Improving Information Flow at Northrop Grumman


Northrop Grumman is an industry leader in the defense sector, providing innovative systems and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, space, strike, and logistics to customers worldwide. Northrop Grumman employs over 90,000 people in all 50 states. The Elkton site, previously owned by Orbital-ATK, manufactures space, defense and aviation equipment, including rocket motors and propellant devices, which are assembled by many teams across the 650 acre, 100 building site. Northrop Grumman is interested in saving time, money, and material resources by optimizing information flow at the Elkton location throughout its core manufacturing processes. This optimization can be achieved by reducing data and process redundancy, while increasing information availability in the event of a manufacturing process deviation. Our team focused on improving information availability by capturing key insights and establishing a process for continuous learning. Our recommendations are projected to save $615,000 annually through long-term improvements in productivity, proactivity, and root cause evaluations. As students representing the QUEST Honors program, our team conducted both on-site and virtual interviews with key stakeholders in order to identify potential bottlenecks in the flow of information in the product design and realization process. Our team spoke with manufacturing engineers, testing engineers, project engineers, program managers, technical writers, schedulers, and technicians. After identifying potential opportunities for improvement, we assessed relevant stakeholders’ high-level impressions of potential solutions through three surveys. These results enabled further refinement of our final recommendations. The team’s primary recommendation improves information flow by regularly capturing decisions and key insights with a multi-faceted knowledge management system. Through a user-friendly video- and text-based platform, stakeholders can retrieve knowledge takeaways from previous relevant projects and upload their own for future consultation. Two short-term recommendations support the adoption of this system: all-inclusive kickoff meetings and dynamic documentation of roles and responsibilities

[Download Client Poster] [Download Client Presentation] [Download Client Report]