Large and complex enterprises that are primarily involved in product development and design often must manage their development portfolios against a backdrop of competing demands and realities. Given an existing product development process, there is currently no accepted method for quantitative measurement of development program interdependency. While some methods exist for measuring dependency or interdependency at the component or system level, these methods do not translate well to program interdependency measurement. This paper presents a model for measuring development program interdependency accurately and quantitatively.

The model uses four Interdependency Factors to identify dependency relationships between programs. Specific Interdependency Levels are then used to measure the strengths of those dependencies. The model also accounts for measurement of dependencies upon programs that are not directly connected, i.e., programs that have a degree of separation from another program, and measurement of program criticality, or the extent to which a program is depended-upon by another program.

In this paper, a small portion of the US Air Force’s product development portfolio is examined and used to demonstrate these measures. The measurement model is applied to an example development program to measure program dependency characteristics. The results demonstrate that the model can be effectively used to identify and measure program dependencies. The model gives the program manager a quantitative tool to determine how much a program depends upon other programs and the potential impacts of those dependencies. With this information, program managers can better protect their programs from vulnerabilities associated with interdependency effects from other programs and portfolio managers are given new insights into the management of their portfolio in the product development processes of the enterprise.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.