Over the last decade, military project development design cycles have decreased dramatically; from several years to multiple months. Even more, the competition for these design programs has increased leaving behind mediocre companies – the competition today is first-rate and the projects will only be awarded to the best-of-the-best organizations. A success factor for high-performance companies today includes the ability to deliver Quick-Turn Concept-to-Production solutions for their clients.
Organizations having a success factor of quick turn operate in a Quick-Tempo mode. Being Quick-Tempo parallels to being a nimble organization and having the ability to consistently succeed in unpredictable, contested environments. Quick-Tempo is more than being flexible, it conveys speed, grace, and resourcefulness and it represents a competitive advantage that becomes a strategic asset.
In a Quick-Tempo company, chaos is not acceptable but working with daily intent is. To be clear, doing things fast does not equate to creating chaos; rather, doing tasks with intent and purpose create a Quick-Tempo environment. That is, everyone on the project’s team consciously applies a day-to-day purpose to their activities to execute on high-quality design programs. This intensely reduces the design cycle yielding a strategic advantage over the competition. A Quick-Tempo organization incorporates operational efficiency in to their daily tasks and discussions of continuous improvement occur often and are encouraged. The organization that masters Quick-Tempo understands that:
- shifting of priorities is normal
- being flexible in each employee’s role is normal
- participating as a cross-functional team member is normal
- shifting to the demands of the Project Managers is normal
The most important attribute of Quick-Turn is the ability of the project team to deliver first-pass hardware. In fact, this is a must and is achieved through today’s knowledge-worker by:
- leveraging state-of-the art design tools, e.g. AWR, Genesys, Solid Works
- working on the right-thing, consistently challenging what the right-thing to work on is
- instilling a business acumen mindset in the engineering and manufacturing teams
- implementation of leadership chaired program design reviews
- creation of organizational depth across the organization
In closing, leadership teams that develop business systems (people and processes) that are aligned and proactively support fast development will generate a core competency that can meet demanding schedules. In turn, this will blow the competition away; producing positive business results for both the client and the organization.