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AD-A217 659 

Journal of the Defense Systems Management College 

90 01 25 0 l4 




Major General Lynn H. Stevens, 


Gregory T. Wierzbicki 

Dean, Department of 
Research atui Information 

Captain Ralph W. Ortengren, Jr., 

Director of Publications 

Robert W. Ball 



Manaffinfi Editor 

Catherine M. Clark 

Associate Editor 

Esther M. Farria 


Janet R. M. Fitzgerald 

Program Manager (ISSN 0199-7114 > 
is published bimonthly by the Defense 
Systems Management College, Fort 
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Systems Engineering! 
The ftey to TQM 7 

' Q j a11 -•/ >■' o ■'»' 

Roberts A. Meadows 
Dr. Linda P. Beckerman 
Dr. Chet Richards 

Star quality at Lockheed 
has developed effective 


Program Management 
The Air Force Way 

James Gill 
Robert Beniben 

Minuteman Long-Range 
Planning Group effectiveness 
will be judged by results 
achieved in the challenging 
years ahead. 


1 JLj 

Are, You 



David D. Acker 

Second in a series. 

of the Defense 

n r- 

^ , J 

DSMC Publications: 

An Availability Report 

Rabat W. Rail 

The Director of 
Publications lists handbooks 
and guides available through 
the DSMC Publications 

* * i 

« O . - " ’ / 

Exposed t The Real 
Truth About Estimating 
Economic Effects of 

Michael N. Rcltramo 

The author says we are 
not able to make valid 
estimates of the economic 
effects of competition; 
therefore, we certainly 
cannot mold them. 

’ O 

* ; 

Total Quality 
Management Reading 
List ; 

Robert A. Wchrlc 

Total Quality Management 
does not provide immediate 
payoffs even though they 
may be achieved. It is a 
different way of doing 
business, implying long-term 
commitment. Read all about 

Program Manager 

January-Februarv 1°°0 

Vol. XIX, No. 1, DSMC 94 

Cover: Quality is the most important 
link to better program management. 

Systems Management College 

The Copernicus 

Colonel W. H. Freestone, Jr., 

A hot topic concerns 
applying advanced 
technology products to user 
systems—more specifically, 
electronic components. 


Dmnd C. Rich 

Management and 
employees can have better 
understanding, higher 
morale, less stress and more 
enthusiasm. Don't get eaten 
by the "alligators." 

Also _ 

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Program Manager 

lanuarv-Februarv l oo 0 


Roberts A. Meadows 
Dr. Linda P. Beckerman 
Dr. Chet Richards 

O n March 30,19 88, the Secretary of Defense signed 
the "Department of Defense Posture on Quality" 
memorandum and thereby initiated the DOD Total Qual¬ 
ity Management (TQM) program. All defense agencies and 
programs, as DOD entities, fall within the purview of 

This paper, however, looks at TQM from a different 
aspect. Although TQM is a philosophy and a never-ending 
process, each individual TQM effort or project is itself a pro¬ 
gram and should be run as such. These improvement pro¬ 
grams must be a high priority for managers of weapon 
systems programs since improvements in company systems 
will better enable them to achieve performance, quality, 
cost, and schedule goals. 

In particular, a TQM project can be a program to make 
sizable and, indeed, radical improvements in the way a DOD 
component or contractor does business. It can be done. For 
the curious, Schonberger lists some 86 examples of substan¬ 
tial improvements, mostly involving U.S. companies. 1 A 
DOD panel recently concluded that if the U.S. defense in¬ 
dustry could become as efficient as the Japanese auto in¬ 
dustry, we could have the high technology weapons we need 
within budgets that we could afford. 2 

The quality gurus claim an organization's management 
system causes 85-95 percent of its problems. If they are right, 
permanent and significant improvement in an organization's 
performance can only come from improvements to its basic 
systems. By system problems, we mean those that are not 
attributable to the failings of individual workers. As Deming 
points out, most workers are already doing as well as they 
can. 3 This suggests that improvement efforts based on ex- 

Mr. Meadows is Director of the Star Quality Pngram at the 
Georgia Division of the Lockheed Aeronautical Systems Company. 
Dr. Beckerman is a Systems Engineering Manager on an LASC 
advanced aircraft program, and Dr. Richards is a Business Strategist 
in the Star Quality Office. 


Customer Needs Analysis 
Functional Analysis 
Requirements Allocation 

hortations to "do more better” within the current system 
are not likely to meet with much success. 4 Workers' resent¬ 
ment of attempts to simply order quality into existence may 
actually make things worse. 

In fact, all of us have always known it's the system. Who 
has not, in explaining how to get things done, said things 
like "You have to work the system," "You have to work 
around the system," "You can't beat the system." What we 
didn't know, however, was what to do to change the system 
so we didn't have to "beat it." 

The real work of TQM is to transform management 
systems—systems of vital interest and importance to every 
program manager. What we have done in Star Quality, our 
TQM process at Lockheed, is to develop effective 
methodologies for doing this. In this paper, we outline basic 
concepts and describe tools to apply them. We give examples 
from our pilot project, restructuring the LASC-Georgia mail 
distribution system, where we obtained improvements of 
more than 500 percent. 


For Restructuring Management Systems 

Any attempt to change or improve a system must be based 
on a solid definition of what that system is really supposed 
to accomplish. Without this foundation, effort will be 
squandered in improving something that does not need to 
be done. Thus, the first step is to define basic system re¬ 
quirements, just as would be done when developing soft¬ 
ware packages or weapon systems. 

Our approach for defining management system re¬ 
quirements is to use the same 1 f systems engineering 
techniques that we use to define a ’\;i ■ nents for an aircraft, 
spacecraft or other complex sys- Our adaptation of 
these techniques for a company's organizations reflects the 
reality that organizations are human systems and that in 
these systems the human element predominates. This im¬ 
poses some interesting psychological aspects onto the 

Program Manager 


January-February 1990 










Improve the System 

Handle Special Items/Jobs 

The Working Team 

A critical precursor to application of 
the methodology is the selection of the 
working team. Experience taught us 
this must include owners of the system. 
This means all people responsible for 
making the system work; the entire 
hierarchy of managers, as well as the 

A graphic illustration of the 
psychology of human systems was 
demonstrated during training sessions. 
In these we introduced the concept of 
a system by stating a definition: "An 
interacting set of elements forming a 
unified whole in order to achieve a 
desired purpose." Then we showed a 
picture of a bowl of fruit and asked if 
this was a system. Half the people saw 
the bowl of fruit as a system and half 
did not. 

In other words, a system is a con¬ 
cept in people's minds. 5 This suggests 
that owners of the system must be the 
ones defining what it is, what it is to 
accomplish, and what changes should 
be made to it. Outsiders, such as 
systems engineers or management con¬ 
sultants, will see it differently. If they 
attempt to impose changes, the people 
who must live with the system after 
they are gone will treat the improve¬ 
ment process as yet one more iteration 
of "beating the system." 

Additionally, it is owners of the 
system who decide where to draw 
boundaries around the system that 
define where they will accomplish im¬ 

provements. This activity recognizes 
that most company systems are a sub¬ 
system within a larger system. In truth, 
a defense contractor's company system 
is part of the overall defense system 
that includes DOD, the Congress, 
etc., and many TQM projects of the 
type described here will need to have 
DOD counterparts as participants. 

Pilot Project 

The pilot project, to improve the 
quality of Lockheed's Mail Distribu¬ 
tion System, illustrates these points. 
All owners of the system participated 
and were committed to this effort. We 
began with managers and brought in 
the Union Shop Steward; we explained 
ground rules that no hourly employees 
would lose jobs because of this effort, 
nor could we ask for budget to im¬ 
prove the system. Improvements 
would be made with the people and 
resources already on hand. At this 
point, we brought the rest of the 
hourly employees onto the team. 

Once the team and system bound¬ 
aries were selected we began to apply 
the first of the three systems engineer¬ 
ing methodologies listed in Figure 1. 
This first step, a Customer Needs 
Analysis, was performed to determine 
the required output of the entire 
system. This consisted of an informal 
survey asking what customers wanted 
and needed the system to do for 

Although we received many an¬ 
swers, there was a broad consensus 

that our employees needed to be able 
to depend, without fail, on next-day 
(24-hour) service for all intercompany 
mail. For mail going out of the plant, 
customers wanted it to go out the day 
it was mailed; for mail coming in, 
customers wanted to receive it the 
same day. They also wanted twice-a- 
day, scheduled, pickup and 

Functional Analysis 

After we established, and got the 
Lockheed community to agree to these 
overall system requirements we per¬ 
formed a Functional Analysis to an¬ 
swer the question: "What tasks or ac¬ 
tivities is the system supposed to carry 
out to meet those requirements?" We 
did this by meeting as a group every 
day for intensive one-hour brainstorm¬ 
ing sessions. We initially identified 
four major functions, the ones shown 
as 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 and 5.0 in Figure 2. 
Then we identified subfunctions that 
had to be carried out to accomplish the 
higher-level function. We did this as a 
hierarchy, expressly to destroy any im¬ 
plied time sequencing, becrjse we 
didn't want to get locked in to 
preconceived notions about how the 
system was supposed ' > operate. 

Program Manager 


lanuary-February 1990 


5 1 

Handle Classified 

We had these functional hierarchies 
drawn up on our inhouse computer- 
aided design system, CADAM, and 
updated daily. A typical example is 
shown in Figure 3. They were dis¬ 
played on the walls of our meeting 
rooms as working charts for the team. 
This had the psychological benefits of 
making the mental process of identify¬ 
ing functions visible as well as reinforc¬ 
ing the notion that nothing was so holy 
that it couldn’t be moved, deleted or 
added to. It gave everyone immediate 
feedback on the output of previous 
brainstorming sessions. 

Challenge Everything 

Then we went back through each 
function in the hierarchy and asked: 

"What is the purpose of this function? 
Why does it have to be done? What 
would happen if we just left it out?" 
Here, the idea was to get team mem¬ 
bers to challenge everything. This was 
the stage in which enormous gains 
were made in eliminating waste in the 
system. An example will illustrate the 
power of this step. 

One of the tasks identified in the 
functional hierarchy required that any 
envelopes addressed to Accounts 
Payable be opened, any checks be 

5 0 



5 5 

Provide Interface 
With U S P S 




Complete Outgoing 

Wrap Packages 

Handle Undeliverable 

Mail Procedures 


taken out of the envelope and entered 
into a log and both log and checks be 
delivered immediately to Finance. 
When the team was asked why we 
were performing this function, we 
were told: "To provide a service." 
When asked why that service, we were 
told: "Because Finance wants us to." 
When we asked why Finance wanted 
this service performed, we found that 
we could not definitively answer this 
question ourselves and had to query 
our customer. Finance, directly. 
Finance's answer was: "We don't have 
a requirement for this service." 

What we discovered about how this 
situation arose has important implica¬ 
tions for all system improvement ef¬ 
forts. It turned out that this was an 
essential function when the system was 
established. In those days the company 
was receiving large payments through 
the mail and special accountability 
standards were warranted. However, 
with the advent of electronic transfer 
of funds, there was no need for special 

The system had no way of knowing 
this. For years it continued to carry out 
a function that consumed efforts of one 
employee working virtually full time 
(in a system that contained only 15 
total). Wasted effort was expended 

that could be spent better meeting the 
current system needs. This inspired us 
to coin the phrase "vampire functions." 
These are functions that live on long 
after they should have been. What 
Systems Engineering does for TQM is 
to shine the light of day upon obsoles¬ 
cent functions. 

What Is Valid? 

Another critical addition we made 
at this time ensured non-essential func¬ 
tions did not continue. To this end, we 
added a top-level function, "Improve 
the System," as shown in Figure 4. 
This, in effect, gives the system con¬ 
sciousness, and provides subfunctions 
so that system owners (management) 
will determine regularly whether it is 
carrying out essential functions, and 
whether requirements of each are still 
valid. It is our belief that all organiza¬ 
tional systems should contain a func¬ 
tion of this type. 

Having convinced ourselves we had 
identified each essential function, we 
progressed to the third methodology, 
Requirements Allocation, where we 
defined requirements for each remain¬ 
ing function. These requirements called 
out in specific terms what had to be 
done for each function to be carried 
out satisfactorily. This had the benefits 

Program Manager 


lanuary-Februarv 1°°0 


of removing waste due to ambiguity 
and establishing a basis for valid 

For example, one of the functions of 
the system is to deliver mail that is in¬ 
itially undeliverable, usually because 
of insufficient address. Since we re¬ 
ceived about 1,000 such items from 
outside sources every week, finding 
out who each was intended for was ex¬ 
tremely time-consuming, especially 
since the employees were making a 
conscientious effort to get these items 
delivered (remember all are already 
doing the best they can). To cope with 
the ambiguity of what to do with un¬ 
deliverable mail, we defined a require¬ 
ment specifying undeliverable bulk 
mail shall be destroyed. For first-class 
and other mail, we will spend up to 5 
days trying to deliver it. Then it is 
returned to sender. 

Document Everything 

Requirements took the form of 
capabilities (carry 70 lb.), time 
dependencies (before 3 p.m. and 
within 24 hours), order of precedence 
(before another function), or any other 
way of describing whether the function 
has been performed adequately. The 
requirements we derived for handling 
undeliverable items are shown in 
Figure 5. 

While this was going on we were 
documenting everything in a systems 
specification. We followed the format 
of Mil-Std 490 as closely as possible 
because it is immediately recognizable 
to people familiar with a system spec¬ 
ification. This captured for us in black 
and white, at any moment during the 
process, what progress had been made 
so that the team could see the fruits of 
their effort. More importantly, it pro¬ 
vided the final set of requirements that 
we could now hold up against the ex¬ 
isting system and ask: "Is the system 
as it currently exists able to meet these 

The answer to this for the mail 
distribution was: "No." At this time, 
direct systems engineering assistance 
ended and owners of the system began 
to identify and implement changes to 
their processes so that they were able 
to meet system requirements. Owners 
of the system, especially hourly 
employees, are best qualified to create 
changes to their processes. On the mail 
system, these changes have been spec¬ 
tacular. Before they began, it often 
took from 4-7 days for an item of in¬ 
ternal mail to get from one end of the 
hallway to the other. Today, the sys¬ 
tem often gets the mail there in the 
same day, beating the 24-! our 

Interesting Lessons Learned 

One of the more interesting lessons 
learned on this project was the impor¬ 
tance of discovering "critical func¬ 
tions." These are high-leverage func¬ 
tions, where small improvements can 
produce very large payoffs. In the case 
of the mail-distribution system, the 
critical function was route delivery— 
the one that had the most bearing on 
the ability of the system to meet 
customer requirements. Anything that 
drew resources away from carrying 
out that function, even to carry out 
other essential functions, was a subtle 
vampire depleting the system. An ex¬ 
ample of such a "vampire" is a special 
delivery, which provides a higher level 
of service for critical offices. However, 
in the time required to make one spe¬ 
cial delivery, a mail clerk could serve 
several hundred employees on a route. 
As route performance improved to 
1-day turnaround, we were able to 
eliminate the need for many special 
deliveries, thereby further improving 
route performance. 

