Original Date: 10/10/2005
Revision Date: / /
Information : Communities of Practice
The Communities of Practice are product- and capability-focused teams whose mission is to cut across the boundaries of program and organization that previously inhibited the sharing of knowledge, experience, and insight. This newly implemented program provides a subject matter expert infrastructure to Raytheon.
Raytheon began using Communities of Practice (CoPs) to provide a whole-life subject matter expert (SME) infrastructure to its products and technology. CoPs are product- and capability-focused teams whose mission is to cross the boundaries of program and organization. In the past, knowledge and lessons learned were shared too late due to organizational and geographic barriers between Integrated Product Teams (IPTs) and between disciplines.
The CoPs program was started in March 2005, with pilot teams meeting every two weeks to foster real-time collaboration between functions and product lines throughout the various program phases, driving continuous improvement through lessons learned, defect containment, and technology roadmaps. The CoPs are product and capability-based communities connecting IPT and Cross-Business Team (CBT) personnel with common products such as receiver/exciters and power supplies. Their mission is to provide multi-program, multi-discipline product focus throughout all Integrated Product Development System (IPDS) phases. Product partnerships are created with CBTs such as Engineering, Operations, Integrated Supply Chain, and Performance Excellence to provide lessons learned, defect containment, and technology road maps. CoPs complement the goal of the Engineering Process Group to establish and strengthen Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) processes, tools, and principles.
CoPs benefit Raytheon by:
Enabling make or buy discussions to happen early in phases Providing visibility into technology road maps and capital equipment
Enabling ability to discuss, resolve, and elevate tactical issues to systemic solutions
Addressing lessons learned real-time with key disciplines
Benefits to the Integrated Supply Chain through CoPs include:
Early link-up with design, new programs, and technology development Supplier selections and changes reduce risk
Meaningful discussions on supplier information and awareness voids take place
Provides a forum for suppliers to discuss current issues and concerns
Better use of preferred suppliers and control of supplier growth
Engineering benefits from CoPs include:
Reduced costs and risks Increased efficiency through responsive face-to-face contacts
Reduced defects through better lessons learned collaboration
Reduced design and redesign risks
Improved technology insertion through the sharing of technology road maps with Operations and Integrated Supply Chain
The CoPs program has reduced costs, risks, and cycle time in development, material, fabrication, assembly, and fielding while providing a forum for change and infrastructure improvements.
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