Blue spider case study
Fellness Systems Engineering Principles: Blue Spider Case Study Name: Professor: Course Name: Subject: Date Due: Executive summary Parks Corporation is a firm involved in R & D business; the firm does projects on behalf of the Department of Defense. Over the years, Parks Corporation has transformed its focus from the R & D business to being involved in low cost production. The process of retrenching employees in the firm was as a result of the recession and this brought down the number of staff to 2200 down from 6700.
The upturn in the spending habit of the Department of Defense in 1975 made the firm hanged its corporate strategy. The new strategy involved Parks improving its R & D staff in the engineering section. Considering the salaries which Parks was providing, there was limitation in terms of getting experienced engineers and hence they decided to employ the young who lacked experience. One of the recruits from college was Gary Anderson.
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Despite his lack of experience, Gary Anderson was a great production engineer and this resulted to his promotion to a senior scientist who was in Judge of the R & D activities conducted at the Mechanical Engineering department. In 1978, Parks made a decision to bid for the 1st phase of Blue Spider Project together with Lord Industries being the major contractor for the Spartan Program for the Army. This project was meant to ensure improved structural capabilities as well as the age life related to the short range of the tactical missile; the tactical missile was showing failure because of fatigue as it had been used in the field for 6 years.
One of the conditions for the choice of the bid for subcontracting was based on the low bid with expertise in technical and also the management performance. Parks Corporation had a feeling that they had a unique advantage over TTS competitors since they had a previous experience in the Lord Industries projects. From the onset of this project, there was a problem which can be identified; this was that Gary Anderson was given the chance to be the head of project management due to his background in R & D; however, he lacks the experience vital in managing projects.
It is worth noting that the technical background is not enough to ensure an effective project manager. In specific a number of problems can be identified as the project took off; one of the problems is the informal way of starting the project was en and there was no particular guidelines, the proposal for the project was done in unethical manner, Parks Corporation seem to have issues in its behavior, problems in the operational process as well as problems in the organization’s architecture/ relations which was not clearly defined and also followed.
Project management often includes 9 specific areas of integration, management scope, time management, the cost management, the quality management, the human resource management, the communications management, the risk management as well as procurement management all of which lacked in the Blue spider project. Table of Contents Table of figures 1.
Introduction 1. 1 Summary of the Case study Blue Spider Case study represents a case where systems engineering principles failed; this case represents one of the failed projects as the head of the project team lacked the experience to manage projects and hence failure to use the systems engineering principles.
Among the major events in the case study are Gary Anderson accepting the position of the project manager; the DoD have asked Lord Industries through a contract to improve the operation of Spartan program; on November 3, 1977, Blue Spider project kicks off. The events in Blue Spider case are done in a quick manner in that there are a number of problems which arise right from the begging of the project because of the poor planning of the major events in the project.
Amongst the results of the events is the poor communication in the various departments due to the overburden that is caused by Gary Anderson; communication breakdown both internal as well as the departments which are associated with the project; the changes in the project are not well talked in advance. Despite the project going ahead, Lord industries accept the work of Parks Corporation reluctantly because of aviations from the requirements of the client due to changes in information and also implementation of the requirements. . 2 Objectives of the Report The aim of this report is to tie the systems engineering principles to the Blue Spider Case study. 1. 3 Organizational structure of Parks Corporation Figure : Parks Organizational Structure (sage & Rouse, 2011 : 80) 1. 4 SOOT Analysis of Blue Spider Project The current situation of the project is that it is influenced by a number of weakness as well as the strengths. Amongst the weakness of the Blue spider Project is that
Anderson was so much concerned with R & D works and also the administrative issues without creating any balance between them; there was a problem in the financial planning; the project lacked a standby schedule which would have been important in the event that the formal was affected by certain changes; there was poor communication with the Lord since the start of the project which resulted to more costs on communication; additionally, it was not possible for Gary to find Gable the time when he need some form of assistance; however, Gable would intervene in the midst of the project a number of times without the knowledge of Gary that exulted to more issues in the project management; some of the issues included rescheduling of the project or redoing some works during the last times. On the other hand, there is lack of leadership skills demonstrated throughout this project. Both Gary Anderson and also Henry Gable show lack of leadership skills in the various tasks which they are involved in doing the work, poor delegation skills as well as lack of team effectiveness.
