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Creating High Performance X-Enterprises: Applying X-Team Theory to Aerospace Programs


Academic year: 2021

Partager "Creating High Performance X-Enterprises: Applying X-Team Theory to Aerospace Programs"


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Contact: Alexis Stanke astanke@mit.edu Advisor: John Carroll


Core Tier maintains team history, strategy, and key decisions

Operational Tier perform on-going work

Outer-net Tier contribute on an ad hoc basis to provide specialized expertise

Extensive Ties

Expandable Structure

Strong Ties facilitate coordination and transfer of complex knowledge Weak Ties help identify sources of unique knowledge

Flexible Membership

Team members transfer between tiers as well as on and off the team

Mechanism for Execution

Integrative meetings, transparent decision making, and scheduling

tools are used to coordinate internally between members and tiers

External Activity

Ambassadorial activity involves managing upward to market the team and lobby for resources

Scouting activity to gather information inside and outside the organization

Task Coordination activity manage

laterally with other teams and functions

Creating High Performance X-Enterprises

Applying X-Team Theory to Aerospace Programs

High Performance Teams Designed to

Manage Across Boundaries are X-Teams

What Does an X-Enterprise Look Like?

Research Design

External Activity

•  Maintaining credibility

•  Involving all stakeholders

•  Identifying core competencies and sources of expertise

Extensive Ties

•  Utilizing and integrating the knowledge network of the entire enterprise Expandable Structure

•  Core tier: system integrator, customer, major partners

•  Operational tier: supplier network •  Outer-net tier: end user, R&D

groups, government policy makers and others

Flexible Membership

•  Level of activity and involvement based on enterprise needs not organizational boundaries

Mechanisms for Execution

•  Accessible information through common information sharing


•  Distributed leadership based on flow-down of responsibility,

authority, and accountability

•  Management support mentality to enable execution

•  Integration meetings focused on performance metrics and a shared approach to risk management

Internal Integration

•  Rigorous application of systems engineering principles

•  Single focus on objective of

delivering value to the customer instead of various organizational goals

•  Relationship building through communities of practice

Phase 1) Mini-cases (~3 interviews) in 4-6 programs in each sector to identify distinguishing enterprise factors and refine X-enterprise characteristics

Commercial Aircraft


Aircraft Engines Spacecraft Avionics Munitions

Phase 2) In-depth case studies (20-30 interviews) of 6 programs to explore

application of X-enterprise concepts; programs will be selected to set up a paired comparison to investigate X-enterprise characteristics as indicators of enterprise


Case A Case B Case C Case D Case E Case F

How do X-enterprises differ from X-teams? Are X-enterprise

characteristics indicative of enterprise


Key Questions

Source: Ancona, Deborah, Henrik Bresman, Katrin Kaeufer. “The Comparative


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