Original Date: 11/12/2001
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Engineering Change Management System
The Engineering Change Management System was initiated and developed by Frontier Electronic Systems to address engineering process issues. As a result, the company increased system responsiveness by 100%, improved interface with subcontractors, and decreased potential liability.
Previously, Frontier Electronic Systems (FES) lacked a tracking system for managing technical and engineering correspondence on complex end-item programs. When prime contractors submitted non-binding Subcontractor Engineering Memorandums (SEMs), the Program Managers would decide how to handle the request and determine whether subcontractor support would be needed. A Technical Engineering Memorandum (TEM) was prepared as a response to a SEM. For hot issues, a TEM might result in a Requirements Change Proposal/Cost Change Proposal (RCP/CCP). This document would cause a change to the procurement/design specification, the Management Requirements, the contract, and possibly any required data submittals. The overall approach created confusion as to the status of a SEM (e.g., what category, who was responsible, whether it was open or closed). In Fall 1998, FES initiated the Engineering Change Management System to address these issues.
The Engineering Change Management System began as a simple system of whiteboards, but quickly became obsolete as major design changes on contracts caused a steady flow of SEMs, TEMs, and RCP/CCPs. The process then evolved into Microsoft Word files that addressed five primary areas: (1) SEMs from the prime contractor, (2) if required, SEMs to the subcontractors, (3) TEMs from the subcontractors, (4) TEMs to the prime contractor, and (5) if required, a subset file to track RCP/CCPs to the prime contractor. Hard copies of the files are maintained daily and used in biweekly engineering meetings to trigger action items with required response dates. Program Managers also use the hard copies to update and adjust the electronic files.
The Engineering Change Management System enables FES to maintain a library of engineering knowledge (e.g., white papers, parts management plans, detailed history of changes). This process also created a structured system for tracking and management; increased system responsiveness by 100%; increased customer satisfaction; improved interface with subcontractors; and decreased potential liability. The Engineering Change Management System contributed to the completion of a major redesign in 12 months versus the original design time of 48 months.
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