Chuck Keating: Our Systems Are Not Failing Us … We Are Failing Our Systems
We constantly hear the mantra that our systems (projects, programs, education, transportation, energy, security, healthcare, etc.) are failing. However, from a ‘systems view’ they are indeed not failing. They are only producing what they are capable of producing (performance, behavior, outputs, outcomes), nothing more and nothing less. We may not like what our systems are producing, but our disappointment should not be directed at ‘failing systems’, but rather how we are ‘failing our systems’. We fail to understand the inherent deficiencies we have ‘built into’ and continually accept from our systems. If we acknowledge that we are failing our systems, an alternative path forward for their analysis and redesign can be pursued. We should stop blaming our disappointment on ‘failed systems’ and instead take accountability for ‘failing our systems’ with inadequate design, analysis, and development. Ultimately, our question should not be “Is this the best we can expect from our systems?”, but rather “Is this the best our systems deserve from us?”.
Lessons From Successful Acquisition Projects Told By Those Who Made It Happen
The Schedule Compliance Risk Assessment Methodology (SCRAM) is a framework used by CASG to identify the root cause of issues and risks to achieving schedule and to forecast milestone completion dates. To date, SCRAM has been successfully applied to over 30 projects. This short introduction to SCRAM will outline the key elements of the SCRAM framework and how it can be used to assist Defence at any point in a capability or system life-cycle.
Presenters: Angela Tuffley, Dr Betsy Clark, Adrian Pitman, CASG SCRAM Principals
After reviewing a number of programs, the opportunity arose to study a program that was an outstanding success, delivering ahead of schedule, within cost and with minimal defects found in its first-of-class testing. Rather than look for risks and issues, this SCRAM review focused on identifying the contributors to exceptional success.
What emerged was a program that clearly demonstrated effective integration between program management and systems engineering. Right from the beginning of the program, the foundation was set for effective and ongoing collaboration, continual information sharing and empowered rapid decision-making combined with an unwavering focus on delivering an effective capability to the customer, in this case the Royal Australian Navy.
This project was the basis of a case study contributed by the SCRAM Principals to the PMI/INCOSE “Integrating Program Management and Systems Engineering” book.
Presenters: Daniel Keleher, CEA Technologies and Dr Betsy Clark, CASG SCRAM Principal
After a career of rescuing and turning around troubled projects, Mr Jeff Morris, who was most recently Lockheed Martin Aeronautics’ Vice President F-35 Mission Systems Software, has agreed to bring his extensive systems and software development knowledge and skills to support the work being conducted by the Australian Defence (CASG) SCRAM Team. Previously, Jeff also played a significant role in successfully rescuing and delivering another Australian Program, the original Jindalee Over-the-horizon Radar Network (JORN).
Drawing on his experience from JORN, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (where Jeff first meet the Australian SCRAM Team) and other rescue missions for his former company, Jeff will discuss the key factors to help manage very large scale, software-intensive projects. Adrian Pitman, CASG F-35 SCRAM Team Lead Assessor on more than 6 separate JSF reviews, will also discuss how the practices and management decisions made by Jeff led to the SCRAM Team reporting to Defence senior leadership and Government that the JSF software development program would recover. The robustness of the JSF software was demonstrated recently by JSF participation in Operation Red Flag resulting in a kill ratio of 20:1.
Presenters: Jeff Morris, former Lockheed Martin VP and Adrian Pitman, CASG SCRAM Principal
FROM ACQUISITION DISASTER TO WORLD CLASS PERFORMANCE:
HOW NAVAIR TRANSFORMED THE A-12 FIASCO INTO THE F-18 SUPER HORNET SUCCESS
Following the cancellation of the US Navy’s A-12 program, NAVAIR’s reputation as an acquisition organisation was at a low point. This case study focuses on how NAVAIR learned from that failure and took the difficult path to transform itself and deliver the F-18 Super Hornet on-time, within budget and underweight.
Presenter: Dr Betsy Clark, CASG SCRAM Principal
Crafting and Implementing Project Execution Strategies
Dealing with complexity is a key challenge with system acquisition becoming highly interdependent with other capabilities (existing and emerging), rapid technological advancement, and greater emergence associated with end-user needs. To cater for complexity we need to ensure our project management approach caters for requirements emergence, technological uncertainty, and multiple stakeholder needs. The seminar begins with an overview of complexity, challenges associated with traditional approaches to dealing with complexity, and best practice approaches for dealing with complex projects.
EVM Approach for Software-Intensive Development Programs
Mr Jeff Morris will discuss proven techniques for the implementation of an Earned Value Management (EVM) approach for software-intensive development programs. This method was developed and implemented in the early 1990’s on the Combat System of the US Navy's Seawolf fast attack submarine program, the BSY-2. Since, this EVM method has been successfully used on many programs of various sizes. This method was cited as a best practice in development of the Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN) in Melbourne from 1997 through delivery in 2003.