A Few Thoughts on the Interdisciplinary, Life Cycle Focus of the New Interim DoD Instruction 5000.02
Like many of you, I have been reading through the new Interim DoD Instruction 5000.02, “Operation of the Defense Acquisition System” (dated November 25, 2013) with great interest. As anticipated, in addition to providing important departmental policy and direction for the operation of the defense acquisition system, it also contains a wealth of practical and useful information for executing our responsibilities as life cycle logicians and product support managers. Enclosure 6, for example, provides concise, yet in-depth information on key topics such as life cycle management, product support strategy, the use of Performance Based Logistics (PBL), the Life Cycle Sustainment Plan (LCSP), sustainment metrics, and Product Support Reviews/Independent Logistics Assessments. Common themes woven throughout include affordability, effectiveness, integration, performance and life cycle management; all designed to assist in crafting and execution of well-thought out, affordable product support strategies that meet warfighter readiness and cost requirements.
As some of you may be aware, over the last several years, I’ve written several Defense AT&L Magazine articles, including two in particular entitled “10 Things Great Program Managers Know About Product Support” (Nov-Dec 2011) and “Teamed for Success: The Imperative for Aligning Systems Engineering and Life Cycle Logistics” (Jan-Feb 2013) in which I shared my strong belief in continued and ongoing interdisciplinary and cross-functional integration. I’m particularly impressed with both the life cycle focus and the integration across functional domains in this new Interim DoDI 5000.02. However in practical terms, it’s important to offer a word of caution here: we should not make the mistake of simply reading what some might believe to be “our own enclosure” and thinking we know what the instruction is telling us. Yes, it is a major step forward to see the new Enclosure 6 entitled “Life-Cycle Sustainment Planning.” Yes, it is a must-read for all of us. But we should not stop there. This document is a cover-to-cover read.
For example, take a look at Enclosure 3, entitled "Systems Engineering." To be successful life cycle logisticians and product support managers, we must understand systems engineering principles, practices, and the implications of technical processes and decisions on long-term product support strategies. As the first paragraph of Enclosure 3 states, “systems engineering provides the integrating technical processes and design leadership to define and balance system performance, life-cycle cost, schedule, risk, and system security within and across individual systems and programs.” Definitely things we life cycle logisticians/product support managers need to be thinking about as well. In fact, as you run through the twenty-one sections of Enclosure 3 (listed below), even a casual observer quickly recognizes we play a role in, contribute to, support, collaborate with, care about, participate in, and/or are impacted by the vast majority of these areas:
· Systems Engineering Plan
· Development Planning.
· Systems Engineering Trade-Off Analyses
· Technical Risk and Opportunity Management.
· Technical Performance Measures and Metrics.
· Technical Reviews.
· Configuration Management.
· Modeling and Simulation.
· Manufacturing and Producibility.
· Reliability and Maintainability (R&M)
· Program Protection.
· Open Systems Architectures.
· Corrosion Prevention and Control.
· Environment, Safety, and Occupational Health (ESOH).
· Insensitive Munitions.
· Item Unique Identification.
· Spectrum Supportability.
· Design Reviews.
· Program Support Assessments (PSAs).
At the end of the day, the fact many of these (and other) topic areas are specifically called out in a range of product support guidance documents, including (but certainly not limited to) the Defense Acquisition Guidebook, the DoD Product Support Manager (PSM) Guidebook, the DoD Integrated Product Support (IPS) Element Guidebook, the DoD Logistics Assessment Guidebook, and the DoD Reliability, Availability, Maintainability-Cost (RAM-C) Report Manual (to name just a few), merely reinforces the integrated nature of everything the defense acquisition workforce professional does ensure “life-cycle sustainment planning and execution seamlessly span(s) a system’s entire life cycle, from Materiel Solution Analysis to disposal” and “…translates force provider capability and performance requirements into tailored product support to achieve specified and evolving life-cycle product support availability, reliability, and affordability parameters.” (Interim DoDI 5000.02, Enclosure 2, Para 8.c(1)). Encourage you take the time to read the policy in a broader, more interdisciplinary context, and take the time to think about how this applies – or how it should apply-- to you, your program, and the achievement of successful acquisition outcomes.