Another important lesson learned 
was how improvements to the system 
affected morale of owners of the 
system and how this, in turn, resulted 
in improvement beyond original ex¬ 

Program Manager 


lanuarv-Februarv l^O 


Delivery shall, for non-bulk mail, be to the last department of record. If still undeliverable, 
mail/items shall be returned to sender. Undeliverable bulk mail shall be destroyed. Items 
shall be dispositloned for delivery, return to sender, or destruction, as per requirements 
within 5 working days. 

Culture Follows System 

Anyone who has led a military unit 
will attest to the overriding importance 
of morale in human systems. Unlike 
those who insist that it be some type 
of mystical input required for superior 
performance, we have found that 
morale is actually one of the results of 
a successful system design effort. That 
is, culture follows system, not vice 
versa. 6 

With a redesigned system, mail 
distribution employees express their 
highly visible pride by regularly doing 
better than the system requirements 
demand and by comments like: "Hey 
man, we're smokin'.” Before the 
system was redesigned, a typical sav¬ 
ings bond drive participation was 
about 50 percent. Today, with the 
same group of employees, we get 100 


It is possible to make the types of 
improvements we read about in Japan, 
but you cannot simply order them into 
existence. You will have to do the hard 
work of redesigning your organiza¬ 
tional systems to eliminate waste. The 
techniques of systems engineering can 
play a key part in this process by help¬ 
ing to eliminate those activities — 
functions—that no longer serve to ac¬ 

complish the organization's overall ob¬ 
jectives. There is no need to improve 
a function you shouldn't be perform¬ 
ing in the first place. 

The end result is a simplification of 
the system that includes only essential 
functions and valid requirements, yet 
meets all performance requirements 
imposed by the "outside" world. 

When you go through this process, 
and demonstrate to your employees 
that you are serious about attacking 
the 85-95 percent of the problem that 
falls under management’s control, 
morale and the other human elements 
will improve. Results can be almost 
unbelievable. Increases of 300 percent 
in productivity and quality, and im¬ 
provements in turnaround time on the 
order of 500 percent are not unknown. 
It will take this type of improvement 
to manufacture our new generation of 
weapon systems at costs that we can 


1. Richard Schonberger, World Class 
Manufacturing: The Lessons of 
Simplicity Applied (New York: The 
Free Press, 1986) pp. 229-236. 

2. United States Department of 
Defense, "Findings of the U.S. Depart¬ 
ment of Defense Technology Assess¬ 

ment Team on Japanese Manufactur¬ 
ing Technology" (Washington, D.C., 
November 1988). 

3. This point is made by W. Edwards 
Deming in seminars and classes. It is 
a persistent theme in his book. Out of 
the Crisis (Cambridge, Mass.,: The 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 
1986), and is emphasized in the section 
on "Barriers that Rob People of Pride 
in Workmanship," pp. 77-85. 

4. Kenichi Ohmae, "Companyism 
and Do More Better," Harvard 
Business Review, January-February 
1989, pp. 125-132. This is also 
Demings' Principle 10, "Eliminate 
Slogans, Exhortations, and Targets for 
the Work Force." (Deming, op. cit. pp. 

5. In other words, how you view the 
system may greatly affect the results 
you get. An excellent discussion of the 
implications of this statement is found 
in the chapter on "Thinking" in C. 
West Churchman's The Systems Ap¬ 
proach, (New York: Dell Publishing, 

6. Deming estimates that "barriers 
against realization of pride of 
workmanship" are one of the greatest 
causes of cost and quality problems in 
the U.S. (op. cit.. p. 83). Note that bar¬ 
riers are part of the system, and pride 
is an aspect of culture. 

Program Manager 


lanuarv-February l oo 0 


James Gill 
Robert Bemben 

I n its final report to the President, the Blue Ribbon 
Commission on Defense Management concluded that 
"The entire undertaking for our nation's defense requires 
more and better long-range planning" and "to accomplish 
meaningful long-range defense planning, certain modifica¬ 
tions are needed in our defense establishment." 1 As the 
United States reaches the decade of the '90s, these statements 
assume added significance as shrinking resources muddy the 
waters of strategic modernization. 

Increased fiscal constraints, however, are just one of the 
many obstacles strategic defense planners must overcome 
in formulating force development policy. Examples of other 
problem areas include the changing threat environment, 
arms control initiatives, and the rapid pace of technological 
change. In this rapidly changing environment, how does the 
military ensure that its planning is consistent with these 

Planning long-term 2 defense needs begins with a threat 
assessment and identification of mission requirements in 
order that a force structure may be designed to counter the 
adversary's capabilities. Threat assessment is the first major 
hurdle that planners encounter. Through a variety of means, 
data regarding the Soviet threat is gathered and evaluated 
by the intelligence community. There are two major dif¬ 
ficulties with intelligence collection—the reliability of the 
data itself and, even if the data is factual, the interpretation 
of the data. 

A large part of the problem is created by the planner's 
interest in what the enemy will be doing sometime in the 
future, not what he is doing now. While some experts feel 
that intelligence can see 5-10 years into the future, others 
are less optimistic. As one retired Air Force general put it, 
"Realistically, we can see three to five years in the 
future....” 3 In many cases, then, the strategic planner must 
structure forces for a threat that is only partially 

With the long lead times required for acquisition of 
strategic systems, this may lead to fielding a weapon system 
that is inappropriate or ineffective due to changes to the 
threat. This is an especially critical problem in a time of 
budgetary limitations. 

A Key Problem 

A key problem for the planning staff is managing change 
in the resources available to achieve the desired force struc¬ 
ture. The defense budget is subject to wide cyclical swings 
as national priorities change. This is particularly true to¬ 
day as we have seen defense spending move from a real 

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this article are those 
of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or 
position of the Deuartinent of Defense or the U.S. 
Gov eminent. 

growth rate of 12 percent in fiscal year (FY) 1982 to the zero 
growth being proposed for FY 1990. With burgeoning federal 
deficits, these fiscal constraints on defense spending are likely 
to increase rather than decrease into the forseeable future. 
This causes several problems for planning. 

As was witnessed with the B1 bomber program, starts and 
stops in production of systems contribute to significant cost 
growth. This is due not only to the inefficiencies of produc¬ 
tion but to the inflation that occurs in the interim. The old 
rule "you better buy it now before the price goes up" is useful 
advice here. While defense managers are attempting to cir¬ 
cumvent this problem through a more judicious utilization 
of multiyear contracting, this approach does little to pre¬ 
vent the delay of systems that are currently assigned targets 
by strategic planners. 

A major problem that arises in cancellation or stretching 
out of programs is the discontinuity between the missions 
planned for specific weapons and the actual capabilities if 
those forces are not fielded. If a new reentry vechicle has 
been identified as required for coverage of a specific target 
set and that program or some other with its capabilities is 
not funded, how is that target set allocated to the remain¬ 
ing system7 

At the very least, a reevaluation of targeting priorities 
must take place and, at worst, coverage of certain targets 
may have to be deleted. It has been alleged that all too often, 
the revised capabilities are not reflected in the targeting 

Another consideration in force deployment decisions is 
the potential impact of arms control agreements. A case in 
point is the current political pressure for a START agree¬ 
ment that would drastically reduce the numbers of warheads 
available to each side. This type of agreement would reward 
the side that had increased the number of aim points by 
fielding systems with smaller numbers of warheads. The 
United States, however, has fielded 50 ten-warhead 
Peacekeeper missiles, along with the Trident D-5 which has 
the capability of carrying up to 14 warheads. This assess¬ 
ment is meant to emphasize the need for flexibility and 
adaptability in planning force structures. 

Mr. Gill is a Contract Specialist. Ballistic Systems Division. 
AFSC, and Adjunct Professor. National Security Studies Piv- 
Pfram. Cal State University. San Bernardino. California. 

Air. Bemben is a Contract Specialist. Ballistic Systems Divi- 
sioti , AFSC, and a epaduate student. National Security Studies 
Pivtpnm, Cal State University. 

Program Manager 


January-February 19°0 

Political Constraints 

The planner must also deal with 
political constraints imposed from a 
variety of sources. The Project on 
Monitoring Defense Reorganization 
has indicated that there is an overlap 
in responsibility of the congressional 
committees on Budget, Appropriations 
and Armed Services, all of whom 
share oversight of the Pentagon's 

While the report indicated that this 
type of micromanagement was respon¬ 
sible for some of the problems with the 
acquisition system, it indicated that 
none of the panels was likely to relin¬ 
quish its charter. Given the pluralistic 
nature of our society, this haphazard 
management style is unlikely to 
change; but it is another factor plan¬ 
ners must deal with and, again, em¬ 
phasizes the need for a greater degree 
of flexibility within the acquisition 

This is but a small illustration of the 
problems that strategic planners face 
but they provide a background of 
some of the more important ones. 
Several of these obstacles could be 
removed or minimized by legal or 
departmental actions. Others, such as 
changes to the threat cannot be im¬ 
pacted by U.S. actions. In all cases, the 
planner must deal with them in design¬ 
ing a strategic force structure that will 
maximize U.S. capabilities. One of the 
more innovative approaches to recon¬ 

ciling these problems is found in the 
Air Force Minuteman Long Range 
Planning (MLRP) Group. 

In recognition of many of the dif¬ 
ficulties cited above, the MLRP con¬ 
cept was developed by representatives 
from the Strategic Air Command 
(SAC), the Air Force Systems Com¬ 
mand (AFSC), and the Air Force 
Logistics Command (AFLC) in 1985. 
Their proposal to the HQ USAF 
recommended a long-range, integrated 
planning approach to Minuteman life 

At the same time, they proposed 
that this approach eventually encom¬ 
pass all ICBM systems. The USAF 
agreed to the concept. The 
Peacekeeper system will soon be added 
and the group will become the ICBM 
Long Range Planning Group. 

The Organization 

The MLRP organization is headed 
by an Executive Committee comprising 
General Officers from Ogden Air 
Logistics Center (OO-ALC), the 
Ballistic Systems Division (BSD), and 
SAC. This committee meets at least 
once every two years in coordination 
with the Program Objectives 
Memorandum (POM) cycle . 4 

In addition to the Executive Com¬ 
mittee, a Steering Group meets yearly, 
a Systems Panel meets semiannually, 
and three Working Groups meet more 

frequently. The organization of the 
MLRP was designed with several goals 
in mind. 

First, it was believed that approval 
of the Executive Committee would add 
significant credibility to proposals 
presented during the POM process. 

Second, previous methods of re¬ 
quirements generation had led to a less 
than optimum communication be¬ 
tween the user and the buyer, be that 
AFSC or AFLC. A forum was needed 
where the user could articulate re¬ 
quirements, and the buyer could 
provide options to meet these 

Although there are differences in 
membership on the Systems Panel and 
Working Groups, there is a core of 
people from all three commands who 
attend all meetings. By involving key 
people early in the decision process, a 
closer working relationship between 
commands is developed. 

Finally, the three Working Groups 
are structured along functional lines to 
provide the necessary expertise in each 

To understand the workings and 
decision processes of the MLRP, it is 
helpful to examine the documents 
generated by the MLRP. 


There's good news and there’s bad news! 

The good news is that there is a 1°8° edition of the Program Manager’s Notebook fact sheets. The bad 
news is that acquiring a copy requires a written request. 

Most recipients of the 1985 edition are graduates of DSMCs Program Management Course ami or pro¬ 
gram managers or program office staffers. If you have a copy of the 1°85 edition, do you need the 1°8° 
edition? If you do and have not received it, send a card or letter to Director of Publications. DSMC-DRI-P. 
Fort Belvoir VA 22060-5426. We are printing in increments and will honor your request as soon as possible. 

The College will provide each procurement command with several copies that can be reproduced as needed. 

The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) will begin selling the Notebooks in late January l oo 0. The 
GPO Stock No. is 008-020-01 188-0 and the cost is $24.00. Persons outside the government should order 
from GPO. Send check or money order to Superintendent of Documents. U.S. Government Printing Of¬ 
fice Washington. DC 20402. Checks and money orders must be made payable to Superintendent of 
Documents. The GPO also accepts Mastercard and VISA. These orders may be made by telephone. Call 
(2021 785-5238. 

Robert W. Ball 

Program Manager 


lanuary-February 1°°0 

The Program Management Plan 
(PMP) serves as the charter of the 
group. It delineates the planning ap¬ 
proach, the organization of the group, 
responsibilities of the three commands 
and the panel and working groups, 
and a plan of execution of the MLRP. 
There are also periodic PMP Annexes 
which update the PMP as required. 

Mission Objectives 

The three functional Working 
Groups are separated into the areas of 
mission objectives, logistics re¬ 
quirements, and system options. The 
mission objectives group is chaired by 
the HQ SAC ICBM Requirements 
Directorate. This group has been 
assigned the task of identifying mission 
objectives for the next 20 years. Their 
starting point is an analysis of the 
threat. As was discussed earlier, this 
analysis is subject to a large amount of 
uncertainty. However, size of the 
group and its frequent meetings permit 
faster changes to threat assessments 
than are typically possible in the larger 
arena of National Intelligence 

The working relationship among the 
user (SAC), the system designer (BSD) 
and current system program manager 
(00-ALC) 6 also allows the MLRP to 
translate these changes into hardware 
in a much more efficient manner. In 
addition to threat assessment, the mis¬ 
sion objectives group is responsible for 
forecasting future ICBM force struc¬ 
tures. This requires them to make 
assumptions regarding the potential 
ICBM force mix among Minuteman II 
and III, Peacekeeper, Rail Garrision, 
and/or the Small ICBM. 

As part of this process, contingency 
planning is accomplished that ad¬ 
dresses the possibilities of one or more 
systems being delayed or cancelled. 
Force application for the Minuteman 
weapon system is also outlined by this 
group. The threat assessment force 
structure projections, and force ap¬ 
plication are included in the Mission 
Objective Report. This document is 
published semiannually. 

The Mission Objectives Report is 
then reviewed by the Logistics Work¬ 
ing Group, which is chaired by 
00-ALC, to determine logistics support 
requirements for the next 20 years. A 
supportability assessment is conducted 
which entails an examination of 
availability of spares and replacement 
parts, reliability studies, maintain¬ 
ability, and capability. 

Integrated logistics program plan¬ 
ning is accomplished at this point with 
a view to establishing logistics support 
effectiveness, cost, and schedule 
requirements. Like the Mission Objec¬ 
tives Group, the Logistics Group then 
presents findings in a Logistics 
Requirements Report. 

Available Options 

The System Options Group is 
chaired by the BSD. With mission and 
logistics requirements in hand, this 
group examines available options to 
implement system enhancements that 
will meet the mission objectives and 
logistics requirements. These changes 
could involve any component of the 
weapon system such as the missile 
itself, facilities, command, control, 
and communications (C 3 ), operational 
ground equipment, or maintenance 
support equipment. 

