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787- An "Armchair CEO" Rescheduling Proposal thread  
User currently offlineFlyglobal From Germany, joined Mar 2008, 573 posts, RR: 3
Posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2976 times:

Hi A.net members,
This is my first contribution to A.net, however I am a long time reader, sometimes more and sometimes less.

This tread is starter and I hope that you don’t bash me by bringing another treat about a well discussed topic.

Lets Help Boeing to schedule their 787 in realistically.

Being a project manager in the Car industry scheduling (and executing!) and leading projects is my daily business. Even if the 787 is clearly not a car, however some guiding issues are across all products.

As I can’t believe that in Boeing the most untalented pool of project planners are collected, I strongly believe that their internal planning is somehow overwritten from either top executives or the Marketing folks who publish something different then an internal schedule would do. Yes this things happen also in other industries and a risk assessment/ monitoring is required, but it also shouldn’t lead to unrealistic assumptions I can’t believe that many armchair CEO’s (like me) can do much better with less info then the insiders want to tell us, just using some guiding principles of project management in this none rocket science task.

It is pretty obvious that this program needs a robust schedule now to at least leave some rest of reputation for my favored Boeing, even if it may be painful at first and executive stock options and salaries may slip.

So with all I can read and a good level off assumption, but using Project management guiding basic principles I propose the robust schedule as follows.

Fist Flight: August 2008

Flight test period: should be scheduled (at least) 15 months considering newly developed combined technologies and some time calculated for corrections/ re-testing. (better would be probably 18 months, but lets not be too pessimistic, but the less then 12 months in Boeing schedule is definitely not robust given the technology boost of this plane)

This would predict enter in Service November 2009
(That just leaves Airbus 380 the pole position of the heaviest delayed project by some weeks).

Now Production Ramp up: This needs to be realistic with a smoother ramp up, but also must be compensated by a much higher final production rate to not delay all planes until 2017. This is what I would say could be a robust approach:

Start doing customer production (after the 7 test planes) around May 2009. At this time most of remaining engineering changes should be known and only minor/ no rework would be needed. Then probably schedule about 3 completed planes per month from August 2009.
This would lead to about 15 birds in 2009.

Then from Jan 1010 for 6 months schedule about 5 frames / month
For second half of 2010 this could be increased to 7 Frames / months
For 2010 this leads to a total of 72 Frames which should be manageable with the supply chain.

From 2011 the average deliveries should be able to be at the 10/ months production rate which are then 120 Frames for 2011.
From 2012 production should increase step by step from 10 to 15 Frames (or even 18) over the next 2 years with probably reaching around mid 2013 the 15 Frames per month rate.
More depends on what variants should be produced in the future (787- 5, 787-10 etc) which could be up to 18 to 25 birds / month.

This is how the schedule would look like which I consider then reasonably robust balanced without too much redesign, but considering the technology and the supply chain challenges.

2009: 15
2010: 72 (+ 7 test birds delivered to customers)
2011: 120
2012: 150
2013: 170
2014: 180 – 200 depending on what the supply chain can deliver)

It may take until about end of 2013 to come to a delivery on original scheduled time.
The additional slots from 2014/2015 could be used for the new variants (787-5) or (787-10) or pull ahead proposals to airlines with later regular schedules.

Lets see what other armchair CEO’s say to that.
We should send then our average to Boeing for consideration.

Regards

Flyglobal

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineHawkerCamm From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2007, 405 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 2914 times:

I think what you have proposed will be very close to the reality. Perhaps with less than 15 A/C EIS'ed before 2010.

Unless Boeing find something wrong in the production ramp-up phase or during flight test.


User currently offlineRheinbote From Germany, joined May 2006, 1968 posts, RR: 52
Reply 2, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 2710 times:

So this is a WAG thread...
EADS could just buy troubled Vought from the likewise troubled Carlyle Group. There's nothing that German technicians couldn't fix. They are highly proficient by now in reconciling configuration, engineering and implementing changes, and ramping up production - all at once - with incomplete documentation, blindfolded, and with one arm tied on their back - all this while being kicked around by managers who couldn't fight their way out of a wet paper bag.  Wink


User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 3, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2536 times:



Quoting Flyglobal (Thread starter):
As I can’t believe that in Boeing the most untalented pool of project planners are collected, I strongly believe that their internal planning is somehow overwritten from either top executives or the Marketing folks who publish something different then an internal schedule would do.

How are project managers supposed to do estimates for a project with no benchmark? It's certainly possible that internal planning got overridden, but Boeing managers and executives aren't stupid either. I think it's far more likely that, absent real world data (because it doesn't exist) they used their best estimates from what they had, and those turned out to be very wrong.