Despite the weakness of this project, it is important to note that the project had enough backing from the top executives and directors. It is to often easier to find a project which has enough backing from the management just like Blue Spider Project, the level of attention given to the project was high, and there were enough resources for the project which came from the functional team. Some of the projects in project management have failed simply because of lack of backing and also priority which has resulted to issues. 1. 5 Definition of the requirements The requirements of a customer as well as the constraints of a project constitute the input to a process. The requirements of a process are directly related to the performance metrics of a system that is being designed.
The requirements often tell more about the needs of a customer in the system as well as the needs for the given system and they show clearly how the system is likely to work in the given environment. On the other hand, the constraints are some of the conditions which exist in a system due to the effect of the external interfaces, the support of the project or the life cycle systems. The constraints affect the opportunities of the design team in achieving their objectives. The major focus of the system engineering is changing the requirements into design (Grammar et al 2011:77). The requirements or the Spartan program was that the technical specifications needed all the components to operate in a normal way and successfully in a temperature range of -65 degree F to a temperature of 145 degrees F.
At the current time, the design of Parks Corporation was not able to operate over 130 degrees F. Despite this, one of the major constraints in the requirements was that the preliminary design material would not be operated over 130 degrees and this indicates that Gary Anderson and his technical team would not meet the set objectives. The requirements of a customer are very important in any design process; this is because they define the expectations of the customer, the environment, the measures of effectiveness as well as the suitability of the system requirements. According to O’Leary, et al 2012:562), the process of defining the requirements of a system provides the initial step in the development of a system.
However, in the Blue Spider case study, this is not given any meaningful importance with Gary Anderson and also Henry Gable conversing on the possible ways of changing the design material so that it would seem that they have followed the requirements of the customer. Henry Gable indicates that their reports would indicate that the design would be operative up to 155 degrees F so that the customer would be pleased something which was never true. This indicates that they both have failed to observe care in design process; this is likely to result to problems as this is likely to surface in the later stages of the life cycle of the Spartan program which will mean spending more time and also money in fixing these issues (Chandler et al 2011:375).
From system design, specification requirements and testing, all were not done in the right manner with unethical behavior seen in in much of the design process. Figure 1, indicates the various requirements in a system, clearly the requirements are established within a system in order to ensure accuracy and also completeness. Serener (2013: 208) asserts that, it is always not easy to establish good requirements for a system since it needs effective communication and technical skills; the head of Spartan program Gary Enders on lacks the technical expertise to lead the project the reason why the start of the project faces a number of challenges with the requirements not done in the right manner and this made the implementation of the project to seem mixed up.
Lack of ethical requirements are common in the project with Henry Gable stating that they can improvise the materials in order for the Spartan program to read 155 degrees F which is not the case as the customer would not know the improvises which the technical team would have done. 2. SE Management 2. 1 System engineering process According to Chandler et al (2011 :376), to ensure that a system is well engineered, it is important to conduct its development process in an orderly manner. Well-defined systems engineering process makes it possible to develop a system. However, for the gig projects, which involve a team, it is important to have a good systems engineering process (Coleman et al 2013:176). This is seen as guidance by the project participants to know the direction of the project and how they are going to achieve the objectives of a system.
There is a common agreement amongst the engineers on the main steps in the software process. In figure 3, this is indicated, the initial steps indicate the process of solving a problem in feasibility study, the fourth step is defined as being post-development phase and this is the stage where the project is deployed to he users, where maintenance is done and also improved to ensure that it meets the ever changing requirements. The initial steps of the process are often termed as being “what and how’ in the software development while the “analyses and specify’ step evaluates the problem which is to be solved while the “design and implement” provides information on how the problem is to be solved (SГ¶Darlene 2011 :155).
Figure : Systems engineering process Spartan program development process failed to pass through the right stages with several system engineering requirements not available in the different stages of the velveteen of Spartan program; this is vital so as to effectively achieve the customer requirements. The requirements of the customer were that the technical specification components were to operate in the normal way and in a successful manner through the temperature range of -65 degrees F to 145 degrees F. The analysis of the current system indicates that the design by Park Corporation is not likely to function at a temperature which is above 130 degrees F.
Additionally, the requirements of the Spartan program were not well stated early on during the initial stages of the project; this explains the reason why the project is running into robbers at the early stages. One of the problems of the project is cost which should be defined and the budget of all the expenses prepared at the analysis stage when the problem is being defined to avoid any further expenses on the way which were not budgeted for. Gary Anderson should be the one who should be answerable to any of the problems which the projects runs into since he is the project manager; his lack of experience in handling projects is affecting the smooth flow of this project. 2. Development process Young (2013:113) states that development process indicates the procedure for evolving the various parts of a project; this helps the various persons involved in the project to identify the different issues early on in the project before the occurrence of bigger problems which would alter the smooth running of the project. The development process is vital in a project as it helps to guide a project which does not have well defined goals and objectives which the customers are unable to define on their own. Morris and Considered (2011:68) argue that development process of a project provides a way of getting feedback instead of planning as their main control mechanism. The feedback is as a result of more and more regular tests and also the releases related to the evolving software.