These may be further broken down 
into major subsystems of the missile 
such as propulsion, guidance and con¬ 
trol, or reentry vehicles and com¬ 
ponents of the facilities like the launch 
facility itself or the launch control 
facility. After examining all available 
options, the System Options Group 
formulates a System Options Report 
outlining the most feasible 

The documents prepared by the 
three working groups are then 
assembled into a Twenty-Year 
Technical Plan (TYTP). Contents of 
this document are illustrated in Figure 
l. s After approval by the Executive 
Committee, this becomes the current 
Minuteman master management plan 

for the next 20 years and, like the 
PMP, periodic updates are developed 
as required. 

After approval by members of the 
Executive Committee, these recom¬ 
mendations are presented as part of the 
POM process. If funding for im¬ 
plementation is authorized, the process 
will continue with System Re¬ 
quirements Analysis (SRA), conduct of 
tradeoff studies, and development of 
specifications for contractual action. A 
major program identified by the MLRP 
to receive funding was the Minuteman 
Rapid Execution and Combat 
Targeting (REACT) program. 7 

Successful Program 

Starting with feasibility studies in 
1956, the Minuteman I reached initial 
operational capability (IOC) 6 years 
later in 1962. Almost immediately, im¬ 
provements to guidance and launch 
control centers were developed and 
implemented in the Minuteman II 
which was first fielded in 1966. Finally, 
MIRV technology and additional 
guidance improvements were added to 
the Minuteman III which became 
operational in 1970. 

The Minuteman system's design re¬ 
quirements were based on a 3-year life 
with a design goal of 10 years. Not¬ 
withstanding these expectations, some 
Minuteman IIs have been operating for 
more than 20 years and have exceeded 
readiness specification requirements. 
Because of this extension, continual 
modifications have been made to the 
system to upgrade its capabilities and 
extend its useful life. 

These modifications have included 
improved hardening, silo upgrades, in¬ 
troduction of the Mark 12A warhead, 
and addition of the command data 
buffer for faster retargeting. In addi¬ 
tion, guidance improvements are 
under review for possible implementa¬ 
tion and a washout and repair of the 
State II and motor propulsion program 
should be completed by the early 

Program Manager 


January-February 1990 



















Despite its productive service life 
and its improved capabilities, 
however, there are concerns with the 
Minuteman system. The Minuteman 
represents 10-20 year-old technology. 
Potential improvements had been iden¬ 
tified by the three separate commands 
before formation of the planning 
group. A requirement for computer- 
aided message processing (CAMP) was 
being studied by the BSD while SAC 
had generated a requirement for faster 
retargeting capabilities. 

Both improvements were designed 
to improve SAC warfighting 
capabilities, particularly with regard to 
the Soviet deployment of mobile 
missiles. In order to attack these 
relocatable targets, the ICBM force re¬ 
quires expedited processing of 
emergency war orders (EWO) as well 
as a rapid retargeting capability. 

Working Conditions 

At the same time, SAC realized that 
the numerous modifications and com¬ 
munications additions to the launch 
control center (LCC) have resulted in 
difficult working conditions for the 
launch crew. These crews were 
required to work in a highly stressed 
environment with multiple messages 
and alarms resulting from myriad in¬ 
dependent systems they are required to 
monitor and operate. The tri¬ 
command MLRP Group determined it 
was necessary to integrate the various 
LCC add-ons and modifications. 

In studying these three programs 
already being proposed, the MLRP 
discovered that the three improve¬ 
ments impacted each other and 
REACT was developed to integrate all 
three modifications at the same time. 
This approach offered several 

By combining all three requirements 
into one program, duplication of effort 
was eliminated. In addition, the three 
changes involved responsibilities of 
two different AFSC Product 
Divisions—the BSD and the Elec¬ 
tronics Systems Division (ESD). Under 

a single program approach, the respon¬ 
sibilities were delineated in a 
Memorandum of Understanding be¬ 
tween the two offices, again 
eliminating duplication of effort and 
resulting in a substantial cost 

More Efficiency 

When completed, the REACT pro¬ 
gram will permit the launch control 
centers to stay on alert beyond the turn 
of the century, incorporate new 
functions, and provide for streamlined 
EWO operations. Integration of LCC 
functions will provide for more effi¬ 
cient two-crewmember operation and 
a workable one-crewmember opera¬ 
tion, except for launch and enable 
functions. It will improve logistics 

supportability and provide for growth 
capability by providing commonality 
among different systems required for 
deployment of either the Rail Garrison 
or Small ICBM systems. 

The MLRP concept is certainly not 
the solution to all the obstacles defense 
planners face but it does alleviate 
several of them. In the area of threat 
assessment, changes to existing systems 
can be implemented in a more timely 
manner and at less cost than previous 
methods of incremental improve¬ 
ments. While this concept is not novel 
to the ICBM program (in fact AFLC 
has utilized this concept on a number 
of other strategic programs) it is one 
example of the successful quality 
management approach to weapon 
system acquisition. 

Program Manager 


January-February 1990 

In the area of shrinking resources, 
better planning is an absolute neces¬ 
sity. It is a hard fact that requirements 
and missions are often dictated more 
by budgets and costs than by national 
security requirements. As has been 
mentioned, learning to do more with 
less will become essential for our 
strategic forces to maintain their deter¬ 
rent capability. The MLRP provides 
the long-term outlook, tempered by 
adaptability to change, that is required 
by fluctuations in resource availability. 


Although the MLRP, as currently 
structured, cannot impact on the forces 
of inter-service rivalry, it has ac¬ 
complished a great deal in ameliorating 
intra-service conflicts. Planning 
mission needs and requirements 
together fosters a better working rela¬ 
tionship among different USAF com¬ 
mands and offices. By developing a 
roadmap for system operation over its 
entire life cycle, competing command 
requirements can be coordinated, 
resulting in improved performance at 
less cost. 

Finally, the MLRP's greatest asset is 
flexibility. By planning at the systems 
level, requirements can be changed and 
adapted more quickly due to support 
of program managers at all three com¬ 
mands. With their involvement, and 
that of the Executive Committee, 
favorable reactions to resulting recom¬ 
mendations are more likely. 

The MLRP appears to be a concept 
with great potential for improving ex¬ 
isting capabilities at minimum cost. If 
fiscal constraints on defense spending 
continue to increase, it may represent 
one of the few methods available to the 
USAF to improve its deterrent 
capabilities while remaining within 

Although some may criticize this 
represents "deterrence on the economy 
plan," it is undeniable that re¬ 
quirements are increasing while 
available options are decreasing. 


While ICBM programs seem to have 
the greatest problems in securing 
funding, as concerns strategic systems, 
it is likely that the Navy will soon be 
facing similar difficulties. If so, this 
concept for long-range planning at the 
system level should be closely 
evaluated for possible use by the Navy 
in maintaining their portion of the 
strategic triad. 

Perhaps a more revolutionarv 
possibility would be the creation of a 
Joint Strategic TRIAD Planning Group 
to incorporate, at the working level, 
the potential contingencies for strategic 

Thus, the bomber and missile work¬ 
ing groups would structure their plans 
to agree with those of the SLBM 
working group. This form of multiser¬ 
vice cooperation is totally in accord 
with the Defense Reorganization Act 
of 1986 and the National Security 
Decision Directive (NSDD) 219 which 
advocated the consolidation of Service 

"The Defense Reorganization Act 
and NSDD 219 have provided the 
OJCS with the means to help reduce 
these sources of instability so that pro¬ 
gram managers can concentrate on the 
internal elements of their programs a 
little more and the externals a little less. 
During the coming years, program 
managers can expect to see more sister- 
Service uniforms in the meeting room, 
more joint funding initiatives, and less 
tolerance for the discovery of dis¬ 
jointed efforts". 8 

In summary, the MLRP concept of¬ 
fers few, if any, disadvantages and 
much to recommend it. Its true effec¬ 
tiveness, however, can only be judged 
by time and the results it is able to 
achieve in the challenging years to 


1 . A Quest for Excellence, Final 
Report of the President's Blue Ribbon 
Commission on Defense Management 
(June 1986), xvii. 

2. Long-term planning, as used in 
this paper, refers to a period beyond 
the next budget year. The MLRP uses 
time periods of 5, 10, 15, and 20 years 
for planning purposes. 

3. Retired Brigadier General Gerald 
Schwankl, as quoted in "The Price for 
Might," IEEE Spectrum 25, No. 12 
(1988), 41. 

4. The POM is an integral part of the 
Planning, Programming, and 
Budgeting System (PPBS) which is the 
cornerstone of the Defense budgeting 
process. The POM represents each Ser¬ 
vice's requirements to be added to the 
Five Year Defense Plan (FYDP). An 
excellent explanation of the PPBS pro¬ 
cess can be found in The Planning, 
Programming and Budgeting System 
(PPBS)—A Primer, (Washington D.C.: 
U.S. Air Force, 1981.) 

5. Figure 1 is a chart used in briefing 
the original MLRP concept to the Air 

6. The Ogden Air Logistics Center, 
as the Minuteman system program 
manager, is responsible for the support 
of this deployed system. 

7. The REACT program mentioned 
here is only a minor portion of the 
total MLRP. 

8. Program Manager, July-August 
1988, Lt Col Christopher Wain, USAF. 

Program Manager 


lanuary-February 1990 


David D. Acker 

ffective communication involves a good exchange 
of thoughts, concepts, ideas or opinions between 
one person, or one group, and another. It involves sharing 
information and, at times, expressing emotions. In business 
and industry, three important communication processes oc¬ 
cur, namely, gathering information with which to make 
decisions, passing on the decisions, and changing attitudes. 

Effectively communicating may require planning, pa¬ 
tience, and skillful execution. According to George 
Vardaman, "Effective communication is purposive symbolic 
interchange resulting in a workable understanding and agree¬ 
ment between the sender and the receiver." 1 Today, the 
successful manager or professional person can meld the 
message into an effective presentation for achieving desired 

Importance of Effective Communication 

Let's turn attention to the importance of communication 
to management success. The need to communicate clearly 
has been recognized by notable people like Henri Fayol, 
French mining engineer, who included "unity of direction" 
among his seven management principles. 2 Charles Bernard, 
author of The Functions of the Executive, felt that 
maintenance of (effective) organizational communication 
was one of the basic executive functions. 3 Indeed, effective 
communication may be the essence of organizational 

The growth of interest in effective communication by 
management in the last century may be attributed to the 

— Increase in the size of domestic companies and growth 
of international companies. 

—Specialization of occupations and increased need for 
cooperation between them. 

—Growth of national communication networks; i.e., 
telephone, radio, television, satellites, computer networks, 
fax machines and others. 

— Increase in occupational mobility, meaning new 
employees must "learn the ropes" quickly. 

—Belief that above changes and trends are likely to 

One reason for growing, widespread interest in effective 
communications is because our communications have not 
been as effective as they should be. Why? There has been: 

—Frustration at all managerial levels because of lack of 
clearly defined responsibilities, and 

—Lack of clear communications up and down the 
organizational ladder. 

Broadly speaking, for every difficulty encountered within 
a modern-day organization, there seems to be some kind 
of insufficient, distorted, or poorly planned or timed ex¬ 
change of information. Most of us recognize that commu¬ 
nications problems have become one of the most frequent 
causes and effects of administrative or operational 

Even in top management, these problems occur. Accord¬ 
ing to Maier, communication gaps among managers often 
are wider than within the more routine positions they con¬ 
trol. 4 An examination of four companies revealed com¬ 
munications failures are an everyday occurrence, at all 
organization levels. It is interesting that failures are not con¬ 
fined to periods when major organizational changes are tak¬ 
ing place. 

Someone made the observation that the more education 
the subordinate has, the more accurate communication tends 
to be with management. Similarly, the more feedback in¬ 
volved between a managerial pair, the better listening ability 
of the superior, and the higher the managerial style of the 
subjects, the more effective the communication. 

According to Peter F. Drucker, "Managing requires special 
efforts not only to establish common directions, but to 
eliminate misdirection. Mutual understanding can never be 
attained by 'communications down,' solely by talking. It 
results too from 'communications up.' It requires both the 
supervisor's willingness to listen and a tool designed to make 
employees heard.” 5 

Number of Links in Process 

Distance, in terms of the number of links (people) in the 
communication process from sender to final receiver, is a 
major cause of breakdown. For example, rumors become 
more inaccurate as links increase. Each link tends to add 

Drucker states "Every additional administrative level 
makes the attainment of common direction and mutual 
understanding more difficult. Every additional level distorts 
objectives and misdirects attention. Every link in the chain 
sets up additional stresses, and creates one more source of 
inertia, friction, and slack." 6 

Program Manager 


January-February 1990 

Many companies in recent years 
have reduced the number of levels in 
their organizations. The least number 
of links might be called, "the man, the 
manager, the management organiza¬ 
tion." Top executives have the greatest 
amount of decision-making power. 
Therefore, they have the greatest need 
for information that is correct and 
reliable. If information in the informa¬ 
tion channel gets heavy or clogged, 
management has less time to consider 
and digest it. The manager may have 
to be briefed by an assi«tant(s) and, as 
a result, the manager may become in¬ 
sulated from the true facts of what is 
going on. Most managers, of course, 
like to think there is a pyramid of com¬ 
munication centered beneath them. In 
fact, there may be a labyrinth of com¬ 
munication barriers below them. 

Speed of Process 

Speed of information diffusion is an 
interesting study. It is effected by size 
of the organization, potency of the 
information (information of great in¬ 
terest travels faster), time for transmis¬ 
sion (diffusion rates rise quickly and 
slow down gradually), space factor 
(physical proximity to the source of 
information is the strongest factor in 
determining whether a particular per¬ 
son receives the message), and stimula¬ 
tion factor (it takes a great increase in 
the initial input of information to get 
a small increase in diffusion of the 
information). 7 

Some researchers found that speed 
and accuracy in communication are 
complementary. The Duke of Well¬ 
ington told his commanders to "do the 
business of the day in the day." 

Frequency of Process 

There is a direct association between 
frequency of communication and good 
leadership behavior. A person com¬ 
municating with another receives 
recognition and a sense of well-being 
is enhanced. 8 

If there is a high wall or closed door 
between a subordinate and a manager, 
the subordinate's well-being is affected. 
This has been an argument in favor of 
open office and factory areas. There 
have been complaints about open 
areas. Some feel such conditions per¬ 
mit too much communication, disturb¬ 
ing people on the fringes trying to 
carry out assignments efficiently. 

Quantities of official communica¬ 
tion do not help solve management or 
organization problems. Communica¬ 
tion improvement programs often 
prove ineffective because they 
overload formal communication chan¬ 
nels. Effective functioning of the 
organization and the communication 
process depends on an optimum ex¬ 
change of information. When a task is 
delegated to an administrative assis¬ 
tant, the assistant becomes insulated to 
some extent from certain aspects of the 
task assigned; he not only becomes in¬ 
sulated, but needs to be. Barriers to 
communication are sometimes neces¬ 
sary to get the job done. In an 
organization, some channel(s) must be 
kept open for the flow of crucial, 
available information. 

