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Implications for the Product Support Manager (PSM) of New Government Performance of Critical Acquisition Functions Policy Memo

Implications for the Product Support Manager (PSM) of New Government Performance of Critical Acquisition Functions Policy Memo

Bill Kobren

Per an August 25, 2010 Acting USD AT&L policy memorandum entitled “Government Performance of Critical Acquisition Functions”, the new Product Support Manager (PSM) position will be designated as a Key Leadership Position (KLP), a subset of Critical Acquisition Positions (CAP) and the Acquisition Corps within the Defense Acquisition Workforce (DAW).

 

According to this USD AT&L memorandum, “per Section 820, P.L. 109-364, John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2007, as amended, Section 805, P,L. 111-84, National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2010, the Department is to ensure selected positions assigned to Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAP) and Major Automated Information System (MAIS) programs are performed by a properly qualified member of the Armed Forces or full-time employee of the Department of Defense by October 16, 2011. The Department's implementation strategy includes establishment of Key Leadership Positions (KLPs) that have a significant level of responsibility and authority and are key to the success of a program or effort. The Military Departments and Defense Agencies may designate any position which meets the criteria. However, the following have been identified as mandatory KLPs because they are identified in reference Section 820, P.L. 109-364 or have significant levels of responsibility and authority and are essential for the success of a program…(for) MDAP/MAIS positions (Acquisition Category 1 & IA when the function is required based on the phase or type of acquisition program...(including the) Program Lead Logistician (Product Support Manager).”

 

The memo goes on to state “in general, the "program lead" positions are expected to be filled by military members at the lieutenant colonel/colonel or commander/Navy captain levels or by the civilian equivalent. Program leads advise the PM/DPM and may be matrixed to the program office. Although program leads may report to a higher-level functional (i.e., command/center functional lead or his or her direct report), these positions must be designated as KLPs. Program lead KLPs must be designated in the position category associated with the lead function. For example, "lead logistician" positions must be designated as positions in the "Life Cycle Logistics" position category.”

 

Further information on Key Leadership Positions can be found in DoDD 5000.52 Defense Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Workforce Education, Training, and Career Development Program, DoDI 5000.55, "Reporting Management Information on DoD Military and Civilian Acquisition Personnel and Positions," and DoDI 5000.66 “Operation of the Defense Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Workforce Education, Training, and Career Development Program.” Among the highlights from DoDD 5000.52 to bear in mind:

 

·         CAPs… are senior acquisition positions specifically designated by the CAEs (Para 4.2.1.)

·         KLPs are selected CAPs specifically designated by the CAEs and approved by the USD (AT&L) (Para 4.2.2.)

·         KLPs may also include selected staff positions, as well as any CAP that, by the criticality of the duties, warrants special management attention to qualification and tenure requirements. (Para 4.2.2.3.)

 

Is this the end of the story? Absolutely not. As I have previously shared with you, a detailed Directive-Type Memorandum (DTM) 10-015 entitled "Requirements for Life Cycle Management and Product Support" is currently being staffed in the Pentagon which when issued will establish policy to implement and institutionalize the requirements of section 805 of Public Law 111-84 (FY10 NDAA). The law directs a number of changes to DoD policies designed to improve weapon systems life cycle management and product support by establishing new requirements that directly impact acquisition, fielding, and sustainment decisions, including establishment of the Product Support Manager position. We will, of course, post a copy of the new DTM on the DAU Logistics Community of Practice (LOG CoP) and post a blog on the subject as soon as it is officially signed out.

 

A few final thoughts: first, it is important to note the choice of terminology. The PSM is identified in this 25 Aug memo as the "Program Lead Logistician". In addition, although the wording focuses specifically on MDAP/MAIS programs, the emphasis is on early program development, acquisition and fielding. Does that automatically exclude PSMs from supporting programs that are already fully fielded and in sustainment? I don't believe that to be the case at all for two reasons. The Services and Defense Agencies have the authority to designate any position which meets the "responsibility, and authority, and essential for success of a program" criteria. Moreover, we anticiapte the draft DTM 10-015 will expand PSM assignments to include both ACAT II programs, as well as fielded former ACAT I/II programs in sustainment.Thus, this important Life Cycle Management (LCM) initiative can only continue to help break down the often artificial and arbitrary demarcation between acquisition and sustainment communities. At the end of the day, this is a tremendously important step in delivering more effective, efficient and available product support to the warfighter across the entire life cycle.