Original Date: 08/07/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Product Definition and Design Metrics
Extensive use of metrics within the Product Definition and Design (PD&D) Business System at Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems (LMTAS) provides a management and tracking system to measure performance against goals and objectives. Management by metrics is encouraged, and these metrics are prominently displayed in the work areas. In support of the LMTAS goal deployment philosophy, the PD&D workforce self-determines performance metrics to align with company objectives.
Using indices represents one method of rapidly managing diverse measures. For example, at the Research and Engineering level, two major indices are used -- the Continuous Improvement Index and the Progress Maintenance Index. These indices include weighted averages of selected financial and quality metrics. Criteria for selecting individual indicators for the index include:
Is the measure directly linked to customer satisfaction? Is the metric objective and independently verifiable?
Is the metric understandable?
Is the metric sensitive enough to provide timely indications of performance changes?
Does the metric not adversely impact the process being measured?
Does tracking the metric require reasonable resource expenditures?
Indices are updated monthly, and a movement of two or more points on individual indicators is highlighted for management. An index provides a relative, summary-level measure of performance, provides greater credibility than individual measures but can be tailored for the appropriate objective. Group level metrics defined and maintained by the individual groups are based on common measures within PD&D and group-unique measures. Each group is responsible for improvement actions based on metrics.
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