Many managers find that of all ac¬ 
tivities they are required to carry on, 
verbal interaction is the number one 
form of contact. These managers 
believe that such contact may consume 
as much as 80 percent of their time. In 
a study conducted many years ago by 
Thomas Bums, it was found that as the 
management time spent in oral com¬ 
munication dropped from 80 percent 
to 42 percent, lateral communication 
with colleagues (in the upper percen¬ 
tages) changed to vertical communica¬ 
tion. 9 Further, success in communica¬ 
tion decreased as the direction 

Middle managers in formal organi¬ 
zations tend to overestimate frequency 
of personal contact with subordinates. 
Conversely, these managers often feel 
their most difficult communication 

problem is getting sufficient time or at¬ 
tention from their immediate superior. 
For good reasons, they have a desire 
for adequate and successful communi¬ 
cation with their superiors. 

Promotionally minded subordinates 
tend to restrict communicaton to their 
superiors, perhaps in an effort to 
maximize positive aspects of their suc¬ 
cess in assignments. Subordinates dis¬ 
trusting their superiors tend to restrict 
communication with their superiors, 
generallly feeling superiors may use in¬ 
formation against them. 

Communication Media 

The main media for communication 
tend to be the same inside or outside 
the organization, such as speaking, 
writing, reading, and appearance. To 
be successful, the transmitted message 
and the received message must match 
as closely as possible. Failures occur in 
the "coding" and "decoding" process. 

Most of us expect language to 
transmit messages accurately, and 
without help from within the organiza¬ 
tion. Most of us believe it is beneficial 
to document organizational (company) 
terminology. However, some people 
believe management should guard 
against undue reliance on the written 
word because it may become a substi¬ 
tute for face-to-face communication 
and, as such, lose its effectiveness. 

More than one medium may be used 
at the same time. The media used may 
reinforce one another or they may con¬ 
tradict one another. Most of us find it 
difficult to reconcile conflicting signals, 
particularly if they involve gestures 
and appearance. For example, if ac¬ 
tions are used as the means of commu¬ 
nication, and the actions don't fit the 
statements made, communication 
problems arise. 

Most research on communication 
media have been focused on problems 
of oral and written messages. Let's con- 

Program Manager 


January-Februarv l oo 0 

sider employee handbooks and posi¬ 
tion/job descriptions. In most 
organizations there is usually low 
reader interest in handbooks and 
published position/job descriptions. 
Details of work to be done do not 
necessarily reflect the degree of agree¬ 
ment between the manager and subor¬ 
dinate on the details of the work 

"In-house" publications, like com¬ 
pany magazines or newsletters, and 
periodic newspapers are often used as 
basic presentational media. Sometimes 
the house organ is used by manage¬ 
ment as its principal means of com¬ 
munication with employees. 

House organs are interesting to 
readers when style is informal. 
Employees will usually obtain infor¬ 
mation from organizational contacts 
when the house organ is stiff, precise 
or filled with jargon. 

On the other hand, difficulties arise 
when informal, spoken communica¬ 
tions convey messages in-house. Vital 
pieces of information may be commit¬ 
ted to memory but details may become 
blurred. An effective manager ensures 
that important information is commit¬ 
ted to writing, but still speaks to subor¬ 
dinates more often than using 
memoranda or guides to action. Before 
a decision is made about the com¬ 
munication to use, a good manager 
considers comprehensibility of the 
message to be delivered. 

In the final analyses, the human 
medium is the most important com¬ 
munication medium. When a manager 
recognizes he is the communication 
carrier, this knowledge can be helpful 
in developing the perspective needed 
to maximize a communication capabil¬ 
ity. The manager, to be an effective 
communicator, must develop a proper 
attitude and outlook; personal com¬ 
munication confidence; ability to use 
language, voice, and body when orally 
communicating orders and ideas; clear 
and precise statement of purpose when 

writing a message; and an ability to 
recognize and handle needs and feel¬ 
ings of the message receiver, regardless 
of the communication medium he 

Closing Thoughts 

I have briefly examined the role 
of communication in exchanging 
thoughts and concepts and its impor¬ 
tance to management. I focused on 
benefits and problems associated with 
the various communication methods. 
One thing every manager should 
undertand is expressed well in the 
following quotation: "The manager's 
willingness to be accessible to subor¬ 
dinates and to attend to what is said 
plays a part not only as a direct link 
in the communications process but also 
as an example to others. Effective 
managers are typically regarded by 
their subordinates as being informed, 
open in communication, accessible, 
and receptive. They have personal 
skills in communication and give a 
great deal of time and attention to the 
communication process among their 
associates." 10 

Remember that communication is 
always a two-way process. At the 
outset, the communication sender 
must attempt to identify the receiver, 
and recognize the receiver will identify 
him through the communication. 

The effective manager sends clear, 
concise, accurate and undistorted 
messages; further, learns to be a good 
message receiver and "tunes-in" to 
non-verbal messages and oral and 
written messages. Lunchtime discus¬ 
sions by subordinates of such a 
manager don't lead to the question: "I 
wonder what the boss really meant 
when he said...?" 

What kind of message did you 
receive from reading this article? Do 
you have a better understanding of the 
importance of effective communica¬ 
tion? Have you really been communi¬ 
cating effectively, or do you need to 
make changes in your approach? 


1. George T. Vardaman, Effective 
Communication of Ideas, (New York, 
N.Y.: VanNostrand Reinhold Com¬ 
pany, 1970). 

2. Henri Fayol, General Industrial 

3. Charles Bernard, The Functions of 
the Executive (Cambridge, Mass.: Har¬ 
vard University Press, 1951). 

4. N. R. F. Maier, L. R. Hoffman, J. 
J. Hooven, and W. H. Read, American 
Management Association, Research 
Study No. 52, 1961. 

5. Peter F. Drucker, professor of 
management, distinguished university 
lecturer, consultant, and author of 
more than a dozen books on manage¬ 
ment including Management: 

6. Ibid. 

7. S. Dodd, "Test Message Diffusion 
in Controlled Experiments," American 
Sociological Review, No. 18, 1953. 

8. Chris Argyis, et al, Business 
Behavior Behaviorally Viewed, 
Dorsey, Homewood, Illinois. 1962. 

9. Thomas Burns, "The Direction of 
Activity and Communications in a 
Departmental Executive Group," 
Human Relations, No. 7, 1961. 

10. F. Mann and ]. Dent, Appraisals 
of Supervisors, Institute for Social 
Research, University of Michigan, Ann 
Arbor, 1954. 

Professoi■ Acker is a senior member of the 
research staff, Department of Research and 
Information , Defense Systems Management 
College. Much of the material in this ar¬ 
ticle will be added to the second edition of 
his widely acclaimed book Skill in Com¬ 
munication: A Vital Element in Effec¬ 
tive Management planned for publication 
in 1990. 

Program Manager 


January-February 1900 



Questions concerning the availability of Defense Systems 
Management College publications are daily fare for the 
Publications Directorate. This article is a status/availability 

The College has 28 handbooks and guides available 
through the DSMC Publications Directorate, the U.S. 
Government Printing Office (GPO), the Defense Technical 
Information Center (DT1C) and the National Technical In¬ 
formation Service (NTIS). The College provides limited 
copies of these books to students, faculty, program offices, 
other branches of the government and to individuals in the 
government. Commercial requests are referred to GPO, 
DTIC or NTIS. The GPO sells 15 DSMC publications and 
is expected to add 4 more to that list in 1990. Copy made 
from microfiche is available through DTIC and NTIS. 
Defense contractors and government agencies can buy from 
DTIC. The same copy, using the same reference number, 
is available to the general public from NTIS. The GPO 
copies are perfect-bind publications suitable for bookcase 
and desktop display. 

The following list provides titles and GPO and DTIC 
stock numbers. The GPO price is included. Costs of docu¬ 
ments ordered from DTIC and NTIS depend on whether you 
order all or part of the document. Naturally, one chapter 
from the Defense Manufacturing Management Guide will 
cost less than the entire book. 

A Program Office Guide to Management of Technology 
Transfer - DT1C/NTIS Stock No. ADA 214 265 

Acquisition Strategy Guide - 1984 DTIC/NTIS Stock No. 
ADA 148 423 (NOTE: This guide is being updated. We ex¬ 
pect it will be available at each of the above agencies by 
late spring 1990.) 

Congressional Involvement and Relations - DTIC/NTIS 
Stock No. ADA 214 408 

Cost Realism - DTIC/NTIS Stock No. ADA 214 266 (This 
book will be considered by GPO when it is updated in late 
1990 or early 1991.) 

Defense Manufacturing Management Guide - DTIC/NTIS 
Stock No. ADA 214 341 - GPO Stock No. 008-020- 01169-0, 

Designing Defense Systems - DTIC/NTIS Stock No. ADA 
192 007 (NOTE: A revised version of this book is sched¬ 
uled for early 1990. The new title will be Designing Quality 
into Defense Systems. We will publish availability informa¬ 
tion in a later issue of Program Manager.) 

Establishing Competitive Production Sources - DTIC/NTIS 
Stock No. ADA 146 006 - GPO Stock No. 008-020-01037-5, 

Evolutionary Acquisition an Alternative Strategy for Ac¬ 
quiring C2 Systems - DTIC/NTIS Stock No. ADA 190 509 

Glossary of Defense Acquisition Acronyms and Terms - 
GPO Stock No. 008-020-01187-8 (This is a revision and 
should be in all systems by mid-January 1990. We did not 
have a GPO price or a DTIC/NTIS Stock No. at press time.) 

Guide for the Management of Multinational Programs - 
DTIC/NTIS Stock No. ADA 191 433 - GPO Stock No. 
008-020-01129-1, $25.00 

Integrated Logistics Support Guide - DTIC/NTIS Stock No. 
ADA 192 008 - GPO Stock No. 008-020-01081-2, $10.00 
(Update due in late summer or early fall 1990.) 

Integrating Industrial Preparedness into the Acquisition Pro¬ 
cess - DTIC/NTIS Stock No. ADA 214 343 - GPO Stock 
No. 008-020-01165-7, $10.00 

Introduction to Defense Acquisition Management - 
DTIC/NTIS Stock No. ADA 209 388 - GPO Stock No. 
008-020-01168-1, $2.50 

Joint Logistics Commander's Guide for the Management of 
Joint Service Programs - DTIC/NTIS Stock No. ADA 189 

Managing Quality and Productivity in Aerospace and 
Defense - GPO Stock No. 008-020-01179-7, $15.00 
(DTIC/NTIS Stock No. not available at press time.) 

Mission Critical Computer Resources Management Guide 
- GPO Stock No. 008-020-01152-6, $11.00 (DTIC/NTIS 
Stock No. not available at press time.) 

Risk Management Concepts and Guidance - DTIC/NTIS 
Stock No. ADA 214 342 - GPO Stock No. 008-020-01164-9, 

Scheduling Guide for Program Managers - DTIC/NTIS 
Stork No. ADA 192 011 - GPO Stock No. 008-020-01130-4, 
$3.25 (An update of this publication will be available in early 

Skill in Communication - This popular booklet is being 
revised and will be in the GPO system in the late spring of 
1990. To order the current edition, use GPO Stock No. 
008-020-01036-7, $2.00. 

Subcontracting Management Handbook - DTIC/NTIS 
Stock No. ADA (not available at press time) - GPO Stock 
No. 008-020-01140-1, $8.00 

Systems Engineering Management Guide - DTIC/NTIS 
Stock No. ADA 192 010 - GPO Stock No. 008-020-01099-5, 
$17.00 (An update of this book will be in the system by early 
spring 1990.) 

Test and Evaluation Management Guide - DTIC/NTIS 
Stock No. ADA (not available at press time.) - GPO Stock 
No. 008-020-01135-5, $15.00 

The Program Manager's Notebook - DTIC/NTIS Stock No. 
ADA 214 338 - GPO Stock No. 008-020-01188-6. $24.00 
(NOTE: Will not be available at GPO until around Jan. 20. 

Warranty Handbook - DTIC' NTIS Stock No. ADA 170 448 

The following books are available onlv through 

Proceedings. 1989 Acquisition Research Symposium - ADA 
214 344 


Program Manager 


January-February ]ooo 



Michael N. Beltramo 

A bout three decades ago Secretary of Defense 
Robert McNamara endorsed the cost-saving at¬ 
tributes of competition in defense procurement. He set a 
standard of 25 percent for expected savings. A large body 
of research has since attempted to confirm or contradict his 
dictum. Many estimates of added costs or savings due to 
competition have resulted. Those estimates result from a 
posteriori assessments about what an item would have cost 
without competition. 

This paper identifies and discusses analytical methods used 
to evaluate the economic effects of production competition. 
It does not promote one over another. Rather, it shows that 
all methodologies have serious deficiencies. Therefore, con¬ 
clusions about the economic effects of competition must be 
carefully drawn and case sensitive in nature. 

What Are We Trying To Do? 

Most competitive programs have followed a period of 
sole-source production. Many have been analyzed to deter¬ 
mine the economic effects of competition. Several 
methodologies have been employed for this purpose but 
most follow similar steps. They are: 

—Obtain historical cost data including non-recurring costs 
to establish competition, initial (sole) source recurring pro¬ 
duction costs, and competitive production costs for both 

—Estimate sole-source cost for the competed quantity. 

—Compare actual competitive cost (including non¬ 
recurring and marginal recurring costs) with the hypothetical 
sole-source cost. 

—Determine effect of competition on procurement cost. 

However, they differ regarding methods used to estimate 
the sole-source cost and the explicit and implicit assump¬ 
tions they incorporate. In addition, there are often 
discrepancies and uncertainties about the content and nature 
of the available data. Both of these issues are discussed 

Problems with Non-recurring Cost Data and Their 

Problems with available data cut across all analytical 
methodologies. Furthermore, they underscore differences 
between a competitive environment (including one where 
competition is threatened) and a sole-source atmosphere. 

Industry often allocates non-recurring costs to establish 
a second source. These costs are expended for: technology 
transfer, additional tooling and test equipment required by 
the second source, and educational units produced to qualify 
the second source. In addition, the government generally 
needs additional staff to oversee establishment of a second 

Identification of all non-recurring costs would seem to be 
a straightforward task. But that is not the case. Government 
does not record and track its costs related to selecting, quali¬ 
fying, and managing a second source. Furthermore, the ini¬ 
tial source often receives additional contract awards to assist 
with engineering problems experienced by the second source 
after competition has begun. Failure to identify these expen¬ 
ditures understates non-recurring costs. 

This raises the important issue of the difference in con¬ 
tent between sole source and competitive production con¬ 
tracts. Sole-source production contracts normally include 
funds for related engineering and technical support services 
and for required hardware items. These additional costs are 
often reflected in the sole-source baseline but are missing 
from competitive contracts. 1 Thus, an apples and oranges 
problem exists when extrapolating a sole-source contract 
cost that includes services in addition to hardware and com¬ 
paring the result to competitive contracts for hardware only. 

Claims against the government filed and won by disgrun¬ 
tled second sources are another non-recurring cost element. 
In effect, some means of implementing competition have 
provided second sources with an insurance policy. 
Specifically, second sources may recover overruns caused 
by optimistic fixed-price bids by blaming an allegedly defec¬ 
tive technical data package. There is no systematic procedure 
for tracking and recording claims. But they are a non¬ 
recurring cost of competition. 

