Original Date: 05/08/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Integrated Product Definition Process
McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (MDA)-St. Louis created its Integrated Product Definition (IPD) program in 1992 to identify all activities and personnel required to deliver a product to internal customers and suppliers. This program represented a major shift in how project teams were identified. When MDA-St. Louis made this management change, it contacted companies that were known to be making similar changes, and benchmarked with Texas Instruments, Ford, Martin Marietta, Northrop, and Vought.
To help implement the new management changes, MDA-St. Louis created Multidiscipline Integrated Product Teams for a skill-based organization. One significant change was including personnel from manufacturing (such as tool design engineers) to participate on the project team. They were collocated with design engineers and the other up- front disciplines. This move helped to initiate MDA’s concurrent engineering effort (Figure 2-22).
These teams are cross-functional teams and formed with the specific purpose of delivering a specific product or service to the customer. The members are selected for their skills to complement other team members. Each team is expected to design for manufacturability and ease of assembly. One project team, responsible for updating an aircraft design, has been able to reduce the number of parts required by 33% on schedule, on cost, and has eliminated 11,000 defects per aircraft.
To prepare personnel to participate on these project teams, MDA-St. Louis instituted 14 hours of required training per individual. Team leaders received 90 hours of classroom training on issues that included responsibilities, accountabilities, and authority. The members of each team were committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they held themselves mutually accountable.
Figure 2-22. Multidisciplined Integrated Product Team Considerations
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