In Blue Spider case study, the development process has failed and there are no consultations with the various departments in the preparation of the project proposal as well as consultation with the customer on their requirements. Although the customer’s requirements for the Spartan Program are not followed and intentionally altered so as to suit how both Gary Anderson and Henry Gable want it to be; this is attributed to lack of technical expertise in the development process as well as unethical business behavior. . 3 Life cycle integration Frangipani (2011:390) states that, life cycle integration is the process of bringing together the existing systems as well as the new technologies to form a new system that performs more tasks provide more and improved performance as well as ensuring that they enhance the existing systems.
According to Cravings (2011 :465), life cycle integration is seen as a way of using new as well as the expanded performance requirements in the most effective manner and also a timely manner during the design, the procurement, and installation and also in the operational infatuation that has specific modules where each of them may have some form of limitations and constraints. One of the major aims of the Blue Spider project was to ensure improved structural capabilities related to the Spartan missile which is a tactical missile made sue by the army. The missile was showing some form of fatigue in terms of failure after spending over six years in the field. The needs of the customer here were that they needed the new materials, which would last for longer for the Spartan missile.
By providing new materials the new program would last for Eng and ensure improved performance and also making the present Spartan missile more effective. This is one of the major purposes of the life cycle integration where improving the present system is of utmost importance to the army (Marques et al 2011:1058). 3. Program Life cycle 3. 1 Generic Business Life cycle According to Fiction & Skimmer (2012:309), the increased importance of transition to a greater and sustainable economy presents one of the most challenging aspects of the society. While the evidence where developing a highly sustainable business model is related to great profits, it is a problem to majority of the conventional manufacturers.
Because of this, firms are supposed to search for ways to improve the business models and in the process become more sustainable. Parks Corporation is always committed to developing new strategies so as to keep up with the changes in the market. The firm has performance criteria where the best and employees are promoted; the reason for Gary Andersen’s promotion is because the firm is committed to developing a sustainable business model. Park Corp.. Seems to make use of the product-service system in order to relate to particular life cycle stage in the development of a project. The business model in Park Corp.. Involves marketing, he software engineering process, design, production and operation.
Through marketing, Park corp.. Has been identified as one of the most successful firms in software engineering the reason why the Department of Defense (DoD) had several contracts with the firm. Stark (2011:10) notes that, software engineering is the next stage in the business life cycle with the firm making sure that the right project manager is in place to guide the development of a project. Gary Anderson was chosen as the project manager who was to oversee the completion of the Spartan program; Gary was to oversee the design of the project, production as well as operation. 3. 2 Simulation of DoD acquisition policy Diagram 4. System engineering product 4. System Requirement review According to Blanchard (2012:66) the system requirements review is done after the end of the functional analysis as well as the preliminary requirements allocation to the hardware configuration items, the computer software configuration items, the facility configuration items as well as the personnel so as to determine the objective and progress related to the system engineering management. The items to be reviewed include the mission and requirement analysis, the human factor analysis, he mission and requirement analysis, the functional factor analysis, the program risk analysis and also specification development (Shall et al 2011: 556). Kiss-off et al (2011:98) state that, the requirements of a system fall in different categories.
The customer requirement provide the statements or the facts as well as what the customer expects from the system in relation to achieving its set objectives, its effectiveness and also the suitability. One of the major requirements of the DoD contract was that the Spartan program was to operate normally and successfully on a temperature of -65 degrees F to 145 degrees F. However, the present design of the system indicated that the program would not function above 130 degrees F and this indicates that the objectives of the customer are to have the program operate at a temperature above 130 degree F. Despite the customer requirements stated clearly, the management in their proposal have developed a different system requirements which does not suite what the DoD want.
Gary and Henry Gable intentionally meet to discuss the inability of the preliminary design material being operated above 130 degrees F as the customer want but then because of lack of effective system acquirement analysis and accomplishment of the mission; they think of changing the design material or incorporate new materials and this problem has come as a result of poor system requirement review (Shall et al 2011 : 558). Another important factor in successful completion of a system is the human factor analysis. Stanton & Walker 2013:721) notes that despite the increase in technology, human factors are still vital to the success of a project. Thus effective interaction of human beings in the development of a project not only reduces the risk of project failure but also ensures hat the objectives of the customer have been met.
