Touring Product Support, Element By Element (Part 10)
- Product Support Management
- Design Interface
- Maintenance Planning & Management
- Supply Support
- Packaging, Handling, Storage & Transportation (PHS&T)
- Sustaining Engineering
- Technical Data
- Support Equipment
- Training & Training Support
Today we take a closer look at number ten on our list, yet another in a series of critically important interdisciplinary elements of DoD product support, namely Manpower and Personnel. At first glance you might wonder why a human resources function aligned with a headquarters staff J-1 A-1, N-1 or G-1 directorate found its way into the list of product support elements. Let’s see if we can unpack it for you.
First, let’s make sure we understand the differences between the terms manpower and personnel, which to the casual observer may at first glance appear to be synonymous. The distinction is actually quite significant. I personally like to use the terms “spaces and faces” to remind myself of the difference. Manpower (spaces) and personnel (faces).
Our US Coast Guard colleagues have captured well the distinctions and the importance of each on their Domains of Human Systems Integration (HSI) – Manpower and Personnel website, saying “manpower refers to total workload which takes into account job tasks, maintenance, operations, and all other associated workload. It is the number of people or “spaces” needed to operate, maintain, and support the system. Manpower makes up over 60% of an asset’s life cycle cost, making it a major determinate of program cost and affordability.” Conversely, “personnel refers to the wide range of knowledge, skills, abilities, and experience levels necessary to successfully perform the job. It defines the human performance characteristics of the user population based on the system description and projected characteristics of target occupational specialties. The total workload and skills are analyzed to determine the necessary manpower requirement to ensure the success of the acquisition. Personnel attributes are design parameters.”
So is the manpower and personnel element the life cycle logistician’s or product support manager’s domain? To some degree, yes, however not exclusively. Like each of the preceding elements we’ve examined, success again entails a range of multi-functional defense acquisition workforce professionals, including life cycle logisticians, systems and sustaining engineers, program managers, as well as trained HSI, manpower and personnel specialists both inside and outside of the acquisition community. Key activities include, but are by no means limited to:
- Identification and acquisition of required numbers of active and reserve military officers and enlisted personnel as well as civilian personnel with the skills and grades required for system operation
- Identification and acquisition of required numbers of active and reserve military officers and enlisted personnel as well as civilian personnel with the skills and grades required for system maintenance
- Identification and acquisition of required numbers of active and reserve military officers and enlisted personnel as well as civilian personnel with the skills and grades required for system support
- Wartime versus peacetime personnel requirements determination and management
- Additional personnel identification and justification process management
According to Appendix A of the DoD Product Support Manager (PSM) Guidebook, the objective of the Manpower and Personnel IPS element is to “…identify, plan, resource and acquire personnel, civilian and military, with the grades and skills required a) to operate equipment, to complete the missions, to effectively fight or support the fight, to win our nation’s wars; b) to effectively support the Soldier, and to ensure the best capability is available for the Warfighter when needed.”
The PSM Guidebook goes on to describe the Manpower & Personnel IPS element as being “….essential to identify and acquire personnel (military and civilian) with the skills and grades required to operate, maintain, and support systems over their lifetime. Early identification is essential. If the needed manpower is an additive requirement to existing manpower levels of an organization, a formalized process of identification and justification must be made to higher authority.”
Longtime life cycle logistics practitioners will yet again – as you have throughout this “virtual IPS Element tour” -- recognize the critical nature of the Manpower & Personnel element in the years since the issuance of the seminal November 2009 DoD Weapon System Acquisition Reform: Product Support Assessment report. The reason is simple: manpower and personnel decisions and requirements have significant impacts on life cycle costs.
Longtime practitioners also recognize just how interconnected this particular element is with each of the others, particularly training and training support, maintenance planning and management, design interface, and support equipment. As I’ve shared many times during this series, not only the did the integrated nature of all of these elements accelerate the transition from Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) to Integrated Product Support (IPS), it also highlighted their interconnected nature as key enablers of wider life-cycle management and product support requirements outlined in 10 U.S.C. 2337. Bottom line: Manpower and Personnel, like each of the other IPS Elements we’ve previously examined during this tour, serves a key enabler of affordable readiness!
As I’ve also reiterated at each stop in this 12-part DAU LOG Blog series, the operative word for every one of these 12 IPS Elements is “integrated.” Decisions made in or for one element routinely have major – and occasionally unintentional -- implications across each of the others. As I’d also shared previously, this critically important product support element (like each of the others) transcends functional communities. Manpower and Personnel decisions directly impact each of the other eleven elements, and in so doing, each element aligns, integrates, and addresses key “ilities” including reliability, availability, maintainability, supportability, affordability, sustainability, suitability, habitability, and transportability, among others. As I also previously shared, the term “ilities” is so ubiquitous and so pervasive in the acquisition arena that it actually has its own definition in the DAU Glossary!
Finally, at each stop on this extended 12-part IPS Element tour, it’s worth remembering that your DoD and DAU life cycle logistics colleagues offer a myriad of references, resources, training and tools to assist you in better understanding the nuances of these elements, (and the integrated nature of product support) including but by no means limited to:
- DoD Weapon System Acquisition Reform: Product Support Assessment (Nov 2009)
- DoD Product Support Manager (PSM) Guidebook (Appendix A)
- DAU Integrated Product Support (IPS) Element Guidebook
- Defense Acquisition Guidebook (DAG), