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Enrollment management: managing the Alpha AXP program

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1 Author(s)

The article describes an innovative program management methodology created at Digital Equipment Corporation during the development of the Alpha AXP program. Successful execution of the Alpha program was crucial to the company's future, but early projected schedules showed the product wouldn't be completed until a year after the competitive window closed. The author, who served as Alpha program manager, was responsible for managing all cross functional project activities. Early on, he saw the need to establish a highly leveraged cross functional team to deliver this program before the market opportunity had passed. After conferring with many consultants, working with the company's technical leadership, and engaging in much debate, the enrolment management method was developed. From the perspective of a software manager, the results were astounding. Unlike most software projects, where schedule slips are a fact of life, this project had the opposite problem. Many key milestones were delivered early. Teams continually had to scramble to stay ahead of the advancing critical path. This promoted an innovative spirit that encouraged people to find new and more effective ways of working. The results of adopting this model and the dedication of all the players, resulted in a highly successful new product line for Digital, eventually returning the corporation to a much stronger competitive position

Published in:

Software, IEEE  (Volume:13 ,  Issue: 4 )