Flight Management System (FMS): Lifting client out of widening challenges

Project takes off after helping client meet technical, budget, and schedule goals

The Problem

A major systems supplier was unable to meet a critical contract milestone. The contract involved preparing the Flight Management System for first flight integration with a U.S. military combat helicopter. Late into the project, the supplier determined their resources were insufficient to meet the technical, budget, and schedule requirements. With a chance they might fail to meet an important milestone for the U.S. Army, the supplier sought Performance Software for help. Performance Software was highly recommended for their high-quality results, fast pace, and the company’s significant FMS development and testing experience.

The Solution

Mitigating risk was crucial to resolving the client’s problem. An analysis of the project revealed that a 9-month schedule was ideal. Performance Software had to devise a plan to meet an intense schedule compression of five months. They decided to offer the client a Firm-Fixed Price (FFP) quote for the full program. This transferred the project risk from the client to Performance Software, set up a risk-sharing partnership that assured the client’s budget control, and enabled Performance Software to fully optimize the execution plan.

A particularly challenging aspect of the project was the rolling wave of scope expansion. Performance Software initially assembled a team of four domain experts to work on 200 technical requirements. As the project matured, the client uncovered a total of 7,100 technical requirements. Performance Software quickly added 26 senior engineering resources to assist with completing the additional requirements and testing. They also developed a tool for the FMS testing to accelerate test case development, which cut weeks off the schedule.

The Results

Rapidly Scaled Team: Quickly scaled technical resources by 8X in response to the client’s realization that a significant amount of work was left to complete.

Scaled Resources by 8x

Partnered to Share Risk:  Performance Software’s flexible risk-sharing approach prevented more than $2 million of potential delay costs while minimizing the client’s budget impact.

Saved $2 million

Saved First Flight Milestone: Reduced the schedule by 44%, enabling the U.S. Army to proceed with the first flight on schedule.

4-month Pull In

Happy Customer: The project manager stated, “We could not have met the critical milestone without you.” The client subsequently hired Performance Software for two additional major programs.

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