This book is intended to benefit military
and commercial audiences who manage technical programs and need do so more
effectively. Commerical contractors who wish to stay in business,
compete successfully, or do business with the government must be able to
repeatedly produce a successful product. There aren't many
second chances anymore.
Government Program Managers should know how to ask the right
questions in order to reduce the chances of accepting a flawed product at
major milestones and, consequently, to ensure the future of their programs by
knowing they are buying the best product for each dollar spent.
Successful products depend on the best technical efforts of
both government and industry.
Your previous experience in developing
successful products and managing technical risk will guide you to the section
or sections of this book which will provide you with the most help.
The Methods Section of this book (immediately following this
Introduction) will familiarize you with the steps recommended for managing the
technical process. First is a "big picture" of the technical risk
management process -- literally, a graphical representation of the steps, key
resources, and/or outputs associated with assessing risk to ensure product
success. Each major step in the process is then explained in more depth
following the graphic.
Use this big picture if you are experienced
in establishing successful technical risk management plans, conducting risk
assessments, and developing successful products. One of the items
pictured might suggest to you some unfamiliar resource which could make your
job more efficient.
If you have been involved in risk
assessments but are not sure the methodology used was complete or that you
took advantage of the best resources available, the explanation provided
by the steps in this process may provide guidance. Thorough
technical risk management plans and well-documented technical
risk assessments have actually not been a part of our culture for very long
and therefore are not well understood. They are seldom properly used for
the many benefits they can provide. If you have been part of a risk assessment only as a last ditch effort on a program
in danger of cancellation, you'll benefit by understanding this methodology as it is
intended to be used.
A series of "quick look' metrics for
principal risks areas in design, test, and production give specific guidance
for assessing technical processes. These metrics also reference the
documents and other sources of information which you should review when
conducting a program assessment. The questions which are part of the
most important ones management must ask in order to evaluate the level of
technical risk in any
These metrics, though by no means
comprehensive, do focus on key risk areas and provide a template for
developing more metrics of your
Finally, a series of appendices (fold-out flowchart, risk
assessment report example, DOS disk for on-line management help,
etc.) provide examples and additional resources for achieving product