A definition of Integrated Product and Process Development (IPPD) and its key tenets.


from William Perry, Secretary of Defense
Memorandum dated 10 May 1995

DRM Associates
IPPD Workshop
IPPD Program Assessment
Product Development Forum
NPD Body of Knowledge

IPPD is an expansion of concurrent engineering utilizing a systematic approach to the integrated, concurrent development of a product and its associated manufacturing and sustainment processes to satisfy customer needs.

IPPD Defined: A management process that integrates all activities from product concept through production/field support, using a multi-functional team, to simultaneously optimize the product and its manufacturing and sustainment processes to meet cost and performance objectives. Its key tenets are as follows:

  1. Customer Focus - The primary objective of IPPD is to satisfy customer's needs better, faster and at less cost. The customer needs should determine the nature of the product and its associated processes.

  2. Concurrent Development of Products and Processes - Processes should be developed concurrently with products which they support. It is critical that the processes used to manage, develop, manufacture, verify, test, deploy, operate, support, train people, and eventually dispose of the product be considered during development. Product and process design and performance should be kept in balance.

  3. Early and Continuous Life Cycle Planning - Planning for a product and process should begin early in the science & technology phase (especially advanced development) and extend throughout the product's life cycle. Early life cycle planning, which includes customers, functions, and suppliers, lays a solid foundation for the various phases of a product and its processes. Key program events should be defined so that resources can be applied and the impact of resource constraints better understood and managed.

  4. Maximize Flexibility for Optimization and Use of Contractor Unique Approaches - Requests for Proposal (RFP's) and contract should provide maximum flexibility for optimization and use of contractor unique processes and commercial specifications, standards and practices.

  5. Encourage Robust Design and Improved Process Capability - Encourage use of advanced design and manufacturing techniques that promote achieving quality through design, products with little sensitivity to variations in the manufacturing process (robust design) and focus on process capability and continuous process improvement. Utilize such tools as "Six-Sigma" process control and lean/agile manufacturing concepts to advantage.

  6. Event Driven Scheduling - A scheduling framework should be established which relates program events to their associated accomplishments and accomplishment criteria. An event is considered complete only when the accomplishments associated with the event have been completed as measured by the accomplishment criteria. This event-driven scheduling reduces risk by ensuring that product and process maturity are incrementally demonstrated prior to beginning follow-on activities.

  7. Multidisciplinary Teamwork - Multidisciplinary teamwork is essential to the integrated and concurrent development of a product and its processes. The right people at the right place at the right time are required to make timely decisions. Team decisions should be based on the combined input of the entire team (e.g. engineering, manufacturing, test, logistics, financial management, contracting personnel) to include customers and suppliers. Each team member needs to understand their role and support the role of the other members, as well as understand the constraints under which other team members operate. Communication within teams and between teams should be open with team success emphasized and rewarded.

  8. Empowerment - Decisions should be driven to the lowest level commensurate with risk. Resources should be allocated at levels consistent with authority, responsibility, and the ability of the people. The team should be given authority, responsibility, and resources to manage their product and its risk commensurate with the team's capabilities. The team should accept responsibility and be held accountable for the results of their effort.

  9. Seamless Management Tools - A framework should be established which relates products and processes at all levels to demonstrate dependency and interrelationships. A single management system should be established that relates requirements, planning, resource allocation, execution, and program tracking over the product's life cycle. This integrated approach helps ensure teams have all available information thereby enhancing team decision-making at all levels. Capabilities should be provided to share technical and business information throughout the product life cycle through the use of acquisition and support databases and software tools for accessing, exchanging, and viewing information.

  10. Proactive Identification and Management of Risk - Critical cost, schedule and technical parameters related to system characteristics should be identified from risk analyses and user requirements. Technical and business performance measurement plans, with appropriate metrics, should be developed and compared to best-in-class industry benchmarks to provide continuing verification of the degree of anticipated and actual achievement of technical and business parameters.