Original Date: 07/08/2002
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Program Critical Task List
The Directorate for Missiles and Surface Launchers’ Program Critical Task List is an automated system that details the entire process of building a STANDARD Missile, delineated by 69 Work Breakdown Structure categories, to provide detailed spend plans, improved accounting, reporting, eased tasking, and management of work.
The Directorate for Missiles and Surface Launchers (PEO TSC-M/L) tasks many Navy Field Activities to perform work for STANDARD Missile (SM) design, production, testing and support via SEATASKs. Historically, the Field Activities suggested and submitted proposals for SEATASK work to the Program Office. Results were inconsistent and sometimes had overlapped tasks. To address this problem, each Field Activity was assigned a core competency and corresponding work tasks, but the one-to-one mapping did not work in most cases. Reporting and accounting were entirely manual processes. In an effort to streamline the process, PEO TSC-M/L developed considerably more than just a centralized and improved process for tasking Field Activities via SEATASKs. The end result was the Program Critical Task List (PCTL), an automated system that details the entire process of design, development, production and support of SMs, and provides detailed spend plans, improved accounting, reporting, eased tasking, and management of work.
To develop the PCTL, PEO TSC-M/L identified 69 Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) functional processes within the SM lifecycle, depicting the responsibilities and workflow within the entire SM community. Table 2-1 shows a sample view of PCTL, an MS Access database showing several of the WBS functions. For each WBS function, PEO TSC-M/L detailed the process to complete the function in a flow chart and specified required inputs, outputs, and points of contact (POCs). One of the 69 WBS function’s processes is shown in Figure 2-2.
The PCTL system has been flexible enough to accommodate new fields, additional tasks and tests, new data, and the entire Vertical Launch System (VLS) lifecycle when it became part of the PEO TSC-M/L. PCTL was recently upgraded to run on a server so that Field Activities can submit proposals and costing information for specific steps of a process within a WBS function during the budget cycle. This eliminated overlap and inconsistencies, and eased workload and planning for subsequent years at the PEO TSC-M/L and Field Activities. Reporting is more flexible with reports by activity, function, functional category, and field activity now in a centralized database.
Documenting all of the WBS functional processes has been one of the key benefits. PEO TSC-M/L can now manage the entire work process more effectively including consolidation of surface Launch Systems and SMs. Tasking Field Activities is now easier for the Program Manager and Field Activities. The detailed processes provide more specific proposals and clearer spend plans. Reviewing real time budgets and costs is faster and can be done in lower-level detail with greater flexibility. Beyond the harder-to-measure cost avoidance benefits, enhanced flexibility and ease of management, the entire budget cycle is now noticeably three months shorter with PCTL.
Table 2-1. PCTL Matrix
Figure 2-2. Sample Process Within PCTL Matrix
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