Roadmap to Launch: Changing the way we do business
By 1st Lt. Karl Wiest, 45th SW Public Affairs
/ Published October 14, 2010
Cape Canveral Air Force Station, Fla. -- The process our Wing uses to ensure all the I's are dotted and the T's are crossed leading up to a successful launch mission is changing - and changing for the better.
When the Roadmap to Launch (RTL) initiative is complete, our launch preparation process will be faster and more customer -friendly.
RTL is a campaign-focused initiative designed to increase efficiency in our launch preparations through a standard, repeatable Wing process, which, when complete, will be consistent for all missions.
The Wing has been mapping its own activities during a launch campaign since 2008. We have identified critical gates, major milestones, important safety and operations documentation, and inter-dependencies between our Wing agencies, in order to see where we can improve.
The key to this entire process is looking at our launch preparation activities through a common lens, according to Col. James Ross, 45th Space Wing Operations Group commander.
"We are logically standardizing our processes, sequences, and terminology to improve the teamwork and relationships between the operations group, launch group, and our customers," said Col. Ross. "We are simplifying to reduce process time and to avoid repetitive work."
Two major components are integral to RTL.
First is the RTL SharePoint. Providing centralized process management, this 21st century tool is fundamental to collaborating information and requirements for each individual launch campaign.
The second major components are the RTL Checklists, which are integrated with individual launch missions and outline the sequence of critical events. Not only are the checklists flexible to accommodate varying programs and customer needs, they ensure standard milestones, timelines, and status checks.
"With RTL commanders, action officers, and someday customers will have better situational awareness for each mission, and the entire process will be more efficient and transparent to the entire team," said Col. Lee Rosen, 45th SW Launch Group commander. "We intend to integrate this program into the way we collectively do business, continue to evolve based on customer feedback, and expand it to include the processes the Wing uses to bring new customers to the Cape."