Building an Agile, Collaborative Environment for Capturing Productivity Based Cost Model Data

Methods and Models I Track



Understanding and analyzing productivity within an Aerospace electronics development organization requires continuous oversight and adjustment. For example, in digital electronics, a corollary to Moore’s Law says that the capability of digital processor components doubles every 18 months. This would imply that the cost to design a set of digital electronics products to deliver a specific state-of-the-art capability would change (become less) as a function of the ability to incorporate more features on any one component.

This paper will discuss how Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems (SAS) Electronics Center (EEC) built an extremely agile, collaborative environment in order to track in-process productivity of the development of electronics systems and sub-products of those systems. The fundamental basis of this discussion is that productivity will be defined as the number of labor hours to produce a product of certain size (hours/size), where the size of any particular product is encapsulated by a parameter called an “Effective Key Size Metric” (eKSM).

The collaboration technology platform that the Raytheon SAS Electronics Center built upon was Microsoft Sharepoint 2010, but other collaboration technologies like Google Docs could easily be applied. The most important pieces for the success of collecting the required productivity data are well defined data requirements, ease of access, data visibility and constant data review.


David Bloom
After graduating from the University of California at Davis in 1983, Mr. Bloom has worked for the Naval Weapons Center, Lockheed Martin, Lawrence Livermore National Labs and since 2008, for Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems (SAS) where he is a Sr. Engineering Manager.
Mr. Bloom is currently the Cost Estimation Subject Matter Expert (SME) for the Electronics Center of SAS. He has developed parametric models for all Electronics Center products and helped transform the culture of the organization in the use of parametric bidding methodologies.
In addition to Mr. Bloom’s focus for the Electronics Center in developing parametric cost models for the design and development cycle activity of electronics sub-products, he is also leading the effort to reduce the cost of FPGA and ASIC development by modernizing the Digital Verification methods and establishing reproducible re-use methods.
Mr. Bloom has patents and a software copyrights along with a number of publications ranging from electromagnetic boundary value problems to cost estimation. In 2006, he won the International R&D 100 Award for innovating a cost effective Gigapixel Camera for persistent surveillance applications.

Wanda Grant
Current Position: Electronics Center Chief Process Engineer.
Master in Electrical Engineering from LMU, concentration in Computer Design.
Worked for Hughes / Raytheon for 34 years in various roles from test engineer, design engineer to systems engineer.

Mason Wexler
Mason Wexler has worked for Raytheon for over 23 years in the Information Technology and Engineering organizations and is currently a member of the SAS IT Information Security department. He started working with the IBM Company in 1979 as a numerical control programmer writing algorithms to control machines used to manufacture of printed circuit boards, and also worked as a member of the IBM DB2 database development team. He joined Hughes Aircraft Company in 1984 where he has performed systems administration, systems architecture, and programming assignments. Mason participated in the design and implementation of the Raytheon Active Directory and is currently the SAS Domain Administrator for the us.ray.com Windows Domain. Mason was the project manager for the SAS Server Virtualization project, and most recently was part of the design effort for the SAS Distributed System Architecture (DSA) which developed the design for the next generation SAS desktop environment. Mason graduated in 1979 from the State University of New York College at Potsdam with a major in Computer Science.