This exceptional work demonstrates in fine detail how the application of systems management by the United States Air Force to its ballistic missiles and computer programs not only produced critical new weapons, but also benefited American industry. Systems management harmonized the disparate goals of four interest groups. For the military it brought rapid technological progress; for scientists, new products; for engineers, dependability; and for managers, predictable cost. The process evolved, beginning shortly after the end of World War II, when Gen. Henry H. "Hap" Arnold directed that the Army Air Forces (later the U.S. Air Force) continue its wartime collaboration with the scientific community. This started as a voluntary association, with the establishment of the Scientific Advisory Board and Project RAND. At first represented by Gen. Bernard A. Schriever's ballistic missiles program, ARDC bypassed traditional organizational structures. Schriever's Western Development Division (WDD), located at Inglewood, California, made its case, based upon the Soviet Union's nuclear threat, to engage in the race to develop long-range ballistic missiles.
Ultimately, Schriever's new project management and weapons systems procedures—concurrency—produced a family of missile and space vehicles. However, in bypassing administrative red tape, this development also eliminated some necessary checks and balances that led to a series of flight test failures and cost overruns.
Topics and subjects covered include: ARDC, AMC, missiles, space vehicles, ICBMs, RAND, MITRE, Ramo-Wooldridge, computer control, General Hap Arnold, Dr. Theodore von Karman, Brig. General Donald L. Putt, Convair, Titan rocket, Atlas rocket, Minuteman missile, Whirlwind computer, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, SAGE, Sputnik crisis, BOMARC, F-106.
Chapter 1 - Complexity and the Organization of Research and Development * Ballistic Missiles * Automation of Command and Control * Technical Complexity and Systems Approaches * Systems Management * A Social Story of Air Force R&D * Conclusion * Notes * Chapter 2 - Building the Air Force of the Future * Army Aircraft Procurement Through World War II * Forming Organizations to Communicate with the Technologists * Development Planning and the Organization of the DCS/D * The Rise of the Weapon System Concept * Conclusion * Notes * Chapter 3 - Building the Weapon of the Future: Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles * ICBMs and Formation of the WDD * Establishing WDD's Authority * Applying the System Concept * Systems Engineering from the Ridenour Report to Ramo-Wooldridge * Testing Concurrency * Responding to Failure: The Creation of Configuration Control * The Systems Approach in Industry * Conclusion * Notes * Chapter 4 - To Command and Control * The Navy's Problem Child * The Air Force Reaps the Whirlwind * Organizing a Controversial Computer Project * Learning to Develop a System * Semi-Automatic Air Defense * RAND Enters the Scene * Programming Crisis and Response * Conclusion * Notes * Chapter 5 - Standardizing the Systems Approach * The Researchers' Refusal: The Formation of SDC and MITRE * Profiting from the Inside: From TRW to Aerospace Corporation * Ad Hoc Organization for Electronics * Schriever Takes Command * Standardizing Systems Management * McNamara, Phased Planning, and Central Control * Conclusion * Notes * Chapter 6 - Securing the Technological Future * Recruiting the Scientists and Engineers * Solving the Puzzle of Complexity * Reconciling Political Interests * The Schriever Factor * Paths Not Taken * Founding the Future * Notes
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