Original Date: 09/14/1998
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Integrated Product Development
In 1994, Raytheon Missile Systems Company (RMSC) responded to increased competition and changing customer requirements by incorporating Integrated Product Development (IPD) as a way to produce higher quality products at lower costs, and in less time. The company is using a whole-systems approach to implement IPD on its existing and new programs.
RMSC began looking at IPD from four perspectives: teams/people; processes; tools; and integrated disciplines. The whole-systems approach resulted in the formation of multi-disciplined IPTs that focus on the product. Processes related to product development were standardized and documented. Tools (e.g., web-based PDM system, IPT handbooks) were developed to make pertinent information available to the teams. The integrated discipline approach allowed RMSC to easily incorporate IPD into the company’s organizational strategies and initiatives.
By focusing on the four perspectives, RMSC incorporated significant changes which led to the successful implementation of IPD in all programs. This concept is fully supported by RMSC management, who provides the necessary staffing and resources to execute IPD. In addition, a core group within the company provides ongoing training and guidance to IPTs on the skills and concepts related to IPD. RMSC also modified the reward system to recognize and encourage team participation. Through IPD, employees are given ownership of, and responsibility for, the success of a program.
By implementing IPD, RMSC improved its manufacturing processes and began creating robust designs. This approach allows employees to acquire the skills and knowledge to effectively manage costs, schedules, and risks. Customers and suppliers can monitor the progress of a program as well as work with RMSC personnel to efficiently resolve problems. IPD has improved internal and external communications at RMSC, and provided a positive impact on the company’s ability to win new contracts.
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