Data are subject to different interpretations. For exam¬ 
ple, the lot at which competition began may be an issue. 
There is disagreement about whether competition for the 
Sparrow AIM-7F Missile began at Lot 3 or Lot 5 (i.e., 
whether it began when Raytheon—the initial source- 
expected it to or when General Dynamics actually bid for 
a competitive quantity). The Lot 3 assumption indicates an 
estimated savings while the Lot 5 assumption shows a higher 
cost as a result of competition. 

In addition to the identification and interpretation of data, 
methodologies for making required economic adjustments 
are subject to error. Most agree that a suitable discount rate 
is appropriate for reflecting the time value of money. Yet, 
even skilled practitioners have had difficulty applying this 
principle. For example, a recent DOD Inspector General 
report stated: "Adjustments should be made for the time 
value of money because several years may elapse between 
the time 'up front' investments are made and the time when 
the second source can effectively compete." 2 Yet, in ad¬ 
justing for the time value of money, they used a 10 percent 
factor rather than a rate to assess costs of several competitive 
programs. This failure to apply its stipulated methodology 
correctly caused a substantial understatement of non¬ 
recurring costs. 3 

Program Manager 


January-February 1°°0 


The treatment of low-rate initial 
production units for the sole source has 
caused problems. 4 Specifically, are 
they part of development cost or 
should they be incorporated into the 
learning curve? 5 This is more than an 
academic issue because those units are 
often relatively expensive and, as a 
consequence, their omission may 
significantly change the sole source 
cost profile. 

The Baseline 

The Institute for Defense Analysis 
developed the baseline methodology 
for estimating the effects of competi¬ 
tion on recurring production costs in 
1974.° This methodology consists of 
extrapolating the sole-source learning 
curve as the basis for estimating the 
sole-source cost for producing the en¬ 
tire competitive quantity. The dif¬ 
ference between the actual and 
estimated costs is attributed to com¬ 
petition as either an added cost or 

This methodology is commendable 
for its simplicity which allows com¬ 
petitive programs with more than one 
initial sole-source lot to be measured 
by the same yardstick. But this 
simplicity has exposed it to criticism 
that results are misleading because it 
neglects important factors. 

Many factors influence the slope of 
learning curves. They include, among 
others, changes in production rate, 
tooling, capital equipment and 
facilities, and product design as well as 
management strategy. However, learn¬ 
ing curves conceal individual effects of 
these factors by lumping them 

Critics of the baseline methodology 
have focused primarily on three issues 
that bias or limit the resulting 

—The sole-source curve may 
reflect management's response to an 
impending competition. Therefore, it 
does not accurately indicate what its 
behavior would have been without a 
competitive threat. For example, 
management may have elected to 
charge a higher price to skim greater 
profits by exploiting its transient 
monopoly position, or it may have set 
a lower price to deter the creation of 
a competitor. 7 

-Sole-source learning curves 
based upon price may mask important 
shifts in cost and/or profits. For exam¬ 

ple, extrapolating a learning curve that 
incorporated significant profit reduc¬ 
tions or increases between the first and 
second lots implies that profit would 
continue to shrink or grow steadily as 
quantity increased. This is an im¬ 
probable outcome. 

—Learning curves do not treat 
productior-rate effects explicitly. 
Therefore, a significant rate increase or 
decrease during competition could 
cause related price changes by the ini¬ 
tial source to be wrongly attributed to 

Alternative Methods 

Alternative analytical methods have 
been employeed to correct these prob¬ 
lems. They have faults of their own, 
some of which are discussed below. 

Sole-source learning curves based on 
cost instead of price seek to avoid 
problems caused by significant profit 
shifts at the beginning of a program. 
While such curves give a more accurate 
picture of initial source behavior 
regarding cost, they omit consideration 
of a key factor related to competition: 
management decisions about accept¬ 
able/achievable profit levels. Addi¬ 
tionally, cost data (exclusive of profit) 
are often unattainable which, thereby, 
cause this methodology to impede in¬ 
terprogram comparisons. 

Another alternative methodology 
constrains the sole source to customary 
and reasonable values for learning 
curve and/or production-rate slopes. 
This is done to obtain a sole-source 
estimate devoid of competitive 
strategies. However, such a wide range 
of values comprise industry norms that 
a "typical value" may be significantly 
too high or too low for a given case. 
Thus, prescription of incorrect values 
could misstate the magnitude or even 
the direction of the competitive effect. 

Several variations of another alter¬ 
native methodology treat production 
rate as an independent variable to 
eliminate the annual cost effects of pro¬ 
duction build-ups or slow-downs. The 
idea is that dramatic rate shifts may 
mask the effects of competition on 
price. Difficulty in obtaining accurate 
data is a fundamental problem with 
this methodology. Annual procure¬ 
ment quantities commonly serve as 
proxies for production rate because 
they are easier to obtain than data 
related to annual deliveries. But, the 
two may vary significantly. Further¬ 

more, adept scheduling has avoided 
dramatic rate variances implied by 
large shifts in annual procurement 

Accurate annual quantity data are 
necessary but not sufficient to deter¬ 
mine rate effects on cost. Product- 
oriented plants that produce unique 
end-items (e.g., assembly of Sparrow 
missiles) may have different optimal 
production rates (i.e., Raytheon could 
be more efficient at a higher or lower 
rate than GD). In other cases, cost ef¬ 
fects attributed to rate may be due to 
other activities at the plant (e.g., 
Raytheon's production cost for 
Sparrow might increase or decrease in 
accordance with production rates for 
Phoenix, SM-2, Sidewinder, and 

Thus, effects of production rate on 
competitive costs may be more ap¬ 
parent than real. They may lead to 
self-fulfilling prophecies. Consider the 
following example where initial source 
excess capacity leads to "competitive 

Firm A has special tooling and test 
equipment sufficient for producing 
1000 units per year. A subsequent pro¬ 
gram budget reduction limits it to 600 
units per year. Its costs are higher than 
estimated. The government establishes 
Firm B as a second source to produce 
up to 60 percent of the new annual 
quantity (360 units per year). B sub¬ 
mits a lower bid than A for the initial 
split-buy because its tooling is 
appropriate for the new rate (i.e., 360 
vs. 1000 units per year). And the 
government chalks up another com¬ 
petitive cost saving. 

All of the alternative methodologies 
introduce problems of their own 
making into the analytical process. 
Moreover, there is a problem common 
to all methodologies. They focus on in¬ 
dividual programs. 

Common Problem 

No methodology has been devel¬ 
oped that looks at the causes of com¬ 
petitive behavior and the effects of 
competition above the individual pro¬ 
gram level: specifically, at how firms 
have managed their mix of programs 
to achieve optimal returns and how 
broader economic conditions have ef¬ 
fected competitiveness. 

Competition has expanded the focus 
of defense industry management 8 to 
consider overall profitability as 

Program Manager 


lanuary-Februarv 1°°0 

opposed to the welfare of individual 
fiefdoms. Now, competitive bid deci¬ 
sions more often consider the effect of 
a program on amortizing fixed 
overhead and, therefore, increasing the 
profitability of programs already in- 
house. They also weigh technical 
synergy with other programs or new 
business growth targets. 

A downside to this greater manage¬ 
ment perspective is the shifting of costs 
to "protected programs."' Black pro¬ 
grams have grown substantially since 
the expansion of competition and anec¬ 
dotes about their relatively high 
overheads abound. Without a 
systematic analysis of the effects of 
competitive programs on a contrac¬ 
tor's total business it is impossible to 
determine how the government has 
fared overall. 

Survival is an even more compelling 
incentive than strategy. Some analysts 
have suggested the importance of in¬ 
dustry capacity in determining com¬ 
petitiveness. This factor is evident in 
ship building where excess industry 
capacity has combined with competi¬ 
tion to generate dramatic projected 
savings. Management's choice has 
been clear: bid at a loss and hope to 
recover through subsequent changes or 
go out of business. And competitive 
savings are projected based upon fixed 
price incentive contracts. They may 
disappear if the government's ultimate 
choice is between causing a contractor 
to file for bankruptcy or terminating 
it for default rather than paying a 
higher price. 


It is important to put objections to 
the baseline and alternative analytical 
methodologies into the proper perspec¬ 
tive. Each has its faults. But, when 
used appropriately and their results are 
interpreted with restraint, important 
about the ''what, how, and why'' of 
competitive cases follow. Still, single¬ 
point estimates of added costs or sav¬ 
ings attributed to competition should 
receive little confidence. 

Furthermore, our inability to 
estimate economic effects of competi¬ 
tion with confidence implies that 
models purporting to forecast the 
economic benefits are irrational. The 
number of important variables that are 
not captured by historical data would 
necessarily be absent in a predictive 
model and, therefore, similarly limit its 

All the issues raised above not¬ 
withstanding, the push toward joint 
ventures or teamed development pro¬ 
grams leading to production competi¬ 
tion has changed the nature of the 
baseline in at least two important 

— The "perfect information'' 
gained by involvement in a program 
from the beginning should eliminate 
bids by an ignorant second source that 
have provided competitive savings. 

— When two firms are involved in 
a development, it is not clear how their 
learning curves would compare with a 
"typical'' sole-source curve. 

Thus, the rules of the game have 
changes so significantly that even ac¬ 
curate estimates of the economic effects 
of "typical dual source competition" 
may not be relevant for current ac¬ 
quisition strategies. 


1. They are often funded under a 
separate contract with the developer. 

2. DoDIG, Report on the Audit of 
Dual-Source Procurement Techniques 
(Report No. 88-163), June 7, 1988, p. 

3. Ibid, "Analysis of Investment 
Costs," p. 37. 

4. Second source LRIP usually con¬ 
stitutes an educational buy. The dif¬ 
ference between that price and the 
current sole-source price for the same 
quantity is treated as either a debit or 
credit in calculating non-recurring 

5. A reasonable convention is to 
count them as production units if they 
were produced by hard tooling and/or 
became operational (vs. test) units. 

6. Zusman, Morris, et al, A Quan¬ 
titative Examination of Cost-Quantity 
Relationships, Competition During 
Reprocurement, and Military Versus 
Commercial Prices for Three Types of 
Vehicles, AD 784 335, Institute for 
Defense Analysis, March 1974. 

7. In the vast majority of competitive 
cases with more than two sole-source 
lots, the final sole-source point has 
been substantially below the learning- 
curve slope. This means that the sole- 
source baseline for the competitive 
estimate is often above the last sole 
source buy (i.e., it is assumed that the 
initial competitive buy will be at a 
higher price than the final sole-source 

buy). Thus, the baseline model has 
often provided estimates of com¬ 
petitive savings than logic would sup¬ 
port. But, there is no statistically 
acceptable way of weighting a par¬ 
ticular data point. 

8. At least for the management of 
firms that have fared well under 

Dr. Beltramo is President of Beltmmo 
and Associates , a Los A ngcles based 
management consulting firm specializing in 
competitive strategies and cost analysis. 


(Continued from page 15) 

Lessons Learned Ml Abrams Tank 
System - Stock No. ADA 135 524; Ad¬ 
vanced Attack Helicoper - Stock No. 
ADA 135 521; Multiple Launch Rocket 
System - Stock No. ADA 116 364 

Strategies for Dealing With the De¬ 
fense Budget - Stock No. ADA 134 459 

A new guide. Program Manager's 
Guide for Monitoring Contractor 
Overhead/Indirect Cost, is expected to 
be published in mid-1990. We will an¬ 
nounce the availability in Program 

Questions about these handbooks 
and guides and about planned revi¬ 
sions or new books should be 
addressed to the Director of Publica¬ 
tions, DSMC-DRI-P, Fort Belvoir, VA 
22060-5426; Phone (703) 664-5082 or 
664-5992; Autovon 354-5082. 

Orders to GPO, DTIC and NTIS 
may be placed at the following: 

Superintendent of Documents 
U S. Government Printing Office 
Washington, DC 20402 

(202) 783-3238 (Mastercard or VISA) 

Defense Technical Information Center 
Attn: DOC Orders 
Cameron Station 
Alexandria, VA 22304-6145 

(202) 274-7633; AV 284-7633 

National Technical Information 

5248 Port Royal Road 
Springfield, VA 22101 
(703) 487-4650 

Robert W. Ball 

Program Manager 


lanuary-February l oc) 0 


Robert A. Wehrle 


ill he defense budget, like a huge boulder, rests squarely 
JL in the path of a glacier. The momentum to balance 
the federal budget is only beginning to build. Having been 
institutionalized by the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act, it is 
a trend that will not soon die. In the face of decreasing 
budgets, a zealous press and obvious cases of inefficiency, 
the Secretary of Defense declared Total Quality Manage¬ 
ment (TQM) as top priority to help cut costs and improve 
efficiency. As part of the implementation effort, a TQM 
reading list was published. In this article, I examine and sum¬ 
marize contents of that list. 

The TQM reading list at Table 1 can be put into three 
classes of books: 

— Foundation, books providing the bedrock upon which 
TQM has been built. Interestingly, all are written by 
Western authors. 

—Japanese Technique, books describing the Oriental pro¬ 
cess, written by Eastern and Western authors. 

— U.S. Technique, books describing application of 
Japanese techniques in the Western business world, written 
exclusively by Western authors. 

Table 2 shows the TQM reading list according to this 

Even cursory reading of books on this list reveals TQM 
is not a magic elixir. It is not a new and innovative way 
of doing business. 

So, just what is TQM? The TQM effort is a school of 
thought; how you define it depends to an extent on your 

—From a senior management perspective, TQM can be 
viewed as a long-term commitment to improve organiza¬ 
tional communication, efficiency, productivity, com¬ 
petitiveness and product quality. 

—From a middle-management perspective, TQM can be 
thought of as a collection of technical, statistical and 
management techniques used to improve processes within 
their organization. 

—From a labor perspective, TQM is as much an educa¬ 
tional opportunity as it is a chance to let the boss know how 
to improve the job in a non-threatening environment. 

Total Quality Management can and will improve a com¬ 
pany's efficiency and productivity and, ultimately, the bot¬ 
tom line. Initial results may be near miraculous but emphasis 
must be on the long term—on achieving multiple, minute 
victories rather than on a few dramatic leaps. 

Wonder stories about implementation of TQM in the 
United States are more of a testament to inefficient processes 
used by the company rather than efficacy of the system. In 
a way they are dangerous, focusing on short-term, immedi¬ 
ate payoffs, the antithesis of a well-formulated and prop¬ 
erly employed TQM program. Total Quality Management 
is not about immediate payoffs even though that result may 
be achieved; it is about a different way of doing business 
and that implies long-term commitment. 

There are many common themes in this TQM collection 
of books. 

—To succeed, TQM requires a sustained, top-down 

—Implementation should be bottom up. 

—Continuous education at all levels is required to pro¬ 
vide an environment where TQM can succeed. 

—Focus on improving the process, not the product. 

—Specialists hinder rather than enhance a quality 

— Listen to the customers. 

The one note of discord lies in using the reward system. 
Most authors favor a recognition program for internally 
marketing total quality management. Only Deming and 
Scherkenbach argue that reward systems are counterproduc¬ 
tive; despite their minority position, they offer compelling 
reasons to examine reward programs to ensure they are 
focused properly. 

