Original Date: 04/28/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Simultaneous Development
Simultaneous Development at Lockheed Martin Electronics and Missiles (E&M) is an integrated approach to program management that strongly resembles traditional concurrent engineering or integrated product/process development (IPPD). However, Simultaneous Development begins at the proposal phase and continues through production. It also is pervasive throughout Lockheed Martin’s product development teams instead of being piloted by select projects.
Historically, Lockheed Martin used the traditional sequential military product development cycle that consisted of Concept Exploration, Development, Full Scale Engineering Development, Low Rate Initial Production, and Production. With this system, the company experienced typically-associated problems including difficulty in transitioning to production, high first-unit cost, supportability problems, and a lack of IPPD. Recognizing that this approach was not yielding any competitive advantage, Lockheed Martin adopted Simultaneous Development.
Simultaneous Development is comprehensively implemented at Lockheed Martin and several issues contribute to its success. The core members of the integrated product development groups are first teamed in the project’s proposal. This facilitates bringing various disciplines together early in the process to achieve a common understanding of the program objectives. Another critical aspect to Lockheed Martin's successful use of Simultaneous Development is bringing its vendors in with the development team up front. Production tooling is accomplished early in the subcontractors’ facilities to ensure project buy-in at all levels.
As equally important as its vendor base, the customers are involved early in the development. Lockheed Martin explains the approach to customers and continues to involve them during all stages of development. This effort ensures continuous feedback into the project. Lockheed Martin also believes in a strong up-front manufacturing involvement. To this end, they validate all essential production processes in Phase I, and strive for six sigma capability on all critical processes by Phase II. This guarantees only mature processes are utilized, and that variability reduction is accomplished before the first unit is delivered.
Applying this Simultaneous Development philosophy has resulted in benefits such as reduced schedule/cost risk, lower manpower requirements, lower overall program costs, higher quality products, and increased flexibility. It has greatly increased Lockheed Martin’s competitive position in the marketplace. The philosophy of Simultaneous Development is extensive throughout Lockheed Martin, enjoys strong management commitment, and its results are significant.
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