Life Cycle Management (LCM) Thoughts to Ponder
Paragraph E1.29 of DoDD 5000.01 states, among other things, “The PM (Program Manager) shall be the single point of accountability for accomplishing program objectives for total life-cycle systems management, including sustainment. PMs shall consider supportability, life cycle costs, performance, and schedule comparable in making program decisions. Planning for Operation and Support and the estimation of total ownership costs shall begin as early as possible. Supportability, a key component of performance, shall be considered throughout the system life cycle.” Paragraph 11.7 of the Defense Acquisition Guidebook goes on to state, “Per DoD Directive 5000.01, the Program Manager (PM) is accountable for accomplishing program objectives over the life cycle, including during sustainment. Consequently the PM is responsible for the implementation, management, and/or oversight of activities associated with the system's development, production, fielding, sustainment and disposal. Life-cycle management emphasizes early and continuing emphasis on translating performance objectives into an operationally available and affordable capability over the program life cycle.”
Here are some questions to ponder. There are no right or wrong answers.
- Are program managers adequately prepared to truly deliver “cradle-to-grave” support of DoD weapon systems to achieve current TLCSM guidance? Do PMs have the necessary authority and resources to successfully execute their long-term sustainment responsibilities? If not, why not? What can we do to assist?
- Are Life Cycle Logistics professionals directly supporting the PM in achieving their life cycle management responsibilities? If not, why not? What can we do better?
- With true cradle to-grave lifetime support responsibility assigned to the program manager, what does it really take to ensure PM success delivering truly responsive, timely, and effective global war fighter support, especially in view of the fact the PM doesn’t have complete control over such critical factors as ops tempo, operating environment, funding, organizational maintenance environment and priorities, transportation and distribution, and shared sustainment authority with using commands and service headquarters to name a few?
- In a world that rightly or wrongly sometimes incentivizes near-term performance, how can life cycle logisticians better ensure program (and PM) success in addressing long term reliability, maintainability, supportability, and other related sustainment issues, particularly when faced with more pressing near-term cost, schedule, performance, design, weight and program milestone issues during system acquisition?
- Will the creation of a requirement for Product Support Manager (PSM) help address some of these issues? If so why? If not, why not? Will the requirement for a Life Cycle Sustainment Plan (LCSP) help? How about the mandatory sustainment Availability Key Perofrmance Parameter (KPP) and Reliability & Cost Key System Attributes (KSAs)?
- What else is needed? What can be done better? And perhaps more importantly, what will YOU as a Life Cycle Logistician do differently to enable and facilitate successful LCM accomplishment for your program?