Original Date: 05/08/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Integrated Management Information and Control System
The Integrated Management Information and Control System (IMICS) at McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (MDA)-St. Louis is an electronic bulletin board which displays program health indicators such as cost, schedule, and technical risk. The information is formatted to show absolute qualification, historical trend, and compliance. The degree of compliance with program requirements is indicated using a red-yellow-green system.
This comprehensive system provides performance measurement and risk assessment for program management at all levels and is used in all major MDA-St. Louis programs. Figure 2-20 presents the four indicator categories tracked by the system and examples of each. The goal of the system is to capture a broad range of program data and status information and provide the trend analysis necessary to give the company and customer a sound basis for continuous program health assessment.
Development of the system was motivated by U.S. Navy concerns expressed in 1991 about MDA-St. Louis’ capability as an organization to manage -- particularly cost, schedule, risk, and people. The Navy challenged the company prior to awarding the F/A-18 E/F EMD contract to provide proof that it would properly manage the program. The problem was to transform the massive amounts of data that existed into timely and useful management information. MDA-St. Louis put the IMICS in its F/A-18 E/F Management Proposal which described what information would be shown, how the information would be auditable, who would see it, how it would be accessed, and other key aspects of the system. The Navy was satisfied and awarded the EMD contract to MDA-St. Louis in June 1992. With this award, the company implemented a new management information culture. Because of its enormous success and effectiveness, the IMICS has been deployed across the enterprise and made available to subcontractors and customers.
The IMICS draws on all existing systems for performance information, including technical performance, cost, schedule, and work packages. Figure 2-21 shows the system flow from major subsystems throughout the company. Information is input by cost account managers and team leaders to the appropriate systems which process the data and generate charts. The IMICS collates the charts and data and makes them accessible in bulletin board format through a menu system. The information is available internally at all levels from the cost account manager to company president and externally to customers and major subcontractors.
MDA maintains that the IMICS has been a primary contributor for keeping the F/A-18 E/F EMD program on schedule, below cost, and technically sound. The IMICS team won the highest excellence awards at the company and corporate levels in 1992. The Navy recognized the system as a major strength of the EMD contract, and related to MDA that the EMD program is the first of over 260 research and development programs since 1975 to have any management reserve after critical design review.
The IMICS has been instrumental in introducing a new culture within the company involving multidisciplined, integrated product development teams, disciplined processes, independent program analysis, systems engineering, risk management, total team accountability, and honest, open communication. It has helped significantly improve many key management processes. As a single source database, the IMICS has become an essential tool for the company, customers, and suppliers.
Figure 2-20. IMICS
Figure 2-21. IMICS Flow
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.