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Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems Implementation Plan

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Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems (NGES) was forced to change the way that software was delivered to meet the Department of Defense requirements. This change led to the formation of the internal Software Development Plan (iSDP) which breaks the project plan into six areas: (1) project scope, (2) risk management, (3) the development approach, (4) project resources, (5) estimates and schedules, and (6) visibility.

In addition, the development approach is broken into smaller sections that include sub-project deliverables (builds), the coding language, software interfaces, milestones, and the life cycle model.

The four life cycle models for development are waterfall, spiral, build, and evolutionary. Systems engineers specify the development approaches of builds as serial, parallel, or partial.

Project resources include required security levels, training plan development, system backups, and individual access rights.

Estimates and schedules include standard cost, schedule, and performance requirements.

Visibility includes project metrics, internal and external reviews, Software Change Notice (SCN), official Change Control Boards (CCB), and weekly Integrated Product Team (IPT) meetings. Customers are included on IPT and CCB groups for input and feedback.

The use of iSDP has allowed NGES to meet DoD requirements, increased productivity and quality, minimized risk, and provides management with risk identification and project visibility. The iSDP has resulted in NGES achieving Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) Level 5 (Best Manufacturing Practices, 2006).

Companies can learn from this example to develop or acquire a detailed and complete project plan model that addresses plan requirements including inputs, outputs, environment, and processes. Such a model provides project management guidance, quality control, standards, risk reduction, and visibility.

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YouSigma. (2008). “Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems Implementation Plan." From http://www.yousigma.com.

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