Reduced DoD product development time : the role of the schedule development process
Author(s)McNutt, Ross Theodore
Reduced Dept. of Defense product development time : the role of the schedule development process
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Kosta Tsipis and John Deyst.
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According to the Packard Commission, "Unreasonably long acquisition cycles -- ten to fifteen years for major weapon systems is a central problem from which most other acquisition Problems stem." Since the commission issued its report in 1986, the time required to develop new military systems has only grown. This research and its recommendations are intended to identify and eliminate the causes of those long development times for military systems. This report addresses a key factor in determining the development time for military projects: the project's initial schedule. Part 1 outlines the current situation, previous efforts to reduce development time, and experiences with cutting development time in the commercial sector. It also documents the military product development process. Part 2 identifies a key area--the schedule development process, and its impact on development time--for in-depth research. Through understanding what is driving the initial project schedule and the impact of the initial project schedule on the eventual development time, the author identifies key drivers of development time. Part 3 presents the results of three surveys and analyzes the processes used to develop a project's initial schedule, the process used to develop a contracted schedule, and the impact of these schedules on actual development time. Part 4 presents observations, draws conclusions, and makes specific recommendations for remedial action. The key barriers to reducing development time for military systems are the lack of importance placed on project schedules; the lack of effective schedule-based information and tools; the lack of schedule-based incentives; and the overriding impact of the funding-based limitations on defense projects. The steps necessary to establish a focus on reducing development time are: 1) recognizing the impact of development time, 2) providing the necessary information for decision makers, 3) providing proper incentives at each organizational level, and finally providing a structure to effectively managce the set of all development projects to ensure that each project can be funded based on its development related requirements. Implementing the recommendations and focusing on reducing development time will force other changes in the acquisition process. The focus on reducing the time to develop and field systems will drive the acquisition system to better meet the needs of our warfighters, more rapidly, and at lower cost. Better, Faster, and Cheaper. Even more importantly, shortening development times is critical to develop and produce with limited resources, the right weapons at the right time to deter or to defeat any potential enemy at any time with the minimum cost to our warfighters.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management, Technology, Management, and Policy Program, February 1999.Includes bibliographical references (p. 539-544).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Program in Science and Technology for International Security; Technology and Policy Program; Sloan School of Management
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Technology, Management, and Policy Program., Program in Science and Technology for International Security., Aeronautics and Astronautics.