Accelerating Innovation in the Government-Industry Relationship

The theoretical advances in product information management science over the past 30 years is nothing less than enlightening; but, the incorporated best practices fall short despite the intuitively obvious potential productivity gains, continuous process improvement opportunities, and collaboration platforms for staging innovation. This discrepancy is apparent in the current relationship between Government entities and their Industry partners. Fortunately, although the various issues are pervasive, there are also pockets of success throughout this domain. This article is not meant to cast dispersions on all Government – Industry interaction. The goal of this series is to encourage, in the simplest possible terms, all parties to strive to adopt best practices as reflected in the current state of thinking and embodied in modern enterprise products related to CAD/CAM/CAx, PLM, ERP, and CRM. This treatment will be a multi-segment article addressing the most viable innovation frameworks, and defining and contrasting the best and worst practices pertaining to the modern Government – Industry relationship.

Given the scale and diversity of commercial and government A&D contributions to products throughout their product life cycle, one size does not fit all. Consider four A&D products: a satellite, an interceptor, a fighter aircraft and an aircraft carrier with respect to their product life cycle. Short of a space-walk or a transmitted software upgrade, the satellite will have no logistics support and barely consider the Integrated Product Support(IPS) elements. An interceptor will have only moderate logistics consideration from a frequency point of view but may very well last and present demands for decades. A fighter aircraft will last for decades, require logistic support per mission and extensively leverage the IPS elements. Lastly, consider an aircraft carrier that is a virtual city with numerous aircraft, munitions and support equipment as variable components to the configuration. These differing product life cycles will have consequent impact on not just the pace of innovation, but also the pace of deployment.

This TransR™ article, presented in individual segments, will delve into the key topics below and their impact on innovation throughout the product life cycle.

  • Part-centric vs drawing-centric operational policy *** Published ***
  • 3D model vs 2D drawing representations
  • Local sufficiency vs global concurrency
  • Data rights; IP, ITAR, EAR Protection; and the role of secure collaboration in innovation
  • Contract delivery vehicles and the concept of an Integrated Digital Environment
  • Human readable constructs; machine readable constructs; queryable semantic networks; big data
  • Role of Internet of Things(IoT) in innovation
  • Role of machine learning in innovation
  • Role of simulation and related analytics in innovation
  • Role of constrained optimization in innovation

Together, the proper enforcement of best practices in these areas will accelerate innovation, decrease time to deployment, leverage Better-Buying-Power 3 principles, and ensure commercial profitability by exploiting technology-driven productivity gains, and eliminating unproductive processes and bureaucracy. The challenge is to evaluate not just the government agency or industry partner on their maturity, but also the relationship itself. Done properly all parties’ ability to understand and mitigate risk can be dramatically enhanced due to increased insight through information transparency, advanced predictive capabilities and targeted business process transformation.


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