Original Date: 05/08/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Strategy-to-Technology Process
McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (MDA)-St. Louis has developed a Strategy-to-Technology (STT) Planning Process (Figure 2-28) system to aid in program requirements definition. The STT system, designed by modifying the Quality Function Deployment (QFD) methodology, helps users determine where technology investments should be spent to improve their impact while facing declining defense budgets. Previously, MDA-St. Louis had been developing technology to support products only, with no plan toward meeting future military objectives. The STT system provides MDA-St. Louis with the ability to focus technology efforts on future system requirements.
The process works by using a QFD-type methodology for each level of analysis. The analysis moves through seven levels such as National Goals, Military Strategy and Missions, working down to Technologies. Each level of analysis incorporates Importance Values, permits weighting of External Factors/Competing Priorities, and permits sensitivity analysis by varying Importance Values. At each level of analysis, the output of the previous level serves as input into the level below. This process continues until the bottom level (in this case, technology) is reached. The STT system incorporates sensitivity to defense budget levels, alternative U.S. futures, and alternative futures of world regions.
The QFD/STT approach is applicable when there are multiple users or customers; user requirements are not quantifiable; there are conflicting user requirements; there are multiple feasible solutions; the solutions are not yet quantified; the solutions conflict with each other; and, there are multiple disciplines involved.
Using the STT/QFD process has many benefits. It provides a detailed approach to solving complex problems that have no obvious solution or means of reaching a solution. It provides well-documented results and a documented process for reaching those results. When this approach was applied to determine where MDA-St. Louis should be investing technology research investments, it resulted in re-focused research to meet the needs identified through the analysis. This approach has proven to be flexible enough to be used for many other applications. MDA-St. Louis has been able to apply this methodology to solve both internal and external problems.
Figure 2-28. STT Process
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.