Boeing’s situation after the unsuccessful 737 and 747 programs straight away demanded a new successful airplane intended at enormous returns. This new project also aimed at bringing great prestige, power, and influence to the company and managers that created it. Overall the project was divided into four equally important phases – Program Definition, Cost Definition, Supplier Management, and Production Management.
The factors critical to the successful completion of the Boeing 767 program:
Schedule and Plans: Meeting schedules and detailed planning were two high priority tasks at Boeing. A part of Boeing’s culture was absolute dedication to commitments – from individual within the company and from suppliers. The company expected people to honor their commitments and adhere to their plans. Plans were not considered as the just mere exercises, but as forecasted events. A variety of tools, several of them unique to Boeing, were used to develop realistic schedules and monitor them over time. •
After the program definition phase, Boeing management decided to move forward with the cost definition phase. New Airplane Program study group performed comparisons with both the successful (707, 727) and the unsuccessful (737, 747) Boeing’s projects in the past and developed a parametric estimating technique to estimate the costs of a new plane from design characteristics, such as weight, speed and length and other data that was known well in advance of the production. The idea behind the cost estimation technique sounds promising as it not only involves the successful but also unsuccessful past projects in the cost estimation process. Also as the adjustments might go in either direction, company’s smart management took extra effort in carefully fine-tuning the parametric estimates to account for the differences in the plane projects. Boeing successfully employed the parametric estimating technique in the cost definition phase to estimate the total assembly labor...
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