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Teamwork for Oversight of Processes and Systems (TOPS). Implementation guide for TOPS version 2.0, 10 August 1992As the nation redefines priorities to deal with a rapidly changing world order, both government and industry require new approaches for oversight of management systems, particularly for high technology products. Declining defense budgets will lead to significant reductions in government contract management personnel. Concurrently, defense contractors are reducing administrative and overhead staffing to control costs. These combined pressures require bold approaches for the oversight of management systems. In the Spring of 1991, the DPRO and TRW created a Process Action Team (PAT) to jointly prepare a Performance Based Management (PBM) system titled Teamwork for Oversight of Processes and Systems (TOPS). The primary goal is implementation of a performance based management system based on objective data to review critical TRW processes with an emphasis on continuous improvement. The processes are: Finance and Business Systems, Engineering and Manufacturing Systems, Quality Assurance, and Software Systems. The team established a number of goals: delivery of quality products to contractual terms and conditions; ensure that TRW management systems meet government guidance and good business practices; use of objective data to measure critical processes; elimination of wasteful/duplicative reviews and audits; emphasis on teamwork--all efforts must be perceived to add value by both sides and decisions are made by consensus; and synergy and the creation of a strong working trust between TRW and the DPRO. TOPS permits the adjustment of oversight resources when conditions change or when TRW systems performance indicate either an increase or decrease in surveillance is appropriate. Monthly Contractor Performance Assessments (CPA) are derived from a summary of supporting system level and process-level ratings obtained from objective process-level data. Tiered, objective, data-driven metrics are highly successful in achieving a cooperative and effective method of measuring performance. The teamwork-based culture developed by TOPS proved an unequaled success in removing adversarial relationships and creating an atmosphere of continuous improvement in quality processes at TRW. The new working relationship does not decrease the responsibility or authority of the DPRO to ensure contract compliance and it permits both parties to work more effectively to improve total quality and reduce cost. By emphasizing teamwork in developing a stronger approach to efficient management of the defense industrial base TOPS is a singular success.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Strand, Albert A.
(TRW Electronic Systems Group Redondo Beach, CA, United States)
Jackson, Darryl J.
(TRW Electronic Systems Group Redondo Beach, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1992
Publication Information
Publication: JPL, Ninth Annual NASA(Contractors Conference on Quality and Productivity. World Class Excellence: The Journey Continues. Conference Presentations
Subject Category
Quality Assurance And Reliability
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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