5
''We're Already Doing That!"

Many of those who skim these recommendations may well conclude that they are similar to either those previously proposed or those actually adopted in various forms by different departments within the Department of Defense (DoD). For example, some might point to the Manufacturing Technology Program (ManTech), the Industrial Modernization Incentives Program (IMIP), and Title III (of the Defense Production Act) programs as attempts to respond to the concerns about manufacturing; recent programs funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), such as Sematech, might also be cited. The committee hopes, however, that a careful comparison of these recommendations with such programs will reveal profound differences in both guiding philosophy and implementation strategies. The committee is not suggesting another program or changes in existing programs, though both are likely as the total change process progresses. Moreover, simply retitling existing programs so that they correspond better to the terminology used in this report would fall woefully short of addressing the problem as the committee sees it, though "re-titling" is often employed in both defense and commercial organizations.

The members of this committee are impressed both by the magnitude of the changes the committee believes must be made in defense manufacturing policies and practices, and by the likely resistance to such changes. The committee has reviewed dozens of recent reports of government agencies and special committees, all addressing essentially the same problems and proposing various corrective measures. (See Appendix B for summaries of a few.) Panels of this committee have made similar observations in areas



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Breaking the Mold: Forging a Common Defense Manufacturing Vision 5 ''We're Already Doing That!" Many of those who skim these recommendations may well conclude that they are similar to either those previously proposed or those actually adopted in various forms by different departments within the Department of Defense (DoD). For example, some might point to the Manufacturing Technology Program (ManTech), the Industrial Modernization Incentives Program (IMIP), and Title III (of the Defense Production Act) programs as attempts to respond to the concerns about manufacturing; recent programs funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), such as Sematech, might also be cited. The committee hopes, however, that a careful comparison of these recommendations with such programs will reveal profound differences in both guiding philosophy and implementation strategies. The committee is not suggesting another program or changes in existing programs, though both are likely as the total change process progresses. Moreover, simply retitling existing programs so that they correspond better to the terminology used in this report would fall woefully short of addressing the problem as the committee sees it, though "re-titling" is often employed in both defense and commercial organizations. The members of this committee are impressed both by the magnitude of the changes the committee believes must be made in defense manufacturing policies and practices, and by the likely resistance to such changes. The committee has reviewed dozens of recent reports of government agencies and special committees, all addressing essentially the same problems and proposing various corrective measures. (See Appendix B for summaries of a few.) Panels of this committee have made similar observations in areas

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Breaking the Mold: Forging a Common Defense Manufacturing Vision such as defense policies, programs, and supplier relations. (See Appendix A.) Most are thoughtful and persuasive, their authors well informed and highly regarded. Yet few of the changes they propose have been adopted. The obstacles and forces that have prevented the acceptance or successful adoption of these earlier recommendations appear to be the same: insufficient conviction, commitment, and effort by the parties involved. In examining the failure of these previous efforts, the committee notes four stages at which failure occurred: The change process did not start properly. For instance, there has never been any strong momentum behind use of commercial products, despite repeated recommendations that defense-related products include more commercially available parts and subassemblies. Useful changes were made and programs initiated, but they proceeded only part way, and then stalled. Examples include inconsistent funding of the ManTech and IMIP programs. The change process began, achieved limited success within one service or agency in the DoD, but never propagated horizontally to other departments whose involvement was crucial to achieving the full potential of the change. For example, in 1985 the Navy Department established a data base of ''Best Manufacturing Practices" in the defense electronics industry. The purpose of this program is to enhance the proficiency of Navy suppliers by identifying excellent design, manufacturing, and management practices and sharing these with interested companies. Although the program is successful within the Navy, it has not spread to the other services. The change process achieved limited success within either DoD or a defense contracting company, but was not able to cross the boundaries between them. For example, many defense contractors have adopted successful programs in their commercial divisions for continuous reductions in defects, inventory levels, throughput times, and new product development, but these programs have not been transferred to divisions engaged in defense manufacturing. (Rockwell's Tactical Systems Division is a rare exception.) The committee's analysis of "failure modes" suggests possible causes of failure and ways to avoid similar failures in the future. If a change process is never begun, someone at the top of the organization either (a) was not persuaded that the change was necessary and appropriate, (b) could not spend the effort to lead the change, (c) believed that the change violated some law, policy, or tradition that would take too long to alter, or (d) believed that initiating such a change was more properly the responsibility of some other senior official in the DoD. Similarly, the committee identified several reasons a change process,

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Breaking the Mold: Forging a Common Defense Manufacturing Vision once successfully underway, does not continue to spread. First, it may not continue to be supported by its leaders—or even becomes subject to their active resistance—for the reasons given above. Second, the structure of the system and the nature of its organizational boundaries may make the kind of communication and joint effort required to propagate the change difficult. Third, certain laws, regulations, or even rules of conduct may be in place that impede cooperation or make it illegal. Finally, the performance measurement and reward system in place may not provide adequate incentives for some members of the system to participate in the change process, if some emerge from the change relatively better off than others. The goal of this committee, therefore, is to encourage DoD to build on a set of specific changes that are widely regarded within the defense and political communities as desirable (see Appendix B), and to develop a change process that, by involving all parties, will provide support.