Original Date: 07/25/2005
Revision Date: 09/12/2006
Best Practice : Integrated Enterprise Process
Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems implemented a standardized approach to engineering and program management disciplines. The Integrated Enterprise Process is a web-based system that provides the necessary rigor and discipline to engineering and program management functions.
Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems (NGES) needed a way to standardize its processes, identify and mitigate risk, facilitate communication, address the root cause of problems, document and share lessons learned, and continually improve processes. In 2001, the Integrated Enterprise Process (IEP) was developed as the standard process to cover these concerns for the engineering and program management functions. This program, a subset of the Command Media, has continued to evolve since its implementation.
IEP is a web-based system that provides a disciplined engineering process. IEP supplies the Command Media procedures that tell “what to do.” The “how to do it” is provided by Command Media Work Instructions, Command Media Checklists, Program Directives, Homeroom Directives, and Homeroom Guidelines. Other useful information is provided through Command Media Guides and Homeroom Guides. IEP is the access port to the Process Asset Libraries (PALs). There are PALs for engineering, software, and hardware. IEP also provides access to process training.
The Engineering Process Asset Library (EPAL) contains guides, templates, checklists, examples, and links to information for antennas, cable assemblies, structures, corrosion prevention and control, parts standardization, Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) assemblies, unique identification markings, foreign object prevention/detection/elimination, and system safety. The layout of the system provides easy access to information. Checklists are provided to ensure structured and repeatable workflow across all hardware designs.
Lessons learned are captured as part of the process at each phase rather than waiting until the end of the program. The EPAL provides a solid foundation for improved design quality (Figure 2-3). The design process is documented and provides rigor through the use of checklists and design checking tools. Senior Design Authority is institutionalized through the use of “gray beards” who sign off on design reviews after evaluation of technical risks and quality issues. Performance metrics are institutionalized through the use of the Process Quality Report Card. Root Cause and Corrective Action is a formalized process for correcting problems and updating processes to eliminate future problems.
The IEP has provided a disciplined approach by using standard processes, continually identifying and mitigating risk, addressing and correcting problems through root cause analysis to continually improve the processes. The IEP is a key contributor to the continuing success of NGES programs.
Figure 2-3. EPAL Improved Design Quality
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