Is a Materiel Fielding Plan (MFP) required for this action? Does the PM Office and PSM have the authority to agree on not having a MFP for a conditional software material release that will not change the form, fit or function of the end item (M299 HELLFIRE Missile Launcher) of more than 25%? Thanks in advance for your help.
Thank you for your question on changing M299 software and the link to Materiel Fielding Plan (MFP) policy. Our feedback will address both policy and best practices in this area.
Policy. Based upon our instructor experiences and your description of changes, we would not expect that a formal MFP that would require external review and approval is required. Routine software updates are common in every program. Formal MFPs are usually required when fielding new systems or major system modifications within the Total Package Fielding (TPF) construct. We recommend you specifically ask this same policy question if a formal MFP is required to your Logistics Lead at your PEO level for their opinion.
Best Practice. We still recommend that an informal MFP is developed and shared with all the impacted organizations for every hardware and software change. The spirit of AR 720-2 is that Materiel Fielding Plans require the Materiel Developer to think through, document, and coordinate the many details of how the change will be implemented in a disciplined manner. Although the software "patch" may be very simple, the information within a MFP, similar to MWO execution, will make sure the PM office has a detailed plan for a successful execution. This plan needs to be developed with and finalized with stakeholders. Once finalized, the plan is used to manage the execution of the modifications until all systems have been upgraded to maintain configuration management. We recommend that any updates to the plan and status against the plan is shared between the PM office and stakeholders on a weekly basis until completed.
The informal plan needs to cover the basic planning steps that personnel inside the PM Office and organizational units need to know. The plan needs to include: Describe the changes of the software and why the change is required (Systems Engineers should already have this canned). Differences that operators and maintainers will see with the new version, if any. Is there an operator/maintainer training delta. Who will do the modification. Where will the modifications be done (unit site or central facility). Equipment and procedures to apply the modification (needs to be defined and trained before they arrive). Does the unit need to provide anything to support the modification. Are there any other changes to any of the Integrated Product Support Elements - specifically support equipment, operator and maintainer technical manuals and will this software also be required in the spares pool. Finally, a complete plan or matrix of where every single system is located, unit POCs, and when the modification is planned to be executed. Based upon the information provided, this plan may only be a few pages long with the heart of the document focus on the execution matrix.
We hope this information is helpful in your planning.