Original Date: 05/01/2000
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Strategic Planning
Previously, the Operations Department at Northrop Grumman Defensive Systems Division (DSD) did not have a formal planning process. Long-term planning was ad hoc. Operations tended to focus on satisfying near-term issues, and its planning was more tactical than strategic. Ineffective methods were used to communicate plans and objectives. Until 1995, Northrop Grumman DSD primarily produced one major product. By 1999, the company had 12 programs in production and the Operations Department had evolved into being a manufacturer of highly complex, high mix, low volume systems and subsystems. Projections indicated that 24 programs would be transitioned into production by 2005. Operations realized it needed to invest in a forward-looking planning document, since the quantity of programs in production would double during the next five years. As a result, Operations developed and implemented a Strategic Plan.
The Strategic Plan is used to document Operations’ manufacturing vision from 2000 to 2005, as well as the strategy and specific plans needed to implement that vision during the next two years. Northrop Grumman DSD uses this plan as a focus tool in guiding the allocation of resources and in establishing the performance objectives for employees. Operations uses the plan as a key communication tool for department employees, division executive management, business area management, and functional management. The plan is accessible via hard copy, Operations’ Intranet website, and at all-hands meetings.
In 1999, Operations released its first strategic plan which will be updated annually. This plan establishes a series of internal benchmarks by which Operations will evaluate its progress and achievements every year. To frame the plan, Operations established five core goals: satisfy customers; remain employer of choice; build affordable products; maintain quick reaction/time to market; and assure next-generation capability. In addition, five focus areas were adopted to achieve these goals and organize the plan. These focus areas are leadership and people; process and tools; performance; facilities and capital infrastructure; and technology.
By developing a Strategic Plan, Operations established a stated vision and mission along with issues, challenges, strategies, and goals which are defined, elaborated, and documented in one location. The Strategic Plan is a valuable tool that can evolve to meet the broadening internal and external environments of the Operations Department.
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