Original Date: 04/20/1998
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Integrated Product Development Process
Previously, ITT Aerospace/Communications Division (A/CD) used a traditional functional matrix organization approach for its product development efforts. In 1990, the company began implementing an Integrated Product Development (IPD) process to pursue, develop, and produce all hardware, software, and systems. Over the years, ITT A/CD continuously improved this process, and today uses a version known as IPD97.
IPD97 relies on two customer-focused concepts: empowered multi-disciplinary product teams, and concurrent IPD processes which run from proposal start through production. The teams, known as Integrated Product Teams (IPTs), are comprised of representatives from each functional organization who can voice an opinion throughout the development and production cycles. By using IPTs, ITT A/CD eliminated the traditional method where each functional organization completed its task sequentially and passed the results to the next organization. The IPD process is also supported by top-level leadership, and enables the company to establish clear IPD process and project goals (e.g., proactive risk management, robust development, process improvement). ITT A/CD uses seamless project management tools, and developed a bridge between Microsoft Project and MicroFrame for the IPD process.
Management support and the integration of development and production processes help make the IPD process successful at ITT A/CD. The IPD process reduces product development cycle time, lowers overall product cost, and establishes an environment in which the employees can succeed. Since implementing the process, ITT A/CD reduced its typical product development cycle time from two-and-a-half years to just one year. In addition, the number of simultaneous ongoing programs has increased from 15 programs in 1993 to 40 programs in 1998. Other benefits include smoother transitions to production and improved quality of designs and products.
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