Mr. Wehrle is a I972graduate of the U.S. Sami Academy. 
After serving 10 years as a Marine infantry officer , Mr. Wehrle 
joined TRW where be has been a member of the technical staff, 
section head and , most recently , a project engineer. He is currently 
working on the Ground Based Free Electron Ijisct Project. He has 
read every book on the OSD TQM reading list. 

Program Manager 


lanuary-February 1°°0 



The key to effective and successful implementation of TQM is understanding underlying philosophy 
and theories supporting continuous process improvement efforts. The DOD and industry personnel need 
not wait for formal training or indoctrination. The following books are some of the best in the field of 
continuous process improvement. They should provide a sound basis for understanding the DOD TQM 
philosophy and vision. 

Crosby, Philip B,: Quality Is Free, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1979. 

Deming, W. Edwards: Out of the Crisis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 

Center for Advanced Engineering Study, Cambridge, Mass., 1986. 

Feigenbaum, Amand V.: Total Quality Control, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1983. 

Harrington, H. James: The Improvement Process, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1987. 

Imai, Masaaki: Kaizen, Random House, New York, 1986. 

Ishikawa, Kaoru: What is Total Quality Control?, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1985. 

Juran, J. M.: Managerial Breakthrough, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1964. 

Scherkenbach, William: The Deming Route to Quality and Productivity, Cee Press, 

Washington, D.C., 1986. 

Schonberger, Richard J.: Japanese Manufacturing Techniques: Nine Hidden Lessons in Simplicity, 
The Free Press, New York, 1982. 

Townsend, Patrick L.: Commit to Quality, John Weiley and Sons, New York, 1986. 

The Books 

Fundamentals of quality control 
were originally published in 1951 in the 
textbook Total Quality Control by A. 
V. Feigenbaum, who devotes more 
than 200 pages to techniques asso¬ 
ciated with statistical quality control. 
His Technology Triangle provides an 
excellent overview of the quality 
engineering field. His treatment of the 
cost of quality is particularly useful. 

In 1964. Robert Juran authored 
Managerial Breakthrough, thesis being 
there are two important elements to 
business management. He dubs them 
breakthrough and control manage¬ 
ment, and devotes the book to detail¬ 

ing the process for each. Juran defines 
control management as "...staying on 
course, adherence to a standard, 
prevention of change." Breakthrough 
management is "change, a dynamic, 
decisive movement to new, higher 
levels of performance." As it turns out, 
Juran's work captures the difference 
between management styles of West 
and East. Imai points out that Western 
managers tend to focus almost ex¬ 
clusively on innovation (break¬ 
through); Eastern managers on pro 
cess maintenance and improvement 

Deming’s well-known "14 points" 
trom Out of the Crisis, and 
Scherkenbuch's treatment of those 

points in his book. The Deming Route, 
provide excellent coverage of funda¬ 
mental issues and techniques required 
to focus on quality. Their books, terse, 
pithy and well illustrated, are not par¬ 
ticularly easy to read but your effort 
will be rewarded. 

Japanese Techniques 

The phenomenal success of the 
Japanese manufacturing community 
focused attention of the Western world 
on Eastern management practices. The 
three books devoted to a description 
of the Japanese approach to manufac¬ 
turing provide thorough, in-depth and 
readable accounts of "inner workings 
and hidden mechanisms" of total qual¬ 
ity management. 

Program Manager 


lanuarv-February l°°0 





Total Quality 

Out of the Crisis 

The Deming Route 

Imai's Kaizen devotes a chapter to 
stumbling blocks facing Western soci¬ 
ety if they are to implement TQM suc¬ 
cessfully. Perhaps the most telling 
comment in the book is that U.S. 
manufacturers must not abandon 
expertise in breakthrough and innova¬ 
tion management but, rather, supple¬ 
ment it with lessons learned by the 

Ishikawa's book provides a cogent 
analysis of limitations of standards, 
particularly misuse of standards by the 
American manufacturing community. 
He introduces the concept of a quality- 
control audit at several levies. His 
comments on why the Zero Defects 
Program failed in the United States 
provide a roadmap of pitfalls to avoid 
if total quality management is to suc¬ 
ceed. Both books, written by indi¬ 
viduals with solid credentials, are easy 
reading and packed with practical and 
theoretical advice. 

The strength of Japanese Manufac¬ 
turing Techniques by Schonberger lies 
in his analysis of Japanese manufactur¬ 







What Is Total 
Quality Control? 

Commit to Quality 
Quality Is Free 

The Improvement 

ing techniques from a Western per¬ 
spective. Devoting the last chapter to 
"The Prospects of Catching Up," his 
analysis is upbeat and encouraging. 
Schonberger says 

[U.S.) Industry is ready to 
change its ways, and now we 
know what to do: simplify and 
reduce, simplify and integrate, 
simplify and expect results. 

U.S. Techniques 

Economic competition on a global 
scale is a reality touching the lives of 
all Americans. Dr. H. J. Harrington 
points out in The Improvement Pro¬ 
cess that the future economic battle¬ 
ground will concern quality. His book 
is an overview of quality management 
from different levels; however, he 
writes primarily from the senior- 
management perspective. The chapter 
on "System Improvement" is worth 

Philip Crosby's Quality Is Free is an 
account of how ITT successfully 
employs total quality management 

principles. Chapters on the cost of 
quality and the Quality Management 
Maturity Grid are excellent. The 
chapter on the "Make Certain” pro¬ 
gram may be most valuable for the 
military. It provides questions that 
force you to think about the job of 
"moving and shooting” in terms of 
customers and products. 

Patrick Townsend, former Marine, 
gives an account of how the Paul 
Revere Company uses total quality 
management principles in Commit to 
Quality which details the process 
required to implement TQM success¬ 
fully in a service industry. He explains 
how the quality-circles concept has 
been expanded and improved. The 
book, good reading, is probably the 
best model existing today for TQM in 
the military. The adage for survival on 
the battlefield exhorting the com¬ 
mander to "move, shoot and commu¬ 
nicate," can be adapted to the message 
contained in these books. 

If the commander is to employ 
TQM successfully in his command to¬ 
day he must "simplify, integrate and 

f’rogram Manager 


lanuary-Februarv l oo 0 


Colonel W. H. Freestone, Jr., USA 

O ne of the hottest topics in the defense acquisition 
business concerns application of advanced tech¬ 
nology products to user systems; to be more specific, elec¬ 
tronic components. When one reads about advanced 
technology, for the most part, the real action is in the world 
of electronic devices because of their ever-improving 
capabilities. In the June 8, 1989, Christian Science Monitor, 
"Pentagon Arms Suffer From High-Tech Gap" points out 
"the new B-2 Stealth Bomber and the SSN-21 Seawolf Sub¬ 
marine are chockful of 'high technology'." Yet, these sym¬ 
bols of U.S. industrial capability reportedly have computer 
chips in key spots that are said to be todays "run-of-the- 
mill, not state-of-the-art" products. 

Non-Developmental Procurement 

Lately, to alleviate the problem, there has been con¬ 
siderable support for non-developmental item (NDI) pro¬ 
curement to overcome the electronic technology lag in 
Department of Defense system development. Another 
parallel concept is commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) pur¬ 
chases. Both of these acquisition methods sound like a sen¬ 
sible way to deal with the problem of system obsolescence, 
while at the same time saving money; off-the-shelf purchases 
would tend to provide opportunities for volume purchase 
of products already existing. In many cases, NDI/COTS is 
the best acquisition method. Is there anything wrong with 
this as a total approach? 

The answer, simply stated, is: One cannot purchase 
everything "off the shelf" to win a war. The reason is that 
all parties to a potential conflict might have the same op¬ 
portunity for weapon system development. Also, one must 
consider what is available for purchase off-the-shelf. In the 
world of military electronics, opportunities are found 
primarily in the support (tail) areas; i.e., radios, telephones, 
computers, trucks, etc. Therefore, applying the NDI/COTS 
philosophy to purchase "commercially available” combat 
(tooth) systems might result in no battlefield advantage to 
either side of a potential conflict except in total numbers of 


In the process of trying to develop appropriate new 
fighting capabilities, the United States military establishment 
must deal with regulations governing acquisition. With 
respect to the technology-lag problem, some in government 
say the peacetime procurement process is too complicated. 
Industry, on the other hand, says the basic problem is that 
government over specifies its requirements. There may be 

some truth to this charge on a case-by-case basis. Those 
making that claim, however, assume all manufacturers work 
to the same standards. 

Role of Industry 

Current acquisition rules require the military using com¬ 
munity to write a "performance" oriented requirement state¬ 
ment, called the Required Operational Capability (ROC), 
which drives the entire acquisition process. How the ROC 
is written determines what industry will deliver. Conven¬ 
tional practice says that in writing a ROC you should not 
tell the manufacturing community how to build the needed 
item. The writer of a ROC is requested to provide only a 
general explanation of a needed capability. Regulations pro¬ 
vide that a weapon system manufacturer should be allow¬ 
ed to decide what is the best technical approach. 

In the final analysis, the manufacturer selects technology 
that eventually is in the delivered system, based on price 
competition. The only parameters measured by government 
regulation are cost, schedule, operational performance, and 
integrated logistics support. This does not mean individual 
project/product managers do not enter into a dialogue on 
the effect technology has on the technical performance of 
their systems. In some cases, considerable influence is 
wielded by a given manager. Whatever is done with respect 
to measuring system technical performance and technology, 
if it is accomplished at all, is on an ad hoc basis. 

Appliance Method of Acquisition 

Because there is nothing in the current acquisition pro¬ 
cess measuring system technical performance, a comparison 
may be made between purchase of an appliance and acquisi¬ 
tion of a weapon system. 

To illustrate—if the lady of a particular household writes 
a performance-oriented ROC, based on a desired capabil¬ 
ity in the kitchen, it might go like this. 

"System desired to cool milk to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, 
maintain that temperature constant for 30 days, contain 20 
cubic feet of internal milk storage space, be human 
transportable, weigh no more than 300 pounds, be covered 
by a warranty, and be field repairable on site, (at the 

When the man of this household sets off (as project 
manager) for the desired system, he interfaces with a 
manufacturer's representative at the local appliance store. 
Negotiations toward meeting desired operational capabil¬ 
ity described in the ROC are focused on system 

Program Manager 


January-February 1990 

characteristics described in the ROC, 
and on price. Once the model is 
selected, price is determined and pay¬ 
ment method agreed upon; and ar¬ 
rangements made for delivery of the 
system. A new equipment fielding 
team provided by the manufacturer's 
representative installs the new system 
and explains its operation. 

Within the first 24 hours of opera¬ 
tion, however, the system failed, caus¬ 
ing milk to spoil. The lady summoned 
the "project manager" to demand an 
explanation. A repair person was re¬ 
quested. On close examination, the 
repair person said the system's coolant 
compressor failed. The repair person 
points out the compressor was based 
on a no-longer-used, obsolete design. 
The project manager quickly returns to 
the appliance store for an explanation. 
The store manager points out that 
compressor obsolescence was never 
discussed in the purchase negotiation; 
the cooling system purchased was "on 
sale." Unfortunately, it was the real 
user, with the system in actual field 
operation, who experienced the effect 
of a lack of dialogue concerning 
technical performance of the milk cool¬ 
ing system's internal operating system. 

Nicolai Copernicus 

Astronomer Nicolai Copernicus 
(1473-1543) told mankind the earth is 
not the true center of the universe. Ac¬ 
cording to the Encyclopaedia 
Britanica, mankind had difficulty deal¬ 
ing with this news. 

For centuries, everyone believed the 
earth stood still, the sun revolving 
around it. When it was shown the 
reverse is true, and that mankind had 
the whole thing backwards, it caused 
much re-thinking and re-education. 

What has this to do with technology 
and the acquisition process7 

Today, the acquisition process 
places focus for technology application 
with the system project manager and 
his industry counterpart. The current 
center of the acquisition universe is 
backwards. The true center of the ac¬ 
quisition universe is the user, who 
writes the required operational 
capability statement, ultimately using 
what is produced. Yet, it is the user, 
as writer of the ROC, who is not re¬ 
quired to know or address anything 
about technical performance of a 
system. As a result, from the start, 
there is nothing contained in the ac¬ 
quisition process, by regulation, tied 
to the technology the acquisition pro¬ 
cess seeks to acquire. 

To understand why this is true, one 
needs to revert to origins of current ac¬ 
quisition regulations. Begun in the 
early 1960s under the aegis of OMB 
Circular-109, the current process was 
founded on the philosophical grounds 
of price competition, to lower pur¬ 
chase costs, and to strengthen the U.S. 
industrial base. At the same time, it 
sought to reduce negative competition 
among military Services for budgetary 
dollars. Interestingly enough, during 
the same early 1960s, the electronic- 
integrated circuit was finding its way 
into military and commercial pro¬ 
ducts. From then until now, the elec¬ 
tronic integrated circuit has grown by 
leaps and bounds, while the process 
that seeks to harness its power remains 
philosophically frozen in the early 
1960s. Thus, the current acquisition 
process remains primitive in com¬ 
parison to technology it seeks to ac¬ 
quire. What does exist is a continuing 
expansion of the current empire of ob¬ 
solescence. This empire is built on the 
assumption that competing contractors 
will ensure state-of-the-art electronic 
components will be a part of weapon 
system development through a process 
that, for the most part, leaves the final 
technology decision up to them. 


What can be done to change current 
regulations to ensure that writers of re¬ 
quirements for new systems and 
upgrades to existing systems take full 
advantage of advanced electronic 
technology? For the answer, one must 
look at advances in electronic device 
design and development. Simply 
stated, a new element should be added 
to the current acquisition process based 
on electronic technology advances 
called System Technical Performance. 
What would be in this new element? 

System Technical Performance 
would include many things. 

—A purchase decision made on life- 
cycle cost rather than current purchase 
price alone. Reason: advanced 
microelectronic devices tend to be 
more reliable than older generations of 
devices, thus lowering the cost of 
maintaining a system. 

—A question concerning upward 
compatibility with succeeding genera¬ 
tions of electronic-integrated circuits. 
Computer aided system design today 
looks to the use of a "hardware 
description" software language to 
facilitate a design engineer's job of 
keeping pace with changes in the 
evolutionary development of elec¬ 
tronic devices; thus, further reducing 
costs during the life of a system. 

—A question on whether computer 
aided design/engineering was being 
used in developing a system (to cap¬ 
ture design of the system to facilitate 
future changes). If old manufacturing 
ways are in use, the increased cost of 
obsolete manufacturing will continue 
to be passed on to the Department of 

— A question if a given systems elec¬ 
tronic architecture is being designed to 
permit/facilitate pre-planned product 
improvement at a later date. The right 
electronic architecture will make addi¬ 
tions to a system easier once it is in the 

(See FREESTONE, pope 28) 

Program Manager 


January-February 1990 




David C. Rich 

ou are finally in charge. You have been selected pro¬ 
gram manager for the new project. The first thing 
you do is present your job expectations to the organization. 
Usually, because of office size, emergent requirements, travel 
plans, etc., an immediate face-to-face meeting with the en¬ 
tire staff is not practical, but you want to explain your 
expectations. You have chosen the method, arranged your 
thoughts and sent the message. Now what? How do you 
determine if the message was received and understood? 

