Observation, Theory, and Simulation of Integrated Concurrent Engineering: Grounded Theoretical Factors that Enable Radical Project Acceleration

TitleObservation, Theory, and Simulation of Integrated Concurrent Engineering: Grounded Theoretical Factors that Enable Radical Project Acceleration
Publication TypeWorking Paper
AuthorsChachere, J., J. Kunz, and R. Levitt
Year of Publication2004
NumberWP087
Date Published08/2004
Abstract

Two closely related papers target different research audiences. The first uses grounded theory to develop a set of factors that enable radical project acceleration, and the second uses formal models to evaluate the validity and ramifications of these theories.

Since 1996, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has designed space missions at a vastly accelerated pace using Integrated Concurrent Engineering (ICE). We observe that ICE leverages distinctive product, organization, and process elements such as networked information technologies, advance selection of participants that span interdependent fields, and a superficially chaotic work environment. A mainstream thread of organizational theory, aided by computational models, supports ICE performance claims, but offers insufficient intuition to organizational designers. We extend this theory, and assert that ICE teams at JPL manage ten enabling factors that lead to exceptionally low information response latency, and consequently to a dramatic improvement in project duration over traditional methods. A carefully designed network of knowledgeable and collectively independent participants, along with rapid, precise, and semantically rich communication of design intent, choices and predictions, are two features of the ICE approach that shrink response latency to near zero. We present response latency as a unifying theoretical principle to describe, evaluate and manage engineering design collaboration, and suggest that traditional project managers, as well as those who want to implement ICE for their own use, should establish the specific, measurable objective of very short latency.

KeywordsBusiness Process Re-Engineering, Business Processes, Collaborative Engineering, Collaboratories, Concurrent Design, Extreme Collaboration, Integrated Concurrent Engineering, Latency, Organization Models, Organizational Modeling, Parallel Design, Process Modeling, Process Models, Radical Collocation, Simulation, War Rooms
AttachmentSize
WP087.pdf483.83 KB

Last modified Mon, 14 Nov, 2011 at 13:55