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Voice 2007 Paper Schallenmuller Verigy 1.0


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Learning the Secret Handshake: How to Enable a Smooth Hand-off from Upstream to Downstream

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Voice 2007 Paper Schallenmuller Verigy 1.0

  1. 1. Production Insights Track Learning the Secret Handshake How to Enable a Smooth Handoff from Upstream to Downstream By Buddy Schallenmuller, Tjandra Halim and Kathleen Miller Verigy “Production Insights” Track Learning the Secret Handshake: How to Enable a Smooth Handoff B. Schallenmuller, T. Halim & K. Miller, Verigy 25/06/2009 Page 1 of 11
  2. 2. Production Insights Track Abstract One of the often overlooked steps of putting a device into production is the handoff from the Upstream Test Engineering Team to the Downstream Production Support Team. It is not unusual for this failure to result in costly delays, misunderstanding and friction between the two groups. However, trying to address this problem can feel like trying to figure out another group’s secret handshake! This paper outlines how you can experience a smoother handoff and ramp into production. Learning the Secret Handshake: How to Enable a Smooth Handoff B. Schallenmuller, T. Halim & K. Miller, Verigy 25/06/2009 Page 2 of 11
  3. 3. Production Insights Track Introduction It is not uncommon for a great deal of misunderstanding to exist between an Upstream Test Engineering Team and a Downstream Production Team. This is particularly true if the Downstream Team is a Sub-contracted Test House. Each team has differing needs and concerns based on the metrics and deliverables they operate under. Each side may appear to the other to have a “secret handshake” that is not easy to master. Fortunately, they are usually united in one common objective: to deliver tested parts to the market as quickly as possible. The keys to a smooth handoff are organization, communication and planning. The “Organization” piece is focused on identifying the key areas of responsibility and ensuring ownership of each one. The “Planning” part requires upfront recognition of the needs on both sides. “Communication” forms the bond that keeps both parties connected in a meaningful way. In this paper, we will introduce a simple model for organizing, planning and communicating that will help any project navigate the handoff more smoothly, as well as equip you to manage the not uncommon obstacles and issues that arise along the way. Problem Description and Analysis In a typical test solution development project, the Upstream Team is under growing pressure to complete the development and debug of the Test Program (TP) on time to meet the product delivery schedule. Usually there are numerous iterations between the designer and the Test Engineer until the test list and test methodologies are stable and frozen. Often this is because they run out of time to tweak it any further, because characterization testing must begin. Once the characterization data is collected and analyzed, the process of modifying the TP to meet the fresh Production testing criteria begins in earnest. By now the pressure is at its peak, and there is a big rush to finish the Production TP quickly so product can start going out the door and revenue can begin coming in. Learning the Secret Handshake: How to Enable a Smooth Handoff B. Schallenmuller, T. Halim & K. Miller, Verigy 25/06/2009 Page 3 of 11
  4. 4. Production Insights Track While each device’s story may vary by a few pounds per square inch, the common – and natural – tendency is for the Upstream Team to become narrowly focused on delivery of a TP that does what R&D wants it to do. The relationship with R&D is pre-eminent, and usually diminishing consideration is given to the needs of the Downstream Team. Meanwhile, at the Downstream test house, frustration is building because the milestone they were originally given to be ready for installing and ramping the Production Test Solution has come and gone. Their emails requesting documentation of the TP – let alone a loadboard, socket and TP – have largely gone unanswered. The Test Floor is busy waiting for this information so they can design and fabricate the docking kits for HVM. They’d like to get their engineers familiar with the TP before they have to ramp into Production, but they’ve gotten used to not seeing much more than a datasheet before the TE shows up. “How do they expect us to support the device in production if the yield suddenly drops?” they ask themselves. When the TE finally shows up (if he shows up), TP in hand, no one can shake the nagging feeling that something’s not going to work. Well, no one knows because it hasn’t been tried! Typical consequences include: • The Downstream Team is caught unaware that they need a software upgrade so they can test the device. The project is delayed while they obtain the software, install it, and integrate it into their test floor. • It takes a day or two to tweak the application model to work with the TP, and get the handler working correctly. • If the correlation criteria is not defined upfront and agreed upon, the correlation process can drag on and on for days or even weeks. • There is no documentation and no information. Everything is a black box! The Downstream Team has to figure out by trial and error – or worse: emails back and forth to Upstream Team with 24-hour turnaround times – to get the TP running and understand the critical parts of the TP. • The TP works marginally, resulting in low yield and instability. If the proper correlation release was not done on the Upstream side, the problem could be the TP itself. Without device knowledge, it is going to be very difficult to investigate. Learning the Secret Handshake: How to Enable a Smooth Handoff B. Schallenmuller, T. Halim & K. Miller, Verigy 25/06/2009 Page 4 of 11
  5. 5. Production Insights Track • If no golden samples are provided with datalog and shmoo plots as reference, troubleshooting correlation errors can be challenging. The handoff and ramp would go much more smoothly if PRIOR to the ramp effort… 1. the Downstream Team had a copy of the TP, a loadboard/socket(s), and parts, so that they could get the test cell (tester, handler/prober, docking HW) working. 2. the Downstream support engineers had a document to review that described the requirements of the test solution. 3. the Downstream support engineers had a document to review that described in detail each of the non-generic tests. 4. a Downstream support engineer could visit the TE for a hands-on knowledge transfer of the device and TP. In the event that any non-standard configuration of the tester or handler/prober is being implemented Downstream (installation of a non- standard manipulator, for example), the complexity and risk of delaying ramp up can be multiplied. What is worse, the Upstream Team might not have any visibility to the risks, nor how they are being managed. There is a lot of activity going on concurrently in both the Upstream and Downstream. Much of it can be carried out independently, but at some point it needs to be aligned to a unified scope and schedule. What makes this so difficult to achieve is the fact that the schedule is often in flux (due to delays in TP development, unplanned re-spins of the design, delays in capital orders, competition for tester time, and even illness). Compounding the schedule slips, there are often barriers to communication due to languages and time zones! So, in order for the handoff to go smoothly, an infrastructure needs to be set up that addresses the need for this alignment, the dynamic nature of the schedule, and accommodates the communication barriers. Solution Proposal There are three elements that we have discovered that enable both the Upstream and Downstream teams to operate efficiently and effectively on Learning the Secret Handshake: How to Enable a Smooth Handoff B. Schallenmuller, T. Halim & K. Miller, Verigy 25/06/2009 Page 5 of 11
  6. 6. Production Insights Track their own, while maintaining alignment to the overall dynamic schedule. They are organization, communication and planning. We will now describe what is meant by these terms. The first element that will help you weather the storms toward Production is organization. By that, we do NOT mean a typical org chart that lists names and titles. Rather, we are referring to areas of responsibility (AOR’s) and their owners. Begin by making a list of AOR’s. Each AOR encapsulates a group of tasks that need to be completed in order for the project to be successful. Some examples are: TP Development; 93K Installation; Test Cell Integration; and Downstream Production Support. After you’ve listed the AOR’s that need to be managed, associate each AOR to either Upstream or Downstream activity. With this categorization, you can create a “Functional Org Chart” similar to Figure 1 below. The last step is to assign an “owner” to each AOR. Insert a name in each box. The owner should be considered the person that makes sure the actions for that area are completed, and serve as the point of contact for that area. The owner doesn’t have to necessarily be the person that performs the work required. It is mostly to serve as the main communicator to the Project Manager and point of accountability. One final comment regarding the Functional Org Chart: the purpose of the chart is to provide a functional view of the Team, NOT a hierarchical view. That’s why you start with AOR’s, and THEN fill in names. No politics, please. Learning the Secret Handshake: How to Enable a Smooth Handoff B. Schallenmuller, T. Halim & K. Miller, Verigy 25/06/2009 Page 6 of 11
  7. 7. Production Insights Track Figure 1: Sample Functional Org Chart Once the primary AOR’s are documented, the second element can be developed: a Communications Plan. Typically, the project manager (PM) is the person that creates the Comms Plan. The Comms Plan can be a table of communication forums or vehicles. Actually, every project should have a Comms Plan as part of a Statement of Work (SOW) for the project. The point here is to include meetings, events, and any other medium relating to the handoff in the Comms Plan. An example of a simple Comms Plan in is shown in Figure 2. Key activities to include are: an initial “Hand-off Planning call”; a call to verify the progress of preparation for the hand-off; and a call to verify hand-off readiness (or address issues). Additional activities might be a Learning the Secret Handshake: How to Enable a Smooth Handoff B. Schallenmuller, T. Halim & K. Miller, Verigy 25/06/2009 Page 7 of 11
  8. 8. Production Insights Track trip by a Downstream support engineer to the Upstream Test Engineer (or Apps Engineer) to accommodate knowledge transfer; or a review of the requirements, plan, and design documents with the Up and Downstream engineers. Figure 2: Sample Comms Plan The final element to smooth the hand-off is Planning. Unfortunately, it is rare that a Project Team allocates enough time to adequately plan for Learning the Secret Handshake: How to Enable a Smooth Handoff B. Schallenmuller, T. Halim & K. Miller, Verigy 25/06/2009 Page 8 of 11