When you become leader of this new organization, reflect 
on how well your office transfers information. Does 
everyone know the organizational mission and goals? Is 
everyone working for the same end-product? 

Even though many managers take communications for 
granted, research shows in most offices not enough atten¬ 
tion is given to how information is passed from people mak¬ 
ing policy decisions to the rank-and-file workers who make 
it happen. Studies show lack of clear and concrete direc¬ 
tion causes confusion and disarray. 

Listening closely to the "grapevine,'' you may hear a 
"grumbling" that information is not available to people 
needing it. Whether real or perceived, this is a problem. 
WTiat an employee perceives is true until proved otherwise. 

It is important for a good manager to take a periodic pulse 
of the work environment and determine if anything is 
detrimental to accomplishing organizational goals on time 
and within cost. Communication is an important, effective 
tool for management. If lines of communication are not 
clear, solution to a problem could elude you. 

In 1953, someone described the communication process 
this way: A communicator (speaker/sender/issuer) transmits 
(says/sends/issues) messages (orders/reports/suggestions) 
to a communicatee (addressee/respondent/audience) to in¬ 
fluence behavior of that communicatee as seen in his/her 
response (reply/reaction). 

The situation is almost the same today as it was 36 years 
ago. Good communication at all levels is necessary for 
smooth operation and clear understanding of Command 
goals and objectives. 

Communication is a dynamic process when people ex¬ 
change ideas by expressing attitudes and requirements. It 
involves transmitting a message, receiving the message and, 
possibly, acting on the message. Communication can be for¬ 
mal or informal but, mostly, it is a dynamic information 

Program Manager 


fanuary-February l oo 0 


Using good communication in an or¬ 
ganization is extremely important for 
sharing ideas, expressing requirements, 
accepting change, and forcing thought. 
Sharing ideas through the free-flow 
method overcomes differences and 
minimizes misunderstanding. 

Members of an organization deserve 
to know job requirements they are to 
meet. Workers not given adequate 
direction will do whatever they think 
necessary and acceptable for the job. 
Accurate communication of re¬ 
quirements is the only way they will 
get information. In a work environ¬ 
ment, managers have the responsibility 
for effectively communicating require¬ 
ments. It is their duty to relate their 
wishes as clearly as possible. 

Good communication forces a 
manager to evaluate a situation 
carefully before implementation. 
Accepting change, never easy, can be 
perceived as risky because it can mean 
the "old way" is not acceptable. Mean¬ 
ingful dialogue eases pain of transition 
by increasing understanding; if under¬ 
standing is lacking, change will prob¬ 
ably fail. An approach providing for 
many people to review a plan when 
errors in judgment can be eliminated 
beforehand is better than implement¬ 
ing a plan with critical flaws. 

Ideas to share with others need to be 
put into words, actions or signals that 
can be understood by receiver. This is 
not easy; when ideas do not match the 
transmitted words or actions, confu¬ 
sion surrounds the requirement. This 
can be complicated by misusing words 
that have different meanings for dif¬ 
ferent people. 

Only after the message is in clear 
and specific words should actions or 
signals be sent to the receiver. Even a 
properly formed message can become 
garbled. When a message is sent in the 
din of operating machinery or in tech¬ 
nical jargon, there is no assurance the 
message has been received adequately. 

Acknowledging the message needs 
affirmation by feedback directly and 
indirectly. In the direct method the 
receivers might respond with questions 
or recommendations indicating they 
understand the message; or, receivers 
might indicate indirectly having re¬ 
ceived the message by actually per¬ 
forming the request. 

Research shows poor communica¬ 
tion is a problem in major corpora¬ 
tions. For any organization to adapt 
readily to ever-changing environ¬ 
ments, effective communication at all 
levels is a necessity. 

Communications in most program 
offices can be put into four categories: 
administrative, technical, cultural and 
systems specific. 

Administrative includes pay and 
pay raises, pay days, annual and sick 
leave, working hours, parking, 
holidays, health and life insurance, 
eating facilities, retirement, etc. These 
are important and must be addressed 
adequately because they form basic 
elements of Herzberg's and Maslov's 
hierarchy of needs; if not fulfilled, con¬ 
centrating on work will be diminished. 

Technical communication includes 
items like exchanging pertinent infor¬ 
mation between agents of the same 
discipline—engineering, accounting, 
contracts, personnel, etc. Clear and 
precise dissemination of information is 
important if changes or advancements 
in their particular field, and integration 
of new and related ideas are to be 
handled expeditiously. 

Cultural communication is impor¬ 
tant when dealing with a mix of 
cultures; i.e., military and civilian 
communities. Some things a civilian 
needs to know are uniqueness of 
specific Service, history and traditions, 
military customs, commissioned of¬ 
ficer and enlisted members' insignias 
and rank, and military time and dates. 
It is important for the military to 
understand the civilian personnel 

system, job categories, rating systems 
and things affecting careers and pro¬ 
motions. These differences can bear on 
things that are done and said. 

Communication that is systems 
specific includes numbers of people 
employed by the organization, impor¬ 
tance of system you are working on, 
how many are employed in your of¬ 
fice and in the field, and outputs pro¬ 
duced by the organization. 

Peter F. Drucker in People and Per¬ 
formance: The Best Of Peter Drucker, 
writes about good management 

The manager has a specific tool: 
Information. He doesn't "handle" 
people, but instead he motivates, 
guides, organizes people to do 
their own work. His tool —his 
only tool—to do this is the 
spoken or written word or the 
language of numbers. It does not 
matter whether the managers 
job is engineering, accounting, or 
selling, to be effective, a manager 
must have the ability to speak 
and to write. Managers need skill 
in getting their thinking across to 

Good and effective communication 
requires hard work and rewards can be 
enormous and worthwhile. Obvious 
rewards are better understanding, 
higher morale, less stress, and more 
enthusiasm by management and em¬ 
ployees. With these results achieved, 
it puts the organization ahead of the 
competition and places managers in a 
leadership status. A more comfortable 
and efficient work group leads to 
greater productivity. 

Intervi 'ws with senior- and mid¬ 
managers in project offices indicate 
good communication is a paramount 

Sometimes, organization size ham¬ 
pers its effectiveness. Most paramili¬ 
tary organizations are matrix in 
nature; therefore, there is information 
running horizontally and vertically at 

Program Manager 


lanuary-February l oo 0 


m. f we 
dump 'garbage 1 
into systems 
without giving it 
a 'reality check 1 
we unwittingly 
will dump this 
'garbage 1 back 
out and call it 

the same time. Have you wondered 
what similarity to reality an item of in¬ 
formation looks like when reaching its 
final destination? 

As organization size expands and 
control increases, it is possible manage¬ 
ment may think a fire is out in one area 
only to have it break out elsewhere. 

Psychological barriers are caused by 
the organization's atmosphere. For a 
communication system to thrive, it 
must be in an organization where 
management wants to hear problems, 
and where there is a fair dealing of 

Language and intent are common 
barriers to good communication; clear 
and simple communication overcomes 
this problem. Sometimes, the language 
of motivation, not the language of pro¬ 
duction and efficiency, is required for 
an extra level of performance. Formid¬ 
able barriers can be caused by tech¬ 
nical specialties, especially in the areas 
of highly educated engineers and scien¬ 
tists. Technical languages used by 
professional specialists often become 
so engrained that they have difficulty 
communicating with someone not in 
the specialized field. These barriers, if 
understood, diminish with effective 

Literature reveals there is continuous 
debate whether there is a problem with 
communication and what, if any, ef¬ 
fect it has on productivity. Upward 
communication ("the boss never 
listens”), downward communication 
("the troops never seem to get the 
word”), sideways communication 
("why is Department X doing that, 
don't they know what we just did?”) 
r ar ongoing problem, sometimes 
repc able in bits and pieces. 

Jablin (1987) said communication, 
exchange of information among peo¬ 
ple, is a linking-process need for all 
managerial activities. Effective com¬ 
munication is necessary for people to 
work together and attain organiza¬ 
tional objectives. With acquisition 
organizations being parts of larger and 

multifaceted service organizations, a 
solid communication chain is neces¬ 
sary to bond and fuse that organiza¬ 
tion toward specific goals. When links 
are missing, the chain is weakened or 

The kingpin, says D'Aprix (1987), of 
any employee communication effort is 
the common, garden-variety manager. 
Whether we call this person a program 
manager, department head, super¬ 
visor, group leader, or head of 
something-or-other is unimportant. He 
or she carries the brunt of the com¬ 
munication effort in traditional hierar¬ 
chical organizations. Through such 
people, doers in the organization make 
contact. When the hands-on and doers 
of the organization become leaders and 
supervisors, this may cause problems. 
Without proper training and guidance, 
an excellent engineer speaking the 
language of other engineers and techni¬ 
cians sometimes has problems relaying 
management's viewpoints on proper 
timekeeping procedures or company 
health plan coverage. These problems 
can be overcome but often we put 
people in charge because they are 
subject-matter experts, and ignore the 
necessary manager/leadership training 

How much information should you 
pass along? David Acker (1985) con¬ 
tends it is better to pass too much in¬ 
formation down the chain of com¬ 
mand, while Sanderlin (1987) claims a 
common mistake made in business is 
assuming more data are the same as 
more and better communication. 
Sanderlin contends information 
overload can make people feel inade¬ 
quate because they cannot compre¬ 
hend everything forwarded to them; 
this tends to cause cynicism about all 
communication efforts. 

A good example of system overload 
is the influx of new computer systems. 
With the space available, there is a 
push to load everything available on 
the computer data base to become a 
"paperless society." Everyone wants to 
copy all files on the machines because 

Program Manager 


January-February 1990 


We receive information daily about different topics in our organizations. For each listed topic, mark response that best 
describes: (1) the amount of information you are receiving on that topic and (2) the amount of information you need 

to receive on that topic; that is. the amount you have to have to do your 





How Well 1 Am Doing In My Job 








My Job Duties 








Organizational Policies 








Pay and Benefit Changes 








How Technological Changes 

Affect My Job 








Mistakes and Failures of My 








Performance Rating Criteria 








How My Job-related Suggestions 
Are Being Handled 








How Organizational Decisions 

Are Made that Affect My Job 








Promotion and Advancement 







Opportunities in My Organization 






















































1 = Very Little 

2 = Little 







3 = Some 

4 = Great 







5 = Very Great 

it seems to "be the thing to do." The 
researcher contends if we dump "gar¬ 
bage" into systems without giving it a 
"reality check" we unwittingly will 
dump this "garbage" back out and call 
it progress. 

Denny (1980) identified, isolated 
and diagnosed the "excelsior syn¬ 
drome" for its muffling and padding ef¬ 
fect on interorganizational com¬ 
munication. It usually results in losing 
motivation and productivity. Terms 
like "don't rock the boat," "the old way 
is the best way," and "we've tried it 
before" indicate there probably is need 
to improve communications. 

Upward and downward communi¬ 
cation, according to Inman (1985), is 
necessary to encourage employees to 
contribute ideas to improve efficiency 
in a company. If management pro¬ 
motes the free exchange of ideas, there 
is a better understanding at all levels. 
More democratic leadership brings 
greater satisfaction among workers 
and more loyalty and respect for the 
company. This translates into in¬ 
creased productivity and effectiveness. 

Program Manager 

Do you have an open-door policy? 
Or, at least, do you think you do? This 
policy is practiced or talked about in 
many offices and tends to be good for 
upward and downward communica¬ 
tion if it is a true open-door policy. 
The major drawback is not the mana¬ 
ger thinking his policy is in effect but, 
quite often, is the staff surrounding 
him; they try to "protect" him from 
perceived "noise” and "static" rather 
than advancing an honest attempt at 
communication. This usually happens 
without the manager's knowledge and 
slams the door on people honestly 
wanting to pass information up and 
down the chain of command. 

How do you determine a communi¬ 
cation problem in your organization? 
DiGaetani (1986) recommends a com¬ 
munication audit as an investigative 
research tool for finding usable infor- 

Mr. Rich is a pmjjrani analyst, In¬ 
dustrial mid Facilities Management Dim- 
tnrate , Kami Sea Systems Command, 
Washington. D.C. He is a rpnduate of 
PMC SS .l 


mation in the corporate communica¬ 
tion system. An audit looks at 
organization well being and, at a 
minimum, perceives problems, real or 
imagined. Benefits of auditing the com¬ 
munication system include determin¬ 
ing impact of new communication- 
related programs or policies, and 
assessing impact of ongoing policies 
and programs. Figure 1 provides a 
sample audit form, perfected by 
DiGaetani, to query members of your 
organization about perceptions versus 
perceived reality. 

Peter D. Schiffrin in All the Right 
Moves, says "...when people know 
what types of rewards they can expect 
for reaching clear, well-derived goals 
for the organization, their behavior 
can be managed effectively. Often, 
though, employees do not receive in¬ 
formation that could affect their per¬ 
formance; continual flow of informa¬ 
tion is important for people to do their 
jobs properly. 

Authors Walter Bennis and Burt 
Nanus in Leaders, The Strategies for 
Taking Charge, say "...even the best 
ideas are only as good as their ability 

lanuary-February 1°°0 


(Continued fivm pope 23) 

to attract attention in the social en¬ 
vironment. The conditions of that en¬ 
vironment - organizations in this case 
- are inherently unpredictable: they can 
kill a good idea just as easily as a bad 

"The main clue is that leadership 
creates a new audience for its ideas 
because it alters the shape of under¬ 
standing by transmitting information 
in such a way that it 'fixes' and secures 
tradition. Leadership, by communi¬ 
cating meaning, creates a common¬ 
wealth of learning, and that, in turn, 
is what effective organizations are. 

"What we see and experience in to¬ 
day's organizational landscape are 
cumbersome bureaucracies that more 
often than not betray the mismanage¬ 
ment of meaning. A 'great idea' is 
hatched. Responsibility is delegated. 
Then it is delegated again. Then it is 

Jerry Harvey in Organizational 
Dynamics (1977) provided a witty and 
caustic attack at the process of drain¬ 
ing the organizational swamp. In his 
article, "Organizations as Phrog 
Farms," he described organizations as 
having two essential purposes. One is 
to produce widgets, glops, and fillips. 
The other is to turn people into phrogs. 
In many organizaions, the latter pur¬ 
pose takes precedence. Phrogs tend to 
live a solitary life in the swamp or, as 
one phrog said, "It's a lonely life on the 
lily pad." Phrogs compete with one 
another for insects, vie for the right to 
head the flicking order of the swamp, 
and are ultimately evaluated for what 
they do in their own mud flats. A com¬ 
mon phrog maxim is: "You can't get 
involved with other phrogs in the 
swamp; someday you may have to ap¬ 
propriate their lily pads.” 

