INCOSE UK supports a number of local groups and working groups to provide its members with opportunities to play an active part in the development of systems engineering in the UK.
The purpose of the local groups is to provide a local forum for networking, supporting professional development and to socialise with like-minded people, whether they are members of INCOSE or not.
Recognising that not all members are able to make the main showpiece events each year, but may still wish to be active participants in the various live issues that INCOSE addresses, INCOSE UK actively encourages members to form Local Groups where it is felt that a sufficient number of members (and potential members) are located within a reasonably well defined geographical area (eg Bristol and the surrounding area).
The aims of the Local Groups are:
- To provide a forum for existing INCOSE members to network in a less formal environment;
- To promote and improve the practice of Systems Engineering;
- To foster connections with other professional bodies within the same regional area and thereby promote cross fertilisation of knowledge and experience across sectors and community disciplines; and
- To promote awareness of INCOSE UK and encourage membership.
Local Group events are increasingly becoming the first point of contact that some attendees have with INCOSE UK, and it is a testament to their growing success that many attendees join INCOSE as a result of going to local group events. These events are usually held in the evening after normal working hours, although some groups choose to run daytime events where these are felt to be more viable.
You can get involved with any of the following groups simply by taking a look at the events page for upcoming Local Group events and registering your interest for a specific event. Currently there are 5 active local groups:
Should you be interested in starting up a new group, then to learn more about the running of Local Groups please read the following documents:
Working Groups and Interest Groups
Over the years INCOSE UK has also initiated a number of Working Groups to address issues of relevance to particular sets of practitioners. Working Groups may be wound down once the participants feel that they have adequately addressed whatever issues they were looking at, or the group may stay together to build upon what they have done. The Working Groups are encouraged to work towards the production of reports or other deliverables which are then made available to other INCOSE UK members as part of a growing body of recommendations and best practice.
Interest Groups differ from Working Groups in that they are not primarily there to produce outputs; they are more likely to establish a community of interested parties and arrange events aimed at furthering the interests of the community.
INCOSE UK currently has a number of Working Groups and Interest Groups:
INCOSE UK encourages all of its members to take part in Local Groups and Working/Interest Groups as they provide a real opportunity to help advance the profession and bring INCOSE to a wider audience.
Each of the Groups is open to all INCOSE UK members by invitation, so if you want to participate in a Group simply contact its chairperson, which you will find in the Group’s committee contact details, stating your interest in the group.
Setting up a Group
If you would like to set up a Group, follow these guidelines:
- Decide whether you are considering the group to be a Working Group or an Interest Group.
- Write to the INCOSE UK Technical Director (email@example.com) outlining the ideas underpinning the proposed Group. It will then be raised with the INCOSE UK Council for approval.
- Issue an Expressions-of-Interest email for the Group to the INCOSE UK membership. This email should announce the general idea behind the Group and ask for expressions of interest.
- The email can be sent out by using the help of the INCOSE UK Secretariat (firstname.lastname@example.org). Once you have an idea of the number of people interested, schedule and call a kick-off meeting (again using the Secretariat). You will usually be expected to arrange the venue (using the contacts who have expressed interest).
- At the kick-off meeting, for Working Groups, try to establish what tangible outputs the group should endeavour to produce (Working Groups should not be mere talking shops). For Interest Groups, agree a broad programme of activity. Once these objectives are reasonably well-established, write yourselves some Terms of Reference. These do not have to be cast in stone, and can always be revised further downstream.
- Create an INCOSE UK website presence with the help of the Secretariat. The page should explain what the Group is doing, what it has produced (in the case of Interest Groups, what its events programme looks like), who the main point of contact is and what people should do if they wish to join the Group. Note that the website has Wiki capabilities, which should make distribution of papers and material easy.
- On the request of the Technical Director, produce summaries of Group activities so that the INCOSE UK Council can be kept informed of the group's activities.
- If the Group ever feels it has achieved its mission, do not be afraid to wind the Group up - but please leave it in a good final state!