Crain's Chicago Business reporter Caroline Daniel says
that Boeing is about to undergo yet another travail -- this time,
at its own hands.
"Boeing," she says,
"...is setting up an independent team based out of its head office
to look at 10 to 15 of its biggest projects that could have a
material impact on its performance, in an effort to re-assess the
business case behind them."
She explains that the re-look order comes from none other than
CEO Phil Condit himself. Boeing's Finance Director, Mike Sears,
made the announcement.
The prevailing theory is that Boeing has moved too slowly to
address problems in major programs, and has not considered options
to enhance them, quickly enough.
Everything's in play.
Mr. Sears went on to say
that some high-profile projects could be in for some
pencil-sharpening exercises -- or perhaps the scalpel will be
employed. "The 7E7 is a good one to list; Future Combat Systems,
the satellite business, the Delta IV launch -- the kind of things
where you make business plan assumptions, like are 'you going to
invest $Xbn in a 7E7,' -- what assumptions have you made and how
robust is the business case?"
There will be an internal attitide change, as well, emphasizing
the risks of any given step, rather than merely addressing the
'opportunities' -- the organization sounds like it's going into its
'pre-vent defense,' trying to not have the bad guys score. The 'bad
guys' in this case are carrying pens full of red ink. The new risk
assessment team will be in on program gate meetings and other
decision steps: "Their view of the risk of success may be different
than an outsiders' view of risk of success," he said.
Expect some programs' deletion, some spinoffs, and further
internal consolidation around the 'defense' (including 'homeland
security') and 'airliner' businesses.