Northrop Grumman - Ensure Mission-Critical OPerations

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News / Getty Images
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News / Getty Images
OPM Experts performed an assessment of several divisions within Northrop Grumman. A broad cross-section of leaders was enrolled to identify opportunities for improving project management quickly and unobtrusively, using an approach complementing our implementation of SEI’s CMMI. We obtained a consensus view from among process owners and practitioners of the current state of capabilities and low hanging fruit, emphasizing strategic priorities. Their OPM3 training course was excellent and well-presented. They handled a challenging audience with patience and professionalism. They were very responsive and responsible in assisting us in producing a valuable, high quality end product. Top qualities: Great results. Personable. Expert.
— Peter Skinner, Process Engineer at Northrop Grumman

When there are many competing stakeholders working on a shared problem, often the best way to achieve collaboration is to use an objective third-party facilitator.

Challenge

Northrop Grumman is a multi-billion dollar defense company known for its ability to master the largest, most complex system challenges for its defense and intelligence clients, providing a broad array of technologically advanced, innovative products services and solutions in systems integration, defense electronics, information technology, advanced aircraft, shipbuilding, and space technology. Having implemented SEI's CMMI, Northrop Grumman was committed to continuous improvement in project performance, and wished to establish a best practice framework for assessing its project management capabilities and for identifying and deciding which highest leverage improvement opportunities to pursue.

Solution

OPM Experts performed an assessment of many divisions within Northrop, beginning with a workshop comprised of cross-functional personnel who were process owners in their respective organizations. This was followed by surveys deployed online unobtrusively and facilitated by conference calls that accomodated the wide geographical differences among participants. The assessment addressed Integration Management, Scope Management, Time Management, Cost Management, Quality Management, Human Resource Management, Communications Management, Risk Management, and Procurement Management. The assessment was documented in a report that included specific and actionable recommendations for improving project management.

Results

Northrop Grumman was able to enroll a broad cross-section of leaders within the company to assess the organization's project management capabilities and to identify opportunities for improving project management quickly and unobtrusively. Most importantly they were provided an approach for considering next steps in their journey of continuous improvement and a process for deciding among improvement alternatives.