  9. 9. Production Insights Track each milestone. One reason may be because it’s simply never been done before, and the Team is not sure how to plan. Planning should take the form of meetings and a document. As stated in the Comms Plan description above, the PM should schedule a conference call early in the Project that includes representatives from BOTH the Upstream and Downstream Teams. It is a time to introduce the people who will be contributing to the overall project success, to agree on AOR’s and their owners, and to drive toward alignment of the key deliverables necessary for a smooth handoff. The document is the tool by which the teams will align. It could be called a “Ramp Transfer Document” (or RampDoc). Consider creating a template that can be re-used to plan every hand-off. This template can vary in form, but should include at least the following sections: • Summary statement of the hand-off, including the name of the Upstream organization, the Downstream organization, the device name, Probe or Final Test, and the targeted date for Release to Production (RTP). • Roles and Responsibilities for the Hand-off (the document can refer to the Functional Org Chart) • Summary of Transfer Milestones (e.g. the schedule) • Production Test Environment Requirements (includes device/package information, tester configuration, Prober/handler to be used, test environment required) • Correlation/Production Release Criteria • Hand-off Plan Checklist Over time, you may find that you need to add/modify sections to capture the information needed to help build a stronger bridge for the handoff. During the initial Handoff Planning call, the groundwork should be laid for the handoff. Here is a recommended agenda: AGENDA: 1. Introductions - name, title, company, role in the handoff (10 min) 2. Review Project Functional Org Chart (10 min) (Make sure the correct names are associated with each AOR) Learning the Secret Handshake: How to Enable a Smooth Handoff B. Schallenmuller, T. Halim & K. Miller, Verigy 25/06/2009 Page 9 of 11
  10. 10. Production Insights Track 3. Review the Project Flow Chart, focusing on tasks relating to the handoff. (15 min) (This will be a good time to add tasks that have been missed) 4. Review the "Ramp Transfer Document” (60 min) The PM should prepare the Functional Org Chart, Project Flow Chart and as much of the RampDoc as possible before the call. This preparation is necessary in order to keep the meeting from growing to a full day planning session. Since it is likely to include offshore test houses overseas, you will want to keep the call to about 2 hours max. With proper preparation, this should be doable. The desired outcomes of the planning meeting that you should aim to accomplish are to align both teams on the intended schedule, get confirmation of the AOR owners, and capture the requirements and expectations of both the Upstream and Downstream Teams to successfully ramp the device into Production. Conclusion Through rigorous and pragmatic discipline in executing the simple three- step process of organizing, communicating and planning, the Team should be able to see significant results in the form of smoother handoffs and quicker ramp-ups to Production. Over time, both the Upstream and Downstream Teams will learn one another’s secret handshake, facilitating stronger collaboration as an integrated team to make the transfer successful. The Upstream Team will be able to meet the TTM and the Downstream Team will reap savings from smoother Production ramp-ups. Learning the Secret Handshake: How to Enable a Smooth Handoff B. Schallenmuller, T. Halim & K. Miller, Verigy 25/06/2009 Page 10 of 11
  11. 11. Production Insights Track Other tips: Create, sign-off on and circulate a “Ramp Transfer Document”. Prior to beginning the ramp, make sure the Downstream Team has a working TP (even if just a Qual or Characterization TP), a loadboard, socket(s), and some dummy parts so that they can do a Test Cell integrity check –work out the bugs of getting the tester and handler/prober to work together while running the TP. Author Biographies Buddy (Albert E.) Schallenmuller has been a senior Project Manager for Verigy and Agilent Technologies since 2000, managing projects for over a dozen different customers. Prior to that he served as a Project Manager and Systems Application Engineer for Nortel Networks for 6 years. His introduction to semiconductor test began with two years as a Test Engineer and Product Engineer for Storage Technologies Corporation on CMOS semi-custom gate arrays. Rounding off his career is 10 years spent developing student leaders in the US and former Soviet Union. Tjandra Halim Tjandra Halim has been a Regional Business Process & Quality Manager for Verigy and Agilent Technologies since 2000 to work on business process improvement for sales and S&S. Prior to Agilent, Tjandra was with HP managing Application Development Center, and regional application engineering team for two years. He first started with HP for the IC factory equipment automation, then IC TP development, and ASIC Design in IC Design Center. He also spent five years with Apple Computer in Supplier Quality Engineering and VLSI Engineering team, Supplier Development, New Product Transfer Program Management, Board Testing, and Customer Engineering. He spent five years with Siemens Medical for Product Quality & Reliability, Production Testing at board and system, China Manufacturing Transfer Program Management and Quality Management System. Learning the Secret Handshake: How to Enable a Smooth Handoff B. Schallenmuller, T. Halim & K. Miller, Verigy 25/06/2009 Page 11 of 11