Quoting Flyglobal (Thread starter):
Flight test period: should be scheduled (at least) 15 months considering newly developed combined technologies and some time calculated for corrections/ re-testing.

What about the new technologies suggests a flight test risk to you? What technology do they have that hasn't already been tested to death in the lab or on the ground? It's very easy to say "new technology = more risk" but it's not at all clear that these particular new technologies = more *flight test* risk.

Quoting Flyglobal (Thread starter):
Start doing customer production (after the 7 test planes) around May 2009. At this time most of remaining engineering changes should be known and only minor/ no rework would be needed. Then probably schedule about 3 completed planes per month from August 2009.
This would lead to about 15 birds in 2009.

Given that original forecasts were over 100 in 2009, I'm not sure this is financially possible. The delay payments would likely be immense.

Tom.


User currently offlineFlyglobal From Germany, joined Mar 2008, 573 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2249 times:

Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 3):
How are project managers supposed to do estimates for a project with no benchmark? It's certainly possible that internal planning got overridden, but Boeing managers and executives aren't stupid either. I think it's far more likely that, absent real world data (because it doesn't exist) they used their best estimates from what they had, and those turned out to be very wrong.

This is what I am struggling myself with. I can't believe that that the Boeing Managers are either stupid or inexperienced. However it is also very obvious that that the scheduling is hurting some basic guidelines of project management and this is what makes me wonder.
I don't think any student would pass a Project management basic course when doing the 787 schedules as it is published; especially the second revised one with the condensed flight test program and a compressed delivery plan. This is just ridiculous to do such a plan when they have just gone trough a 6 months experience where the things have gone wrong. If I face problems with either new technologies or my supply change, each project manager would just build in more robustness in the next steps, and not do the opposite and condense. They could use at least for the second schedule their own benchmark.
This is so what of obvious to be done that I can't believe that such a plan wasn't discussed internally, so that I am convinced that somebody was overwriting such a more robust plan and boxedin    the engineers. These people should be the first when it comes to personnel consequences which for sure will follow pretty soon.

Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 3):
What about the new technologies suggests a flight test risk to you? What technology do they have that hasn't already been tested to death in the lab or on the ground? It's very easy to say "new technology = more risk" but it's not at all clear that these particular new technologies = more *flight test* risk.

I doubt that all technology has been tested already to death, even if I agree that simulation tools have been drastically improved over the last years and many things can be adopted online. However simulation tools are usually 1 step behind reality and usually simulation tools are developed optimized and tuned using and adding features which haven’t been considered as issues before.
While I don’t expect anything significant in the 787 structural areas, I expect issues rising out of the combination of the technologies during flight tests, which nobody ever has thought should be subject of a pre simulation.

If I look at our own benchmarking in the car development we are using extended simulation tools to simulate each and every item imaginable, but still we do real world testing and its always a surprise what comes up during such a testing not considered perfectly as subject for better simulation. Of course next time we will add it. And still sometimes we have to suffer from recalls later in the field.
However still with our own issues: In the car industry we are now faced with developing electric driven vehicles, fuel cells and hybrids of any kind. But believe me, in our case we are taking this in account and accept more real world testing as simulation tools are there, but we don’t really have tuned them yet.
Knowing how we deal with such new technologies and also knowing that the challenge lies in the combination of all and the ‘unexpected’ it should also be in Boeings interest to build such recovery loops somehow robust into the schedule. I don’t expect double or such. I just propose that it should be the usual 12 months testing (never believe the 9 month dream) for a conventional plane + 3 months add on for ‘the unexpected’. This still is kind of aggressive and not so conservative (18 months would be better), but my concession to the marketing and finance folks.

Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 3):
Given that original forecasts were over 100 in 2009, I'm not sure this is financially possible. The delay payments would likely be immense.

Yes I agree that this portion is the most painful one,    but probably it has to be faced asap.
It doesn’t help much not to face reality and of course ramp-up should be as soon as possible. All I do is to build in a reasonable in my opinion achievable ramp-up in the schedule, and of course from an armchair CEO position this is much easier to bring it to paper then Boeing internally. The earlier Boeing comes to reality the better it is.
I can bet that at the end we will be very close to what I predict here as ‘achievable’ schedule.   

The financial burden heavily depends on how quickly the production can be raised above the original production rate. I think Boeing and its suppliers need to shoot for almost doubling the original production rate.
But I predict that all deliveries until around 2013 will be affected from more or less delays.

Now this bad news have to be told officially to the share holders. As an Armchair CEO I hand this now over to Scott.   
He can use my schedule as a reference and I will not charge for it as for me still it’s a ‘low brainer’.   