Additionally, the use of human factors ensures improved safety, increased reliability as well as efficiency of the system. Despite the increased importance of human factors in a project, there seem to be a challenge in the Blue Spider project because of lack of human factors. The process of bidding never followed staffing; one of the reasons provided is because Parks Corporation refused to give out its staff for the project; the engineering managers were not cooperative in giving out their key people towards the Blue Spider program. Human factors are important and should not be underestimated in successful project completion (Shall et al 2011: 558). Additionally, milestone is vital in the project completion (Adamant 2011:216).
This state the important dates in a system which the client need to be updated on the progress of the system should be considered so as to ensure that the customer’s requirements are well reviewed as the system keeps on being developed. Blue Spider project has successfully completed the first milestone of the project; the second milestone is scheduled to be after 180 days where acceptance of the raw materials and also the production runs ere considered; milestone is prepared in a way to avoid overlapping of activities in a system preparation something which Gary Anderson and his team have done effectively in terms avoiding an overlap of the lab development and also the full scale production. 5.
System engineering core process Schemas et al (2011:76) asserts that the system engineering major processes are developed so as to provide support to the people that are required to implement the systems engineering methodology. The core processes follow the following steps: provide an analysis, decomposition as well as allocation of the system requirements; litigation of the requirements of a system and management are important so as to ensure that the customer requirements have been met. Gary and Henry are making up important follow ups regarding the specifications of the system; despite the fact that Henry is imposing his own strategy in the initial phases of the program; the test matrix does seem to be a failure as the raw materials which the test result indicate do not seem to coincide with the particular specification requirements by the customer.
This means that analysis of the requirements of the Spartan program is aced by ethical challenges as Henry is stating that the customer would not be aware of the trouble changes which they are about to make regarding the specification requirements for the program. Next is definition of the system behavior where the system’s functionality as well as its operations is the major specifications at this stage. The functionality of Spartan program is well stated in the proposal by Gary team as well as the customer specification needs which is meant to improve the structural capabilities and also the age life related to the short range tactical missile.
According to Apparel et al (2011 :120), the definition of the system architecture is important in the system engineering process; this includes defining the internal and external interfaces; the subsystems and the components of the system; although the specification of this contract by the customer (Army) was that the Spartan program missile was to be improved its structural capabilities; the project team led by Gary failed to define the system architecture of the project in their proposal to the Lord industries; the reason for this can be articulated to the inexperienced project anger who has not handled similar projects in the past and therefore thinks that projects can be done without even specifying their system components and subsystems.
Marques et al (2011:1060) notes that, the most important systems engineering functions include operations concept development, architecture and the design development as well as identification of the requirements and management; however, these functions as well as the final products depend on one another. According to O’Leary, et al (2012:562), the system engineering functions, the validation, the prediction on performance, the analysis and trade off are important in optimization and development of a total system. In the system engineering life cycle, there is more refinement of the system requirements, the design as well as the operations concept in the lower levels to a point where the design has been realized. After that verification and validation of the system requirements is done and also planning for the events and resources.
Verification of the system requirements is done by both Henry Gable and Gary Anderson; however, their verification does not provide any importance to the success of this project as the customer requirements re ignored, making them to think of ways of devising the performance of the Spartan program missile to operate at a temperature of 130 degrees F. The events and also resources in Blue Spider project have not been planned well; despite that the project does not meet the planned milestone and this is because of the inexperience of Gary Anderson as he is left to do most of the work by himself to beat the deadline; the case indicates that Gary did not want to overburden the staff with the responsibility of the handouts and because of this he did this by himself, the reason why the reject does not have enough resources is because of lack of planning for the events and resources and hence putting in place the necessary budget for the same and this has resulted to cost overrun.
The system engineering is important so as to handle the challenges which the system engineers face during system development (Meredith & Mantel 2011:155). 6. System engineering process implementation 6. 1 Events where System Engineering was needed According to Apparel (2011 :130), the use of different engineering tools as well as the safety analysis tools is important during the design process. This is important as it ivies the designers an opportunity to identify the dangers in the early stages of the design process and this is the place when they are easily worked on. The use of system engineering would be possible in the analysis of customer requirements; this will translate the requirements if the customer into both functional and also the design parameters.
