12 March 2010

Prototyping

In a recent discussion about the FIST (Fast, Inexpensive, Simple, Tiny) approach, someone pointed out that FIST works well if we're developing prototypes.

Yup, it does. But that's not the only thing it can do.

In fact, the US Navy's Virginia class submarines are a great example of an operational system that is, in an absolute sense, kinda big and expensive, while still being quite FISTy. And when I say FIST, I'm talking "delivered 8 months ahead of schedule and $54M under budget."

So yeah, the FIST approach can result in a system that is simple and inexpensive in an absolute sense. It can produce a prototype that isn't supported by any sort of logistics tail, isn't well tested, etc. Sure, we can do that. But FIST can also produce fully-operational nuclear submarines. Want to read more? Check out More For Less, from the Navy's Undersea Warfare magazine.

2 comments:

Glen B. Alleman said...

A huge cost savings and schedule maintenance item is the "capability neutral" change control process. The programs we work are thrashed every rolling wave by changes that undo the hard efforts to maintain the PMB targets of on-time, on-budget.

This appears to be a key to success for this program.

Many AF programs have yet to discover the benefits of "capability neutral change control," JSF as a prime example, along with SBIRS and numerous others mentioned in the news and GAO reports.

The Dan Ward said...

For any readers who aren't familiar with the term, can you briefly explain what you mean by "capability neutral change control process"?