Regards

Flyglobal

[Edited 2008-03-16 03:07:51]

[Edited 2008-03-16 03:14:30]

User currently offlineBeaucaire From Syria, joined Sep 2003, 5252 posts, RR: 25
Reply 5, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2079 times:

http://www.aero.de/Boeing_verschiebt...uer_787_Dreamliner_erneut_6038.htm

if you read this report,your scenario is already made obsolete by new reality....
Initial deliveries -so far- now shall start eventually in Q3 2009 -if nothing else hits the agenda..



Please respect animals - don't eat them...
User currently offlineMoo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3882 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2058 times:



Quoting Beaucaire (Reply 5):
Initial deliveries -so far- now shall start eventually in Q3 2009 -if nothing else hits the agenda..

Sorry, I can't read German and Babelfish makes for 'interesting' reading  Smile Has this been confirmed by Boeing now or is it just more speculation?


User currently offlineRheinbote From Germany, joined May 2006, 1968 posts, RR: 52
Reply 7, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 2007 times:

"according to press reports" first flight will be postponed another three months while initial deliveries will be pushed back to third quarter 2009...quoting German news weekly "Der Focus" - see here:
http://www.focus.de/finanzen/boerse/...n/luftfahrt/boeing_aid_265298.html

The article then goes on saying that the problems are largely in wiring and avionics installation. It remains unclear (may be intentionally so) which part of the article is really based on Boeing quotes.

May be a conglomerate of last week's press articles only.


User currently offlineFlyglobal From Germany, joined Mar 2008, 573 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1964 times:

This comes quicker then I thought.

The funny thing is that the article is quoting Boeing that they would be 'the typical wiring harness issues' which would sound really like: 'What’s up customers and public, it is a common sense that wiring issues happen and never will be planned in any schedule, so why do you claim surprise'. Buts lets better see what they really say, I hope they will find to a better then their so far snooty attitude.

Not sure when they will schedule their first flight now. My prediction was August and I am even more convinced that they need some additional time for the flight-testing as well. So my prediction of 15 months will come close.

When Boeing now will say that 1st delivery will be 3rd quarter, we know that it will be not one day earlier then September 30th, 2009.
This is now only 2 months away from my armchair CEO prediction for November 2009.

Lets further see what their new ramp up schedule will be.

I feel sorry for them, but better get the things cleared.

Regards

Flyglobal

[Edited 2008-03-16 08:33:12]

[Edited 2008-03-16 08:40:05]

User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 9, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1791 times:



Quoting Flyglobal (Reply 4):
I doubt that all technology has been tested already to death, even if I agree that simulation tools have been drastically improved over the last years and many things can be adopted online. However simulation tools are usually 1 step behind reality and usually simulation tools are developed optimized and tuned using and adding features which haven’t been considered as issues before.

The only technology on the 787 that can't be tested on the ground is the full-scale aerodynamics. However, they've got some big wind tunnels involved and CFD has come a long way, so that may be one of the lower risk areas. Simulation is important, yes, but they've had actual hardware (just not necessarily flight hardware) in many cases for years.

Quoting Flyglobal (Reply 4):
I just propose that it should be the usual 12 months testing (never believe the 9 month dream) for a conventional plane + 3 months add on for ‘the unexpected’.

I'm not sure the extra 3 months is justified. Every clean-sheet aircraft has been a major jump over its predecessors...the 787 is very different from the 777, but the 777 was very different from the 767, and so on.

Tom.


User currently offlineWingedMigrator From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 2212 posts, RR: 56
Reply 10, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 1640 times:



Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 3):
Given that original forecasts were over 100 in 2009

To be fair, the original plan was over 100 deliveries in 2009 and the second half of 2008.

Quoting Rheinbote (Reply 7):
It remains unclear (may be intentionally so) which part of the article is really based on Boeing quotes.

Well, the only part directly sourced from Boeing is from the 'Boeing-Sprecherin' who can only be Yvonne Leach. Her recent statements in response to the Goldman Sachs report are consistent with the article, but she has not confirmed any of the schedule claims of the G.S. analyst.

Quoting Rheinbote (Reply 7):
May be a conglomerate of last week's press articles only.

 checkmark  most definitely.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30641 posts, RR: 84
Reply 11, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 1582 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting Rheinbote (Reply 7):
The article then goes on saying that the problems are largely in wiring and avionics installation. It remains unclear (may be intentionally so) which part of the article is really based on Boeing quotes.

Scott Hamilton is now saying the same, and other news sources are starting to pick it up.

2008, 2009, 2010... It doesn't matter. It will still become the best-selling widebody in history and in the end, that is all that matters and will be remembered.


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