Today's environment of limited resources and increased competition -- both,
nationally and globally -- makes it difficult for companies to maintain
their prominence and profitability by relying on traditional, reactivate
management practices. Traditional management practices may also doom
acquisition programs seeking to retain their support and funding. Success
will belong to those who learn to aggressively manage technical
processes in order to
ensure a successful product.
The Government Mandate
Program Managers are required by DoD Directive 5000.1 to develop
aggressive risk management plans before approval may be given to proceed to the
next development phase. DoD Instruction 5000.2 (Part 5, Section B,
paragraph 3b) also mandates that technical risks in acquisition be assessed at
program decision milestones. These technical risk assessments become part of
Annex D of the Integrated Program Summary (IPS) required be DoD
5000.2-M. The IPS is the key document for decision-making at milestone
The Commercial Application
The commercial world lives by a new set of rules.
"Whatever we (U.S. developers and manufacturers) turn out, whenever we turn it
out" is no longer the standard to which the rest of the world will
subscribe. Today's business environment is forcing companies who hope for
continued success to be seriously involved in aggressive, proactive
management, especially in technical areas.
Development of a successful product depends on many
factors; one of these is a technical management policy which ensures that
every technical attribute of a program is traceable to a specific requirement
derived from the mission profile. "Nice to have" soon falls by the
wayside when strict derivation from technical requirements is
implemented. Unfortunately, this type of accountability in hardware
development is found usually for performance requirements only (weight, size,
sensitivity, speed, etc.)
The focus on technical accountability, technical processes,
technical management, and technical risk assessment during design, test, and
manufacturing in order to ensure a successful product has been, in most cases,
sorely neglected by both management and engineering until now.
So, What's the Problem?
The need to manage technical risk is
apparent, the know-how and experience are available. But the absence of
set of established
technical standards for government and industry to follow confounds even best
efforts again and again.
In this book we have compiled metrics for fundamental design, test,
and production activities. We also offer a methodology for their
use which accords with government mandates, the commercial need to be
competitive, and those good engineering practices which demand integrity and
the highest quality workmanship at all times.
Of course, other methods of product development and technical
risk management may also be effective, particularly if they too possess the
type of proven track record as has the methodology presented here.