuse.
  • Ensure architecture integrity in the system and make all architectural design decisions
  • Review and approve architectural changes