An interactive supply framework to improve the successful outcome of the acquisition of a complex system

Pretorius, Gerhardus Dirk Petrus (2017-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The investigation into and interest in the effect of the human factors in the successful execution of a program started in the middle part of the author’s 35-year career when he worked as a program manager responsible for the supply of a ground-based weapon system. An improved understanding of the specific interface between the customer’s and the supplier’s agents as a specific focus area is of interest. The new insights, thus obtained, will lead to improved interactive events and possible proactive and premeditated relationship strategies that can be used to increase or accelerate the propensity for the success of a project. These new insights will provide the enterprise with a competitive advantage. The specific choice of the human factors to study had to include the leadership role to support the strategy, the relationship with the customer as it defines the interaction, the effect of informed decision making on the outcome and the standardised way of performing these tasks within the organisation. The supply processes in the enterprise is a mirror image of the acquisition processes prescribed and practised by the western world’s procurement agencies in the USA, UK, NATO and others. The notion of investigating the effect of the human factors on the elements of a typical set of supply processes gave rise to the formulation of the research question as: What is the contribution of the human enabling factors of leadership, relationship, wisdom and culture towards the success of a project or enterprise during the acquisition phase of a complex system, when interacting with a customer? The research is made possible by the definition of the Executable Domain Factors representing, in a structured way, the supply processes and the Enabler Domain Factors representing the human factors listed above. These two domains are then combined into an Interactive Supply Framework to study the effect of one upon the other as required by the research question. The firm BAE Systems, Land Systems South Africa presented the author with an opportunity to observe, using a case study containing multiple cases, the effect of these factors in real life. The cases available spanned three customer bases (USA, NATO and South Africa), four product life cycles and four enterprise phases. The outcome of the case study, albeit limited in size and respondents, resulted in the identification of the relationship factor as a dominant factor, which was supported by the company executive as well as the author’s experience. The author also developed a relationship framework, in which the alignment of the different parties’ belief systems may affect the relationship positively or negatively. The data from three of the cases with the same product and customer, cover a span of ten years, and show a remarkable correlation between the change in the belief system factors for different teams on both sides as well as the observed relationship status.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die ondersoek na en die belangstelling van die skrywer in die effek van menslike faktore in beïnvloeding van programme het begin in die middelfase van sy loopbaan van 35 jaar waar hy verantwoordelik was as die program bestuurder van ‘n land gebasseerde wapenstelselsel. ‘n Verbeterde begrip van die intervlakke tussen die kliënt en die verskaffer en sy agente is noukeurig ondersoek as ‘n spesifieke fokusarea. Die nuwe insigte wat hierdeur ontwikkel is sal aanleiding gee tot verbeterde interaktiewe aktiwiteite en selfs moontlike pro-aktiewe envoorafvasgestelde verhouding strategieë wat gebruik kan word om die sukses van ‘n projek te versnel of verbeter. Laasgenoemde sal vir die organisasie ‘n kompeterende voordeel verskaf. Die spesifieke besluit om menslike faktore te bestudeer moes die volgende insluit; die leierskapsrol om die strategie te ondersteun, die professionele verhouding met die kliënt want dit bepaal die interaksie, die effek van ingeligte besluitneming op die uitkoms en die gestandardiseerde manier om hierdie take in ‘n organisasie te vervul. Die verskaffingsproses in ‘n organisasie is ‘n spieëlbeeld van die aanskaffingsprosesse soos hulle voorgeskryf en uitgevoer word in die westerse wereld se aanskaffingsagentskappe in die VSA, Verenigde koninkryk, NAVO en andere. Die besluit om die effek van menslike faktore op die elemente van ‘n tipiese stel verskaffingsprosesse te ondersoek het aanleiding gegee tot die formulering van die volgende navorsingsvraag: ‘Wat is die bydrae van die menslike faktore van leierskap, verhoudings, wysheid en kultuur op die sukses van ‘n projek of organisasie tydens die aanskaffingsfase van ‘n komplekse sisteem terwyl interaksie met die kliënt plaasvind?’ Die navorsing is moontlik gemaak deur die definisie van die Uitvoerbare Domein Faktore wat op ‘n gestruktureerde basis die verskaffingsprosesse bepaal en die Bydraende Domein Faktore wat die menslike faktore wat bo gelys is verteenwoordig. Die twee domeine word dan gekombineer in ‘n Interaktiewe Verskaffings Raamwerk, om die effek van die een op die ander te bestudeer, soos vereis deur die navorsingsvraag. Die firma BAE Systems, Land Systems South Africa het die skrywer die geleentheid gebied om, deur middel van ‘n gevalle studie wat verskeie gevalle verteenwoordig, die effek van bogenoemde faktore in die werklike lewe te ondersoek. Die beskikbare gevalle strek oor drie kliëntebasisse in die VSA, NAVO en Suid Afrika en verteenwoordig vier produklewensfases en vier organisasielewensfases. Die uitkoms van die gevallestudie, hoewel beperk in grootte en die aantal respondente, het tot gevolg gehad dat die identifikasie van die verhoudingsfaktor as ‘n dominante faktor navore gekom het. Hierdie dominansie is verder bevestig deur die maatskappy se uitvoerende bestuur asook die skrywer se ervaring. Die skrywer het verder ook ‘n verhoudingsraamwerk ontwikkel waarin die belyning van die verskillende partye se geloofsisteme die verhouding positief of negatief kan beïnvloed. Die inligting van die drie gevalle wat dieselfde produk en kliënt verteenwoordig strek oor tien jaar en wys ‘n merkwaardige verband tussen die verandering in die geloofsisteemfaktore vir verskillende spanne aan beide kante en as die verhoudingstatus wat waargeneem is.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/102674
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