Both Gary Anderson and Henry Gable are contemplating on how to fix the materials so as to ensure that the Spartan program is operating at a temperature above 130 degrees F; something which the matrix test failed to produce the required raw materials. Additionally, functional requirements of the Spartan program are not identified early on at the start of the system planning, design and also the development phases; the result is failure to meet the system milestone. The important safety system requirements were not included in the Spartan program including the system-level safety analysis. 6. 2 Consequence of lack of system engineering Lack of system engineering in the Blue Spider project has resulted to a number of challenges in the development and completion of the project.
Key stages have been omitted and this has affected the achievement of customer requirements; the customer has complained about the materials included in the proposal which seem to contract with their requirement on how the system should be and how it should operate. It is worth to note that systems engineering is often implemented by coordination in the design engineering, effective architecture development as well as the design which are able to ensure that they meet the needs of the customer. Gary and Henry are unable to satisfy the needs of the customer in the Blue Spider project because they failed to in the use of system engineering principles during the design s well as systems requirement specification.
Blue Spider project headed by Gary Anderson has failed in the systems engineering as well as in the operations concept which failed to reflect the objectives of the Spartan program customer (the Army) as well as failing to schedule the project within the set budget. 6. 3 How to Implement Systems Engineering One of the objectives of systems engineering implementation is the full-integrated development as well as making products, which meet the needs of the customer within specified cost, schedule and also the risk constraints (Apparel et al 2011 :152). Therefore, this implies that a project needs to give a structured process for effective integration and link the requirements well, the schedule, the decision milestone and also validation and verification.
However, this is not the case in Blue Spider project as the project team lacks the needed cooperation to ensure that the implementation objectives are met as well as the systems engineering process. Gary Anderson is forced to do majority of the scheduled tasks in order to avoid expenses, which would mean that the project would not meet the set budget and hence the implementation of the system was a problem. Not all the departments are involved in the various phases of the project; the project team often needs to work on a “single, integrated set of requirements and also process” which mean that the integration of the system requirements and also the design stages will reduce the cost; a challenge being faced by Gary Anderson as the project cost is going high.
Additionally, effective implementation means that it is vital to lower the unplanned as well as the cost of reengineering that is important in solving the “omissions and challenges in integration”. 6. 4 Events where Systems Engineering were present Despite the challenges which the Gary Anderson and Henry Gable faced in the Blue Spider project, the use of systems engineering were present in the formation management of the software development project more so in the planning of the project, estimating the cost (budget), formation of the project team, allocation of work for the members of the team, the work schedule plan, reviewing of the progress of the project and also reporting the project’s milestone.
All these activities used the system engineering concept despite a few challenges. 6. 5 Benefits Davenport (2013:118), states that, systems engineering is important as it ensures that reduces which match the challenges of the global market are produced; it is clear that customers need a higher range of products and the choice which need that firms are supposed to produce products which match the customer needs; thus systems engineering helps firms to ensure that this objective is achieved. Systems engineering provides a way of ensuring that customer objectives are achieved and also the best way of achieving the market leadership by producing the best products in the market with good quality. 6. Comparison It is clear from the case study that concepts of design principles, specification acquirement, and risk management never made use of the system engineering principles, the reason why Gary Anderson and Henry Gable are faced with challenges of meeting the customer needs. 7. Systems Engineering Planning 7. 1 Project management Plan Marques and Laura (2011:1061) states that, project management plan involves organization, the relationship involved in reporting, the decision process as well as the role of the management committee in ensuring the success of the project. It shows the amount of time which the project manager is likely to spend in the project management. Therefore, the project team members should be written down as well as the details of the contact and any changes communicated to the program manager; the project need to state whether there is any need for training.
Gary Anderson is involved in majority of the work the reason why most of the plans are behind schedule. The decision by Gary to lower the costs through accepting to work on the bill of materials by himself indicates that there is lack of project management plan for the project; scheduling and making sure that all activities are accomplished thin the stipulated time is important to effectiveness of system engineering. 7. 3 System engineering plan According to Adamant et al (2011 :21 5), System engineering plan is a major activity that has an effect on the acquisition planning decision and as a result develops important methods which will be effective in achieving the objectives of acquisition.
This is important in the systems management in assuring of the technical activities’ identification and their management; ensure that the technical approach in the development team has been communicated, ensure that there is technical implementation and that decisions have been documented and finally help in establishing the benchmark of system development which is vital in meeting the needs of the customer and that of the systems engineering as well. Systems engineering plan has been followed in the Spartan program development; plans are put in place as Gary Anderson is appointed as the project manager with various persons involved in the development team; however, this is not done to satisfactory and this is because of lack of proper system engineering plan, the engineering integration distances themselves on the preparation of the bill of materials because