Original Date: 04/20/1998
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Integrated Management Plan
ITT Aerospace/Communications Division (A/CD) developed and implemented a disciplined and comprehensive planning tool called Integrated Management Plan (IMP) to communicate, coordinate, and document all elements of a program from concept to completion. The IMP process has been in effect since 1995, and the company has applied this process to approximately 80% of its programs. Prior to the IMP, planning was either performed late in a program’s life cycle or on an inconsistent basis. A series of disjointed plans was usually done by different organizations without any effective coordination. ITT A/CD needed a process to deal with the increasingly larger numbers of program starts; provide a single program plan that had buy-in from all disciplines; and facilitate senior staff commitment to all integrated plans.
The IMP process begins by assembling a core team that communicates with senior staff and the customer product line team to clearly understand the goals of the program. The core team works together to understand and interpret these objectives, and collaborates with key task leaders and experts to plan how they will implement the program. The plan is then clearly documented in the IMP process. This step is the most difficult but crucial part of the process, because it eliminates any misunderstanding resulting from a trickle-down flow of information and hand-offs within the organization. Next, the core team uses the IMP process to obtain the concurrence of the key task leaders and senior staff. The IMP process becomes the core team’s implementation plan and contract with senior staff for launching the program. In addition, the process provides the framework that allows work to begin immediately upon contract award, and to proceed well within the cost and schedule constraints.
Key elements of the IMP process include: program overview; key assumptions; inter-program crossfeeds and dependencies; performance characteristics; team deliverables; tailored design process; top-level schedule; financials; risk register; operations approach; preliminary project plans; staffing; contracts; and customer involvement. The core team as well as each organization provide appropriate inputs to the IMP process. ITT A/CD is currently improving its process by streamlining the format, and automating the process on the company’s electronic data management system.
ITT A/CD’s IMP process provides a smoother transition for new team members and a better understanding of tailoring requirements by functional managers. The common goals and structure of the process produce team harmony, while the disciplined approach helps eliminate the temptation to start work before the planning phase is completed. The IMP process is successful because the process is simplified, superceded requirements are eliminated, and functional managers concur with the plan.
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