||Methods&Metrics: Methods & Metrics for Product Success
The ultimate goal of this book is to guide government
and industry toward an understanding of those technical methods and
metrics which have been proven over time to ensure a successful
product. Demonstrated industry and government best practices, coupled with
an effective system for managing technical processes, are the hallmarks of
this approach. Nevertheless, its implementation will be neither quick nor
The acquisition process today is driven by a system
which relies on military specs and standards, coupled with cumbersome
oversight processes. Even though this approach often succeeds, it has
become so bureaucratic, so over-reaching, it takes important time, energy
and financial resources away from actual product development.
The transition to the "methods & metrics" approach
will not be easy; unlearning old ideas and ways is usually much more
difficult than simply learning new ones. Yet what alternative is
there? The success of government programs and the continuation of industy
efforts must be tied today to the ability to produce a product that works
the first time, on a schedule that meets government needs, and at a cost
that government can afford and on which industry can make a profit. Common
sense and experience tell us that the comprehensive use of proven
technical processes to ensure product success must become the norm.
Methods & Metrics for Product Success can provide the
Current acquisition efforts rely on Military
Specifications and Standards, coupled with cumbersome oversight practices
intended to assure compliance with this proliferation of often outdated and
heavily-tiered requirements, in order to achieve "success." Discussion
ad nauseam has determined why this situation came about; more to the
point is why it continues. The system persists because government
insists that reliance on specs and standards reduces risk and because industry
believes that reliance on specs and standards reduces competition.
Both of these viewpoints contain some core of truth; even so, neither
government nor industry can afford to continue with the current system.
Government must be willing to share some of the inherent development risk
associated with any truly new process or new product. Industry can no
longer bear this disproportionate responsibility and still do business with
the government as dollars decrease. On the other hans, industry must use
its technical know-how, not in order to meet requirements that add no value,
but to produce a successful product, within budget, the first time out.
One significant component of acquisition reform involves an approach which
relies on the use of proven best practices and established
measures of effectiveness to achieve product success. This
approach gives government the reduction in product risk it seeks while
allowing industry to compete on the basis of what it does best -- not on its
ability to manipulate a bureaucratic system. The documented application
of the concepts and processes presented in this book has solidly demonstrated
the success of this approach in both government and commercial programs over
The development of truly new products requires some encounters with unknown
processes, methods, materials, or outcomes. What is unknown always contains
the potential for risk; and there are many types of risk associated with the
acquisition process. This book focuses on successful product development
largely through the use of proven best practices and the management of the
technical processes comprising the design, test, and production disciplines,
in the belief that management of these processes will also reduce many other
types of risk.
There are additional benefits associated with the methodology presented in
- Aid in meeting the intent of Annex D of the Integrated Program Summary
(IPS) as required by
- Clear communication of program status to senior management.
- Feedback to program team leaders about the integration of their
individual team efforts toward
the common good of the program.
- Assistance in measuring subcontractor and vendor performance.
- Support for systems engineering, integrated product development,
concurrent engineering, and