Phrogs speak the Language of Rib- 
bit, simple because it contains only one 
word. When all phrogs croak "Ribbit," 
the swamp is noisy, but not a lot of 
real communication is exchanged. Ac¬ 
curacy of information is not important 
in the swamp. In fact, a person enter¬ 
ing the swamp is told why the 
Language of Ribbit is the only possible 

Program Manager 

language there, despite the fact that 
phrogs don't learn much from one 
another when they use it. Therefore, 
people have a difficult time talking 
with phrogs—in fact, they seldom talk 
with phrogs at all. 

It is easy to get wrapped up in your im¬ 
portance and your position. If you 
don't pay attention to what is going on 
around you, I bet you wouldn't know 
when your organization is teetering on 
the edge of being eaten by the 


Acker, D. (1985). Information Is Not 
Communication, Washington, D.C., 
U.S. Government Printing Office, pp. 

Bennis, W. (1986), Leaders: The 
Strategies of Taking Charge, New 
York: Harper and Row, p. 111. 

D'Aprix, R. M. (1987), The Believable 
Corporation, New York: AMACON, 
pp. 40-71. 

Denny, W. A. (1980, October), 
"Remedies for the Excelsior Syn¬ 
drome," Business Horizons, pp. 37-39. 

DiGaetani, J. L., (1986), The Hand¬ 
book of Executive Communication, 
Homewood, Illinois: Dow Jones-Irwin, 
pp. 73-83 and pp. 776-793. 

Drucker, P. (1977), People and Perfor¬ 
mance: The Best of Peter Drucker on 
Management, New York: Harper and 
Row, p. 45. 

Harvey, J. B. (1977, Spring), 
"Organizations as Phrog Farms," 
Organizational Dynamics, pp. 15-21. 

Inman, T. (1976, May), "The Role of 
Self Awareness in Interpersonal Com¬ 
munication," Management World, pp. 

Jablin, F. (Ed), (1987), Handbook of 
Organizational Communication: An 
Interdisciplinary Perspective. New¬ 
bury Park, Calif., pp. 73-83. 

Sanderlin, R. (1987), March-April, "In¬ 
formation Is Not Communication," 
Business Horizons, pp. 40-42. 

Schiffrin, P. (1987), "All The Right 
Moves," Perspective, pp. 30-33, p. 46. 


field; wrong electronic architecture 
might mean an entire system must be 
discarded/replaced to permit an 

—A question concerning using 
modular construction to reduce the 
number of internal circuit boards, and 
to facilitate standardization of printed 
circuit boards and maintenance. 

—A question concerning using built- 
in-test circuitry to assist in reducing 
need for external test equipment and 
costly test program sets. 


Additional questions might be ap¬ 
propriate to include in Department of 
Defense acquisition process regula¬ 
tions, as might questions concerning 
characteristics of other non-electronic 

The thing to recognize, however, is 
the simple fact that current Depart¬ 
ment of Defense acquisition regula¬ 
tions do not have anything contained 
in them designed to evaluate the effect 
of applying modern electronic 
technology to weapon systems; that 
the electronic technology decision is 
made principally by the manufactur¬ 
ing community, based primarily on 
system purchase price; that the current 
acquisition process is philosophically 
founded in the early 1960s when the in¬ 
tegrated circuit as we know it today 
did not exist. Most important, current 
regulations should ensure individuals 
writing Department of Defense system 
requirements are not required to ad¬ 
dress internal technical performance of 
the system they need. As a result, the 
user probably does not learn what 
might have been the range of 
technology possibilities or choices 
before finalizing the ROC. 

If these observations seem out-of¬ 
step with what you have been led to 
believe, you could be feeling the effect 
of the Copernicus syndrome. 

Colonel Freestone saves at the Defense 
( lommunieations A pency, C lentcrfin- C low - 
wand. Control and Communications 
Systems. A jpruinatc of PMC #3-2, he 
teaches an electin' course , Tecbnolqety lnsn-- 
tion, at DSAIC. 

january-February 1°90 

Some Tips for Authors 


III he editors of Program Manager, DSMC s bimonthly 
JL. journal, are interested in your thoughts on policies, 
processes, trends, and events in the areas of program 
management and defense acquisition. We invite you to sub¬ 
mit articles and share your experiences. We are interested 
in lessons you have learned through your acquisition ex¬ 
periences, both successful and otherwise. 

Beyond the demand for good grammar, we have some 
tips for prospective authors. Consistency and uniformity 
should be uppermost. The renowned stylist William Strunk, 
Jr., said, "If those who have studied the art of writing are 
in accord on any one point, it is this: the surest way to 
arouse and hold the attention of the reader is by being 
specific, definite and concrete." 


Write in the first person, I, we, our; and use you often. 
Active verbs are best. Write naturally and avoid stiltedness. 
Except for a change of pace, keep most sentences to 25 words 
or less, and paragraphs to six sentences. We reserve the right 
to edit for clarity and space limitations. 

Published articles will include your byline, and brief 
biography. When there are substantial editorial changes. 
Program Manager clears edited copy with the author. 

Where possible, clear articles through your public affairs 
office or an equivalent authority- Most of the articles we 
publish are routinely reviewed and cleared by the Director, 
Security Review, Office of the Assistant Secretary' of Defense 
for Public Affairs. All manuscripts are reviewed by DSMC 
faculty members with expertise in the subject matter. The 
receipt of your manuscript will be acknowledged within five 
working days. If we cannot print your article, you will be 
informed within six weeks. 

Length and Graphics 

The Basics: E)ouble-space your article using only one side 
of the paper. One double-spaced page, with a one-inch 
border on all sides, equals about 250-300 words. We are flex¬ 
ible regarding length, but prefer 2,000-3,000-words, about 
10 double-spaced pages. Don't feel constrained by length 
requirements; say what you have to say in the most direct 
way, regardless of length. 

We use figures, charts, and photographs. Color is accept¬ 
able but we prefer glossy, black and white photographs, five- 
by-seven or eight-by-ten. We cannot guarantee the return 
of photographs. Include brief, numbered cutlines keyed to 
photographs. Place a corresponding number on lower left 
corner, reverse side of the photographs. With this excep¬ 
tion, do not write on photographs. Photocopies of 
photographs are not acceptable. Charts and figures should 
be sharp and clear, with legible information and captions. 
We prefer camera-ready art, but the DSMC Graphic Arts 
and Photography Division can work with sketches if they 
are clear and precise. If you know of sources where we can 
obtain photographs pertinent to your manuscript, let us 
know: i.e.. program office, contractor, public affairs office. 

Attribute all references you have used in researching your 
article. We use separate footnotes, which should be iden¬ 
tified at the appropriate place in the copy. 

Be wary of using copyrighted material. It is generally felt 
that Section 107 of title 17, United States Code, "Limita¬ 
tions on Exclusive Rights: Fair Use," clears the way for 
quoting short passages of copyrighted material in a scholarly 
or technical article to illustrate or clarify the author's obser¬ 
vations. It also permits summarizing copyrighted addresses 
and articles with brief quotations. Lengthy use of 
copyrighted material requires written permission from the 
copyright holder. Likewise, if you are the copyright holder, 
your cover letter should explicitly state that the Defense 
Systems Management College has permission to publish 
your materia! in Program Manager. 

Stories that appeal to our readers, who are senior military 
and civilian people in the program management acquisition 
business, are those taken from your own experience rather 
than pages of "researched information." 

Again, be sure to double-space your copy and use only 
one side of the paper. We appreciate your readership, and 
interest in Program Manager. 

If you need to talk to an editor, call: 

Robert W. Ball, (703) o64-5 00 2 or 004-5082; Autovon 
354-5 00 2 or 354-5082. 

Catherine M. Clark or Esther M. Farria, (703' oo4-5 00 2 
or 664-5082; Autovon 354-5 00 2 or 354-5082. 

Or, write us at the Defense Systems Management Col¬ 
lege, Fort Belvoir, Virginia 220o0-542o: ATTN: DRl-P. 

Program Manager 


lanuarv-Eebruary 1°°0 

• Could Cost Analysis: What Is It? 
How Should It Be Done?— Bernard H. 
Rudwick, p. 3. 

• Total Quality Management: A 
Powerful Solution to the Logistics 
Challenge— General Alfred G. Hansen, 
USAF, p. 9 

• A Dire Future? MIT’s National 
Model Predictions— Rolf Clark, p.13. 

• Specifications and the Law: Un¬ 
drained Swamps, Uncountable 
Alligators, Undiscerning Law¬ 
yers— Major Jerome S, Gabig, USAF, 

p, 18. 

• DSMC Is Host to Army Acquisition 
Conference— Paul J. Mcllvaine and 
loanne H. Langston, p. 23. 

• National Space Policy: What Price 
Competition?— Thomas D. Tokmenko, 

p. 26. 

• Lead Before You Leap— Captain M. E. 
Kearney, USN, p. 36. 

• DSMC Educational Initiatives In In¬ 
ternational Armaments Coopera¬ 
tion— Richard Kwatnoski, p. 38. 

• DSMC Studies Program Manager 
Competencies— Dr. Owen C. Gadeken, 
p. 42. 

• Quality Weapons: A Test and 
Evaluation Challenge— Dr. H. Steven 
Kimmel, p. 2. 

• Shift and Rotate Cha, Cha, Cha— 
Dr. Michael N. Beltramo, p. 6. 

• Public Exposure to Uncompensated 
Injury or Damage Arising Out of 
Government Procurement of Goods 
And Services— Paul G. Dembling and 
O. S. Hiestand, p. 9. 

• DSMC Graduates Hear Navy Admi¬ 
ral Speak of Peace Through Strength— 
Admiral L. A. "Bud" Edney, USN. p. 13. 

• A Program Manager’s Guide to Pro¬ 
ducing Survivable Systems— Dr. Joseph 
J. Feeney, p. 16. 

• New Initiatives and Concepts For In¬ 
creasing Acquisition Productivity- 
Dr. Andrew P. Mosier, p. 24. 

• Personal and Career Communica¬ 
tion— James A. Graf, p. 35. 

• Fiscal Year 1989 Defense Appropria¬ 
tions and Authorization Acts: A 
Synopsis— Wilbur D. Jones, Jr., p. 40. 

• Environmental Policy: An Oil Slick 
for the Program Manager— Roland H. 

Williams, p. 2. 

• Acquiring the Strategic Defense 
System Engineer— Captain John J. 

Donegan, Jr., USN and Colonel Nicholas 
W. Kuzemka, USAF, p. 9. 

• Improving System/Software Pro¬ 
ductivity— James Dolkas and Thomas 
Govier, p. 20. 

• Contracting with An Award Fee—It 
Works! (But Nobody Said It Would Be 
Easy)— Captain Gregory A. Garrett, 
USAF, p. 26. 

• DSMC Simulation (Games That 
Teach Engineers and Scientists How to 
Manage)— Dr. Owen C. Gadeken, p. 29. 

• Efficiency and Productivity: Hom¬ 
age to the Code— Dr. Lewis H. Blakey, 
p. 35. 

• Modifications and Extensions: Ap¬ 
plying the Learning Curve Formula— 

Shu S. Liao, p. 40. 

• CASC Early-On Involvement in The 
Acquisition Process— Debbie Horsfall, 
p. 47. 

• Productivity Improvement Causes 
Constant Change— John S. W. Fargher, 
Jr., p. 49. 

• A First Drive— Lieutenant Colonel 
Bruce G. Luna, USAF, p. 53. 

• Discounting in the Public Sector, 
Revisited— Thomas E. Anger, p. 56. 

• DOD Actions to Increase 
Productivity— Dr. Andrew P. Mosier, 

p. 60. 

• Improving the Process: Are Current 
MIL-STD 881 Practices A Stumbling 
Block to Better Performance— Robert 
A. Wehrle, p. 73. 

• Cost Recovery: Independent 
Research and Development/Bid and 
Proposal Expenses— Paul Stein, p. 77. 

• Production Competition Les- 
sons-Leamed: Incumbent Contractor 
Torpedoes— Bill Drinnon and David 
Hodulich, p. 83. 

• Manufacturing Management: A 
Guide for Government and Industry- 

Lieutenant Colonel Sammie G. Young, 
USA and Professor David D. Acker, p. 87. 

i. ' v - XI 

• The FSX Debate: Implications for 
Future U.S. International Armaments 
Programs— First Lieutenant Thomas P. 
Griffin, USAF and Major Charles M. Farr, 
USAF, p. 2. 

• Systems Dynamics and Structured 
Thinking in Policy Analysis— Rolf 
Clark, p. 15. 

• “Spinning Plates” The Art of Proj¬ 
ect Management— Captain Anthony R. 
Vanchieri, USMC, p. 25. 

• What’s Happening in Research at the 
Defense Systems Management Col¬ 

lege?— Lieutenant Colonel David Scibetta, 
USA, p. 27. 

• You Can Only Teach What You 
Know— Dr. Franz Frisch, p. 29. 

• Determinants of Contractor Pricing 
Strategy— O. Douglas Moses, p. 32. 

• Computerized PERT Network for 
DAB Planning— Lieutenant Colonel John 
C. Nicholson, USAF, p. 44. 

• Motivating Employees: The Nature 
of Training— Geoffrey G. Noyes, p. 48. 

• Budget Instability: Politics, 
Economics and Inefficiency— Miguel A. 
Otegui, p. 2. 

• Needed Changes in Weapons Test¬ 
ing— Dr. Jacques S. Gansler, p. 14. 

• Total Quality Management What 
Processes Do You Own? How Are They 
Doing?— Robert D. Aaron, p. 17. 

• “The Right Stuff” Results of 
DSMC’s Program Manager Compe¬ 
tency Study— Dr. Owen C. Gadeken, 

p. 22. 

• Here We Go Again! Acquisition 
Reform Revisited— Lieutenant Colonel 
Jerry R. McMahan, USAF, p. 26. 

• Production Competition Les- 
sons-Leamed: Elements of a Business 
Deal— Bill Drinnon and David Hodulich, 

p. 28. 

• Alternative Contracting/Acquisition 
Strategies Within DOD— Lieutenant Col¬ 
onel Joseph L. Bergantz, USA, p. 32. 

\i W! VBFK P ! < J M n: 

• Play Ball! Toward Better Manage¬ 
ment-Captain Donald E. Walters, USAF, 

p. 2. 

• Goal for Improving Defense Acquisi¬ 
tion Process— Lieutenant Colonel Richard 
B. Rippere, USAF, p. 12. 

• “Pearls of Wisdom” in Program 
Management— Paul J. Mcllvaine, p. 15. 

• Are You Ready to Make An Audio 
Or Video Presentation?— David D. 
Acker, p. 16. 

• Management Control Systems 
Theory Is Useful Tool— Captain David 
S. Christensen, USAF, p. 20. 

• Corps of Engineers: Keeping 
Customers Happy— C. Mark Dunning, 
Ph.D. and Claudia M. Rogers. I’h.D.. 
p. 24. 

• Using Operations Research in 
Weapons Systems Acquisition— Colonel 
Gordon W. Arbogast, LISA, p. 30. 

• Why Offsets? —lieutenant Colonel 
Robert L. Waller, USAF, p. 34. 

r’rogram Manager 


January-February 190Q 

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