Senior Research and Engineering management at Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems (LMTAS) initiated continuous performance improvement efforts in 1991 which were begun with the Quality Policy #1 (QP#1) which states that “All engineering products and services will be correct and complete prior to release.” Since its inception, a series of milestone events has been achieved leading to the development of a Product Definition and Design (PD&D) Continuous Performance Improvement Plan in 1995. Significant events are as follows.
1995 - Development of PD&D Continuous Performance Improvement Plan
Under the direction of the Vice President for Research and Engineering, a multifaceted, structured approach has been developed to achieve the QP#1 objective. This approach is based on a four-quadrant plan to capture, plan, facilitate, and implement continuous improvement throughout the organization. Critical processes have been identified as critical to this deployment, including an engineering source data requirements (ESDR) process, internal review process (IRP), product proof and prototype validation (P3V) process, integrated product development (IPD), a software engineering process, root cause analysis (RCA), and variability reduction (VR) process.
Analysis of cost drivers in each of these processes by internal and external review has been accomplished through various means. This analysis provides the capture portion of the plan and is a continuous process. Objectives are identified at the top management level and flowed down through all levels within the organization. Metrics are established to monitor progress toward those objectives. These metrics are charted at each organizational level and rolled up into an Improvement Index Structure for reporting to senior management. This index reports on key indicators through weighted financial and quality measures that determine the overall score. These key indicators have shown a positive trend since the program inception in 1991.
The 1995 PD&D Continuous Performance Improvement Plan defines the Critical Processes and Initiatives for 1995. It was developed to reset the continuous improvement bar based on the 1991-1994 achievements. The plan is a multivolume document including PD&D Support of Company-wide Initiatives, PD&D Initiatives, Objective Evidence of Progress, and Demonstrate Strength with Speed sections. Sections include critical process descriptions, identification of responsible individuals, and establishment of key indicators to monitor improvements.
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