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Life Cycle Logistics

The DoD PSM’s Role in Sustaining Engineering

The DoD PSM’s Role in Sustaining Engineering

The DoD PSM’s Role in Sustaining Engineering
Shawn Harrison

Among the most multi-disciplinary of all of the Integrated Product Support (IPS) elements, Sustaining Engineering includes technical tasks such as engineering and logistics investigations and analyses to ensure the continued operation and maintenance of a system. It involves collection and analysis of in-service system and maintenance data, technical assistance, root cause analysis, resolution of deficiencies, update of maintenance procedures, resolution of Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages (DMSMS), obsolescence, product improvement, and other activities to keep DoD systems in service and mission capable. It could in fact be described as the lifeblood of mission capability from initial fielding through disposal.

The Product Support Manager (PSM) should work closely with the program’s Chief Engineer and sustaining engineering team, which may include reliability and maintainability (R&M) engineers, structural and sub-systems engineers (e.g., propulsion, avionics, etc.), and if applicable, contractor support from the original equipment manufacturer(s) or third-party provider, on key activities that include:

PSMs should assign a member of their Product Support Management Integrated Product Team (IPT) to the Sustaining Engineering IPT (or equivalent) to ensure effective integration between the two functional area teams. This is particularly important for long-term management of product support such as establishing support contracts and advocating for weapon system support funding. Lastly, PSMs should ensure alignment between the Life Cycle Sustainment Plan (LCSP) and the Systems Engineering Plan (SEP) in describing and directing sustaining engineering resources and activities.

To explore this topic further, encourage readers to consult the IPS Element Guidebook, the Sustaining Engineering ACQuipedia article, the Life Cycle Logistics functional area competencies for this IPS Element, CLCL 014A Parts & Material Life Cycle Management Credential, and LOG 0540, Sustaining Engineering.