Original Date: 05/08/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Technical Performance Measurement Process Improvement
McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (MDA)-St. Louis successfully applies a Technical Performance Measurement (TPM) process to monitor how a program is progressing with respect to the customer's technical requirements. By measuring Technical Performance Parameters (TPPs), the TPM provides an excellent predictor of the customer’s product satisfaction.
The TPM process begins by allocating baseline TPPs to the lowest applicable design level, which could be the subsystem level or the component level, depending on the application. After TPPs are allocated, they are monitored by rolling up requirements to the system level. TPM allows the program manager and the customer to check the status of a program with respect to technical requirements and determine where corrective action is needed.
TPM/TPP data is tracked through the Integrated Management Information and Control System (IMICS) which ensures TPM information is available to all levels of management at MDA-St. Louis. TPM/TPP products meet very stringent quality requirements. Therefore, the data input into the IMICS must meet multiple criteria to ensure the TMP report is highly accurate.
To accommodate the customer’s request to deliver the TPM/TPP information more quickly, MDA-St. Louis’ director of F/A-18 Product Definition challenged his team to reduce TPM/TPP product delivery cycle time by 10 days while maintaining the current quality and cost standards. Meeting this goal would require a 35% reduction in the existing process cycle time.
The F/A-18 team found an innovative way to reduce the cycle time without disturbing an effective process. The team published "preview" data to give the customer an earlier look at the report. This data represents the configuration as it appeared when locked in at the start of the TPM/TPP reporting cycle. Although the recommended changes and updates are reflected in the report, they may not actually be approved. Once approvals are received, a final TPM/TPP product is delivered to the customer.
By implementing “preview” reports, MDA-St. Louis has effectively reduced the TPM/TPP monthly update delivery cycle time by 14 days for weight data, seven days for Design-To-Cost/Life Cycle Cost data, and 5 days for reliability and maintainability data.
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