INCOSE North Star: Product Line Engineering (PLE)

    Meeting Title: Product Line Engineering (PLE) What is it and how can it help you?

    Speaker(s) Rowland Darbin and David Hartley

    Date: Tuesday, 20 June 2023

    Venue: Southdale Library, Full Meeting Room 7001 York Ave. S. Edina, MN 55435

    : 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM Central Time

    Registration(no charge for members or guests):

    Arrival: Find parking on the York Ave side of the building. Enter the main door, proceed up the stairs, then to your immediate left.


    6 PM – Pizza and socializing

    6:30 PM – Meeting

    8:00 PM – Dismissal 

    Meeting Description:

    The INCOSE Product Line Engineering (PLE) Working Group’s mission is to promote Product Line Engineering and related Systems Engineering best practices and to coordinate activities and results relating to Product Line Engineering at INCOSE . Virtually all systems engineering is performed in the context of a product line. Hardly anyone builds just one edition, just one flavor, of anything. Product lines are found in every industry, including aerospace, defense, automotive, medical, consumer electronics, computer systems, energy, telecommunications, semiconductor fabrication, software applications, e-commerce, and industrial automation. Product lines occur under every business model, including retail, government contracting, OEM, business-to-business, value-added reselling, and custom development. As businesses everywhere strive to achieve competitive advantage and greater profitability, the need to elevate systems engineering to system family engineering is universal. PLE is growing across industry because no other engineering strategy, tool or process comes close to the (2-4x) productivity improvements PLE provides.

    Join INCOSE PLE Working Group Co-Chair Rowland Darbin and INCOSE Member David Hartley as they explain Product Line Engineering and describe the work the PLE Working Group is doing to expand the use of PLE across INCOSE member industries.


    Rowland Darbin has been a Product Line Engineering expert and advocate for 12 years. He currently leads the Product Line Engineering (PLE) Center of Excellence at General Dynamics Mission Systems. Rowland is the product line manager for the Consolidated Product-line Management (CPM)program coordinating systems engineering efforts across the US Army’s Live Training Transformations (LT2) family of live training systems, balancing the needs of the training portfolio with the needs of the individual training ranges. Rowland is also a co-chair of the International Council on Systems Engineering PLE International Working Group.

    David Hartley started his career at FedEx where he held many roles such as Software Engineer, Technical Advisor and Enterprise Architect. In addition to working at FedEx, David spent some time doing consulting work for companies such as Citibank, Darden and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida. David has been at General Dynamics Missions Systems (GDMS) for the last 6 years championing the implementation and fostering the organizational change needed for Product Line Engineering (PLE). David is helping to lead a GDMS corporate initiative whose mission is to maintain and execute the governance and processes necessary to execute PLE across GDMS. Preparing PLE-ready product teams who understand PLE principles, use PLE tools, establish governance, become self-sufficient and assist others to adopt PLE. David holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Florida State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Central Florida.