FTI to provide improved techniques and training for project management with research effort awarded by the Air Force Research Laboratory
Goleta, CA – November, 2005 – Frontier Technology, Inc. (FTI), continues work on an Air Force Research Laboratory research contract valued at $987,372, to examine project management scheduling techniques used by the Defense Department and industry for new system and technology acquisitions. The goal of this research is to provide improved techniques and innovative training for managers and engineers to help project managers understand and implement new scheduling techniques. The research will focus on an issue found in many development projects within the Department of Defense: unrealistic project schedules. Unrealistic schedules usually involve an estimate for time to complete a system-development task that is much shorter than the actual time required to accomplish the task, when the usual problems, delays, and unexpected complications occur. Schedule performance has become a significant problem, because unrealistic schedules can result in poor investment decisions. This research effort, conducted by FTI and its research partners, Advanced Projects, Inc., Diamond of Ohio, and Robust Decisions, Inc. will enable acquisition managers to plan and execute realistic project schedules and make sound investment decisions based on these schedules. With realistic system-development schedules, senior decision-makers can effectively use all elements of a comprehensive decision space to compare investment alternatives, based on their utility, cost, risk, and schedule.
This research continues to identify and apply innovative techniques from the “Theory of Constraints” and “Lean Manufacturing” techniques to develop a formal training program to plan, manage, and execute development projects for the defense acquisition environment. Termed “LPM Learning Systems”, techniques included in this research, such as Critical Chain Project Management, may provide the most promising approach available today to reduce development cycle time and cost of system development projects to meet the military needs for effective, timely and affordable weapon systems. With the successful training and integration of these techniques into existing cost estimating and decision support tools, this research can help project managers ensure timely completion of acquisition projects within established budgets.