The project management function in a joint development program
Author(s)Toner, Thomas J. (Thomas Joseph), 1958-
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The management of large-scale system development has become increasingly difficult as the complexity of the systems has increased over time. The structure of the project team has become more complex as well with the increasing reliance on joint program structures. The helicopter industry provides two excellent examples that can be studied to understand the impact of complex program structures on project management. The RAH-66 Comanche is a new armed reconnaissance helicopter being developed jointly by Sikorsky Aircraft and Boeing Helicopter for the U.S. Anny. The S-92 Helibus is a new medium civil transport helicopter being developed by Sikorsky Aircraft and five international partners. These two programs provide the frame of reference needed to study various methods of project management in a joint development program structure. A comparison of Department of Defense versus commercial joint programs identifies the challenges that are presented to an organization confronted with supporting both types of project structure. Particular emphasis is placed on global commercial projects, as industry trends indicate that this type of development will become increasingly prevalent in the future. A system dynamics model is used to introduce the concept that project management activities can be cost effective if they improve initial quality and reduce rework discovery time. The project manager requires sophisticated methods to profitably develop new products to meet the requirements of a discerning customer. A functional decomposition is used to determine the requirements of project management. The functional decomposition identifies the highly coupled nature of the project management requirements. Current and proposed new methods are identified and compared with the functional requirements identified in the decomposition. An evaluation of the methods m performed to determine their suitability for meeting the identified project management requirements. The methods identified fail to address the coupled nature of the project management functional requirements. A dynamic business plan is proposed as the required project management method. The lack of project management method and skill development within the organization is identified as an inhibitor of the successful implementation of project management methods. A functional resource for project management is proposed as a means to overcome this limitation.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, System Design and Management Program, 1999.Vita.Includes bibliographical references (p. 83).
DepartmentSystem Design and Management Program
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
System Design and Management Program