Complexity in Defence Projects
A dissertation submitted for the degree of B.Eng.
School of Mechanical, Aerospace & Civil Engineering, the University of Manchester, M13 9PL
Chapter 1 Introduction 2
1.1 Project Background 2
1.2 Aims and Objectives 2
1.3 Outline of the Report 3
Chapter 2 Literature Review 4
2.1 Complexity in Projects 4
2.2 Defence Industry 5
2.2.1 Definition 5
2.2.2 Platform Projects 5
2.2.3 Military Expenditure 6
2.3 Main Problems Associated With Defence Projects 7
2.4 Case Studies 8
2.4.1 Astute Program 8
2.4.2 Eurofighter Typhoon 10
Chapter 3 Methodology 12
3.1 Research 12
3.2 Data Collection and Analysis 12
3.3 Sources of Information 12
3.4 Future Work 13
3.5 Gantt Chart 13
“Complexity in defence projects”
Chapter 1 Introduction
1.1 Project Background
Defence projects are considered to be among the most complex projects in the world. They usually suffer from substantial cost increases, big schedule delays and frequently fail to meet the original requirements.
This project will assess the nature of project complexity and will relate the learning to the main problems associated with defence projects. In addition to that, management of big projects in other major industry sectors will be considered and the conclusions drawn will be employed to suggest ways in which future defence projects can be managed in order to minimize the problems.
1.2 Aims and Objectives
The aim of this project is to identify the main problems associated with defense projects and suggest possible ways in which future projects can be managed more effectively.
The following objectives will be discussed in order to achieve the aim:
To identify and discuss what project complexity is in general
To identify what defence industry is and to describe its main characteristics
To identify the main problems that arise with defence projects
To review two/three defence-related projects so that the problems can be put into context
To identify how large projects in other industry sectors (possibly civil aerospace) manage their problems
To use the learning from other industry sectors and establish whether these lessons can be applied to the defence industry
The project will be undertaken between October 2014 and April 2015.
1.3 Outline of the Report
Chapter one gives a general overview of the project scope, aims and objectives and sets the context for this report.
Chapter two is the main body of the report and contains within it the results from reviewing the literature. It discusses the concept of project complexity, gives a general overview of the defence industry and introduces the main problems arising from defence projects. Some of the problems are put into context by reviewing two case studies (the Astute program and Eurofighter Typhoon).
Chapter three describes the methodology behind the research undertaken. It discusses the concepts of primary and secondary sources of information and qualitative and quantitative data as well as the methods of data collection and analysis. At the end, it gives a general overview of the future work to be completed in order to achieve the aim of the project.
Chapter 2 Literature Review
2.1 Complexity in Projects
According to Kerzner and Belack (2010), complex projects are different from traditional projects for multiple reasons. Complexity can arise from the size and length of the project – the larger it is in scope and cost, and the longer it is, the more likely it is to undergo a change in scope, which will affect the budget and schedule. Consequently, complex projects tend to suffer from schedule slippages and substantial cost increases.
Complexity can also arise from the multiple interactions involved in the execution of the project. This includes the interface between numerous subcontractors or suppliers, which could be located in different time zones around the globe, as well as the cultural differences…