Embodied in the current concept of schedule as an independent variable, cycle time reduction is a subject of significant interest to the U.S. Department of Defense. In this review, research based on commercial product development is applied to defense acquisition and a model summarizing critical factors is presented. The model includes preconditions for cycle time reduction such as pervasive support, technological maturity, potential for non-developmental components, and customization of the acquisition process. Furthermore, the model identifies factors influencing cycle time such as setting requirements through dialogue, concurrent engineering, team composition, design for manufacturability and maintainability, prime contractor/supplier integration, user integration, design flexibility, continuity of expertise, incentives, and leadership by a product champion.
Volume 53, Issue 5, September-October 2010