Why do some programs deliver their product under budget, while others see their costs expand by orders of magnitude? Why do some deliver ahead of schedule, while others experience endless delay after endless delay? And most critically, which products work better - the quick and thrifty or the slow and expensive? Which situation leads to superior equipment? Noted blogger and military technology expert Dan Ward provides readers with an exciting blueprint for creating great products and successful projects using the methods of rapid innovation.
Dan Ward, a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force, set out to look into these questions at the Air Force Institute of Technology, and he noticed a pattern, which he explains in F.I.R.E. The most successful
project leaders from government and industry alike tend to deliver top-shelf stuff with a skeleton crew, a shoestring budget and a cannonball schedule. They often say, “We were just lucky to have a small team of really creative, dedicated people and we got it done.” In contrast, project leaders who are cursed with large budgets, large teams and long schedules generally have a difficult time delivering even a fraction of the promised capability. They often say, "If I had a little more time and money, I could fix this."
Filled with real-world examples drawn from commercial as well as military settings, F.I.R.E. provides readers with the principles and practices that help everyone design and develop better products and projects. You don’t have to be an engineer or a senior executive to implement these ideas; readers at all levels of business will find valuable advice about how to put these ideas to work right away and get the best results possible.
Lt. Col. Dan Ward, US Air Force, is a military technologist specializing in rapid, low-cost innovation, primarily in IT and cybersecurity systems. He has three engineering degrees and nearly two decades of experience in developing, designing, testing and fielding military systems. In 2012, he received the Bronze Star Medal for his service in Afghanistan. Ward’s writings have appeared in a variety of outlets, including Time Magazine’s Battleland blog, Harpers, Armed Forces Journal and Small Wars Journal. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and their two daughters.