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Performance metrics analysis for aircraft maintenance process control

Kevin M. Taaffe (Industrial Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, USA)
Robert William Allen (Industrial Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, USA)
Lindsey Grigg (Lockheed Martin Corporation, Greenville, South Carolina, USA)

Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering

ISSN: 1355-2511

Article publication date: 6 May 2014

Abstract

Purpose

Performance measurements or metrics are that which measure a company's performance and behavior, and are used to help an organization achieve and maintain success. Without the use of performance metrics, it is difficult to know whether or not the firm is meeting requirements or making desired improvements. During the course of this study with Lockheed Martin, the research team was tasked with determining the effectiveness of the site's existing performance metrics that are used to help an organization achieve and maintain success. Without the use of performance metrics, it is difficult to know whether or not the firm is meeting requirements or making desired improvements. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Research indicates that there are five key elements that influence the success of a performance metric. A standardized method of determining whether or not a metric has the right mix of these elements was created in the form of a metrics scorecard.

Findings

The scorecard survey was successful in revealing good metric use, as well as problematic metrics. In the quality department, the Document Rejects metric has been reworked and is no longer within the executive's metric deck. It was also recommended to add root cause analysis, and to quantify and track the cost of non-conformance and the overall cost of quality. In total, the number of site wide metrics has decreased from 75 to 50 metrics. The 50 remaining metrics are undergoing a continuous improvement process in conjunction with the use of the metric scorecard tool developed in this research.

Research limitations/implications

The metrics scorecard should be used site-wide for an assessment of all metrics. The focus of this paper is on the metrics within the quality department.

Practical implications

Putting a quick and efficient metrics assessment technique in place was critical. With the leadership and participation of Lockheed Martin, this goal was accomplished.

Originality/value

This paper presents the process of metrics evaluation and the issues that were encountered during the process, including insights that would not have been easily documented without this mechanism. Lockheed Martin Company has used results from this research. Other industries could also apply the methods proposed here.

Keywords

Citation

M. Taaffe, K., William Allen, R. and Grigg, L. (2014), "Performance metrics analysis for aircraft maintenance process control", Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 122-134. https://doi.org/10.1108/JQME-07-2012-0022

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited