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4 SELECTING PROJECTS AND EVALUATING THE MANTECH PROGRAM FUNDAMENTAL PROGRAM MISSION As it currently operates, the ManTech program's mission, implicit and stated, is too diverse to offer a useful basis for managing and evaluating the program. If the program is to contribute meaningfully to strengthening the defense industrial base, it must have an unambiguous mission that derives from DOD's needs. We recommend that: The mission of the new ManTech program is to fund the enabling manufacturing technology developments required for the efficient, effective production of future weapon systems that support DOD's strategic plans. OVERALL PROGRAM CHARACTERISTICS The mission will require a new set of criteria for the selection and design of ManTech projects. The first step, as described in the previous chapter, is for high-level DOD officials to identify the technologies that are critical for the next generation of weapon systems. The program managers can then select projects aimed at meeting those needs. When these decisions have been made and new processes developed, future generations of weapon systems can be designed to incorporate the new equipment and process technologies. In consonance with the new mission and to improve the program's effectiveness, each ManTech project should have four characteristics: 22

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23 1. The project focuses on innovative, emerging technologies. This characteristic should enable all technically suc- cessful ManTech projects to achieve the major impact that only a few have had in the past. All ManTech projects will be sufficiently forward-looking to have some risk of failure; groups of projects will support the exploration of process technologies that promise significant advances in manufacturability or product performance. Such support is not now likely to come from either individual companies or weapon system program budgets. 2. The technology to be developed has broad. general applicability. Diffusing newly developed technologies is a key benefit of direct DOD funding of innovative process development because DOD generally retains the license to military applications of such developments. Funding generic process developments will improve chances for technology transfer and increase the leverage of ManTech funds. Technologies developed with ManTech funding should be potentially useful to many companies, services, weapon systems, and products. ManTech funding to develop a technology for only one supplier is less appropriate. 3. The project funds a technology that is not being adequately developed with private sector funding. Direct funding should support technology development that would not be achieved by other sources in a timely manner. Companies are unlikely to fund development efforts adequately if the technical risk is high and the likelihood of gaining the benefits is low. ManTech projects should initiate or accelerate exploration of critical, underexploited technologies and hasten dissemination of results. 4. The technology funded is needed to establish. reestablish. or preserve domestic capability in a manufacturing process critical to the defense industrial base. The ManTech program's support of promising, new manufacturing technologies should strengthen or restore critical process capabilities whose decline is leading

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24 to reliance on sources outside the United States. The program will focus on technologies that are used by more than one industry, company, or product, rather than on those specific to weapon systems. ManTech's new mission and the four basic character- istics of a new program should cause the U.S. defense industrial base to undertake innovative, strategically significant manufacturing technology efforts that it would not otherwise undertake. It is worth noting that the Statement of Principles for DOD Manufacturing Technology Program (March 14, 1980) also lists four characteristics for "project selectivity." Two are similar to numbers 2 and 3 above. The other two-- that technical feasibility has already been demonstrated, and that results can be delivered in time to meet a well-defined DOD requirement--are inconsistent with our recommendations. The two inconsistent selection characteristics of the existing program reinforce the tendency toward short-term cost reduction rather than stimulating the major advances in process technology we expect the new program to achieve. INDIVIDUAL PROJECT OBJECTIVES Individual projects in the new ManTech program should be designed to improve the manufacturability of future generations of DOD equipment and systems. In practical terms, projects should contribute to one or more of the following objectives: provide new process capability, improve quality, reliability, or durability, reduce lead times, reduce procurement costs, enhance manufacturing flexibility, reduce adverse consequences of production (such as accidents, pollution, or toxicity), and establish more productive management systems. No single project is likely to meet all seven of these objectives. The most challenging will aim to contribute to several, as did the superlative projects of the current program described in Chapter 2. These objectives are important both for selecting among proposed ManTech projects and for monitoring the progress

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25 of existing projects. Chart 4.1 describes the charac- teristics of each objective. It is possible to rationalize that any project meets at least one of these objectives. Therefore, coherent informed Judgment of whether a project offers sufficient gain is essential to a sound program. EVALUATION CRITERIA Meaningful evaluation of the new ManTech program must be tied to its fundamental mission. After a group of related projects is completed, the overall success of that area should be evaluated, rather than the success of individual projects. It is the nature of high-risk projects that many of them will fail, at least initially. A number of factors external to the program may inhibit use of project findings. The effects of individual projects may be impossible to ascertain or measure. Further, it takes time to define, develop, and implement new technology, and program evaluations often take place before sufficient time has passed for results to be implemented. For all these reasons, in-depth tracking of the results of individual projects is not an affordable, appropriate, or even feasible basis for evaluating the ManTech program. The new ManTech program, instead, should be judged successful if: it has funded a critical mass of projects that address the manufacturing technologies selected as strategically significant by DOD, and it has had sufficient technical success to provide the means for more effective and efficient manufacture of DOD weapon systems.

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26 Chart 4.1 OBJECTIVES FOR MANUFACluRING TECHNOLOGY PROJECTS (Each project should aim to achieve one or more of these.) 1. New Process Capability: ManTech funding would be used to make new materials or new product technologies more affordable ant available for use in new systems. An example is the automation of composite lay-up for large structures. 2. Improved Quality. Reliability. and Durability: ManTech projects would be targeted at technologies that would make high quality, reliable products. Examples include increasing yield of chip manufacture and developing manufacturing technologies that can increase the mean time between failure of circuit boards. 3. Reduced Lead Times: Funding would be used to reduce the time between major points of production, such as transfer time between design and manufacturing, and production start-up times. 4. Reduced Procurement Costs: Improvements in other criteria will often lead to lower costs, but it is also possible for a project to reduce production costs by such direct means as automating a time-consuming manual process. 5. Enhanced Manufacturing Flexibility: ManTech projects would be aimed at increasing flexibility over short, medium, and long time periods. Examples include reducing set-up times, facilitating volume and schedule changes, and producing multiple products on the same equipment. 6. Avoidance of Adverse Side Effects: Manufacturing Technology projects would be aimed at reducing two types of adverse side effects--hazardous working conditions and unwanted by-products. 7. Improved Management Systems: Projects would be tar- geted at improving the management of production by such means as Just-in-time production systems, and automated storage and transfer of product designs.