Case Study 1
Professor Samuel Palmeri
Virtual Teams in Action: Building the F-35 Fighter
The U.S. Department of Defense is known for their F-35 Lighting II Program; the focal point for defining affordable next generation stealth fighter aircraft. In 2002, the Department of Defense announced Lockheed Martin Aeronautic as the designer and builder of the fighter with Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems as the major partners. The fighter was noted by proponents of the program, “to bring cutting edge technology to the battle space of the future”. The immense project consisted of countries all over the world, working as a single team through what Mark Peden, vice president for information systems at Loackheed Aeronautics, said, “Was a true virtual connection”. Success of the project stemmed from intricate teamwork and cooperation from countless individuals working in teams, both nationally and internationally, communicating via their computers; there were 80 suppliers working at 187 locations worldwide, but were connected as if team members were working in the same room. After the first flight of the production occurred on December 15, 2006, Jon Beesley, F-35 chief test pilot, stated, “The Lighting II performed beautifully”. ANSWERS TO CASE QUESTIONS
1. The advantages that Lockheed Martin gained by using a virtual team includes: a more efficient use of time, synergy and expertise, and cost benefits. Different time zones between teams working together internationally can be a huge communication barrier, however it also has the advantage of process of production being working 24/7; this generates a more efficient use of time for the production process. The diverse team created tremendous synergy, that is, what occurs when the interaction and outcome of team member is greater than the sum of their individual efforts (Bohlander & Snell, 2010). Each...