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Lakshman D.,Programme Planning and Evaluation Group | Kannan M.V.,Programme Planning and Evaluation Group
Journal of Spacecraft Technology | Year: 2013

Demand for Communication satellites is growing rapidly for Satellite TV Services, Broadband Internet Access, Distant Telephony, Direct Radio, Mobile & VSAT Services etc. Satellite application has ushered in a new era globally in television broadcasting with the huge popularity of High-Definition Television (HDTV), Direct-To-Home (DTH) etc. To meet the ever growing needs of satellite based services, satellite manufacturer are compelled to improve their throughput capacity and accelerate the 'time to market'. The drive towards the timely completion of satellite project, made it strategically imperative for manufacturer to deliver satellite faster by optimizing the schedule without comprising quality and reliability aspects. Delivering the right quality at the right time is the underlining principle of lean thinking. The concept of Lean thinking has gained widespread popularity in product oriented manufacturing; however it is equally viable in satellite manufacturing. The time needed to realize a satellite can be reduced by adding the flavor of lean thinking in satellite manufacturing. Today, satellite builders especially who are responsible for both nation's civilian space program and commercial application, are adhered to the traditional approach of custom built satellites. However to enable the rapid production of satellite projects, satellite manufacturers has to rethink the way they deals with satellite production process and use the lean manufacturing approach to speed the 'time to market'. This paper provides an overview on lean thinking and discusses the concept of lean thinking in the context of satellite manufacturing. The paper propose the adaptation of lean approach like modular concept in Satellite Design, standardization in Satellite Design, knowledge management, use of commercial-off-the-shelf components in small satellite mission etc to address the wider concerns of satellite productivity.


Lakshman D.,Programme Planning and Evaluation Group | Kannan M.V.,Programme Planning and Evaluation Group | Bhojraj H.,Programme Planning and Evaluation Group
Journal of Spacecraft Technology | Year: 2010

Managing multiple and complex projects under one roof is a challenge within many space agencies in the world. Too often, in these space organizations, projects schedule runs on a critical path and ultimately slips from the baseline plan due to a number of reasons. In a multi project environment, a spillover in one project activity significantly affects the pace of the parallel and future projects which are directly or indirectly depend on the same resources. In the wake of this, the space agencies are actively involved in locating the factors that are negatively affecting the progress of the project, but in the present scenario, the traditional methods and techniques are proved to be less adequate. In the early 80s when the manufacturing firms were looking for a technique to identify and remove the causes of defects and errors in the manufacturing process, the concept of Six Sigma originated at Motorola. Six Sigma makes use of DMAIC Methodology to systematically Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control the manufacturing processes and eliminate defects. This paper attempts to extend the benefits of the Root Cause Analysis (RCA) Techniques from the Analytical phase of the DMAIC methodology to troubleshoot the causes of spacecraft Project Schedule slippage. It illustrates the use of three key RCA Techniques- WHY-WHY Technique, Cause and Effect Analysis and Pareto Analysis for better understanding the parameters that are responsible for schedule shift from estimated one in a space industry. The above three techniques are broadly described to ensure their application in all the area of project management. In a nutshell, this paper provides an insight into one of the challenging aspect of Project Management: Identification of all the possible causes that may result in Project Schedule Variance, using the RCA Techniques.


Lakshman D.,Programme Planning and Evaluation Group | Kannan M.V.,Programme Planning and Evaluation Group | Bhojraj H.,Programme Planning and Evaluation Group
Journal of Spacecraft Technology | Year: 2011

To stay abreast of the promising technologies in aerospace, leading space research organizations are engaged in huge projects ofmulti dimensions and multi disciplined technical features for allied space applications. With the emergent number of projects at one end and constraints on resources at the other end, it is becoming increasingly complex for these organizations to accomplish the tasks effectively in terms of schedule and budget using the traditional project management paradigm. Schedule and budget are highly interrelated entities in any project and should be viewed in unison. The traditional project management style treats them as separate components and the true performance of the project is not being reflected. Moreover, recorded history of completed projects indicates that no optimum tradeoff between schedule and budget was achieved and reason could be treatment of schedule and budget parameters independently. Hence one needs to relook at project management style to be more effective. Kaizen is the Japanese word for improvement. Kaizen refers to a philosophy or practices that focus upon continuous improvement in all functions of an organization. The principle of kaizen was originally developed in Japanese automotive manufacturing plants and today it is deeply rooted in the Japanese's business culture. This paper aims to seed the kaizen culture or in other words establish improvement in the present spacecraft project management system using the Earned Value Analysis. Earned Value Analysis is a powerful project-monitoring tool that has an exclusive feature to quantify the progress of the project and at the same time identify likely variance in schedule and budget in the early phase before it becomes too difficult to resolve the crisis. EVA seeks to unify the schedule and budget performance and effectively accomplish the project objectives. This paper demonstrates the application of Earned Value Analysis in spacecraft project management using Microsoft Office Project 2007 - a widely accepted scheduling tool.

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