Program Manager's WorkStation
The Programs Manager's WorkStation (PMWS)
is a series of PC-based expert systems that provide the user with knowledge,
insight, and experience on how to manage a program and how to manage a
program and how to find solutions that industry leaders are using to reduce
technical risk and improve quality and productivity. This system is
divided into the three main components discussed in Appendix E .
The Program Manager's WorkStation is unique among existing
program management tools, designed to fill a gap typically found in these
programs. Other management programs (e.g. Microsoft Schedule, Microsoft
Project, the Defense Systems Management College's Program Manager's Support
System [PMSS]) focus on cost and schedule indicators, are usually Contract
Data Requirements List (CDRL) - or Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) -oriented,
and approach acquisition management based on current or projected program
status. These management tools have their place -- master schedules are
critical for long-lead planning and for coordinating the interactions among
organizations; still, many acquisition programs fail during development or
during the transition from development to production despite the use of these
PMWS tools, on the other hand, are centered on the engineering
process itself, designed to help manage technical and process risks so that
engineering problems become visible as early as possible. These problems
can then be mitigated and/or properly managed before they cause cost and schedule
upsets that can cripple or cancel a program. Cost and schedule, after
all, are downstream indicators of difficulties in a program, sometimes very downstream in fact.
Consider this example: PMWS will alert you to the need for
a Design Reference Mission Profile early in the design process, assuming one
is missing. You may then take advantage of the knowledge component of PMWS,
along with metrics provided in this book, to help you develop the missing item
and thus avoid risk that might otherwise not surface until the operational
test and evaluation process takes place. At that time it would become obvious
that the reason the system is performing poorly is because the design
requirements were not derived from actual operational environments --
obvious, critical, and burdensome to correct.
PMWS is a dynamic tool that provides:
- rapid access to information necessary for program management,
- a method for tracking and monitoring technical risk associated with your specific program requirements, and
- a growing assortment of successful industry solutions for reducing technical risk while improving quality and productivity.
- Don't identify only prime contractor critical processes for an assessment. Subcontractor critical processes must also be included in a technical risk assessment.
- An assessor can be overwhelmed with the large number of concurrent processes for review. You must sort out and focus on critical processes.