Producibility Elements Highlighted:
Organize for Producibility
Recognize the Need for Management Commitment
McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (MDA) (St. Louis) (Boeing Aircraft and Missiles) created its IPD program in 1992
to identify all activities and personnel required to deliver a product to internal customers and suppliers. This program represented a major shift in how project teams were identified. When MDA (St. Louis) made this management change, it contacted companies that were known to be making similar changes, and benchmarked with Texas Instruments, Ford, Martin Marietta, Northrop, and Vought.
To help implement the new management changes, MDA (St. Louis) created multi-disciplinary Integrated Product
Teams for a skill-based organization. One significant change was including personnel from manufacturing (such as
tool design engineers) to participate on the project team. They were collocated with design engineers and the other
up-front disciplines. This move helped to initiate MDA's concurrent engineering effort.
These teams are cross-functional teams and formed with the specific purpose of delivering a specific product or
service to the customer. The members are selected for their skills to complement other team members. Each team is
expected to design for manufacturability and ease of assembly. One project team, responsible for updating an
aircraft design, has been able to reduce the number of parts required by 33% on schedule, on cost, and has
eliminated 11,000 defects per aircraft.
To prepare personnel to participate on these project teams, MDA (St. Louis) instituted 14 hours of required training per individual. Team leaders received 90 hours of classroom training on issues that included responsibilities, accountabilities, and authority. The members of each team were committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they held themselves mutually accountable.