Yeah Helmie is a good dude. I liked his approach. We talked about some stuff back in the day.
To Shoobe01's point, you can't just let the end-user run the whole process, but blindly following engineering theory, interference from higher ups trying to prove their value-add, and contractors paying off dirty civil servants, may also result in suboptimal results.
Back in the day, the engineers at Lockheed all came up from the ranks, meaning they worked on the line, learning the trade way before they went to school to learn the theory. So they spoke from authority. Today, although I'm sure there's still some guys like that (like SHoobe01, who has experience on both sides of the table), we see all these dudes who never worked a real day in their lives. By that I mean getting your hands dirty doing the actual physical labor.
That means when you come to guy like me, and tell me how all your wonderful ideas are going to work, I am a little skeptical that you know what you're talking about. People who lives revolve around the digital world are some what disconnected from the real one. This is especially true of the current crop.
So again I think you need a combination of worker bee and brain bugs to really design and build a workable solution. And that's granted there is competency on both sides.
Legend has it there was a cartoon at the Skunk works that showed a prototype, as viewed from the different shops. Production was simply a few boards nailed together (naturally), engineering, some sexy, complex looking number (also naturally), and so on. The point of the cartoon was to show what low observables shop looked like, but our take-away is the perceptions, often true, of "production" vs "engineering". At Space systems, where I worked, we had another cartoon on the board. It shows two workers on the line, and an exasperated engineer exclaiming: "Oh shit, you built it exactly like I told you!" Little bit of an inside joke that takes a poke at our engineers.
Then there is the little parable of all the aerospace companies having a canoe race. Aboard were an aero engineer, industrial engineer, a process engineer, and a machinist. When Lockheed came in dead last, they hired consultants, who took a year studying the issue and then presented their results. They determined that the boat wasn't moving fast enough, because only the machinist was paddling. So they hired more consultants and studied it for another year and then presented their conclusions: the machinist had to paddle faster.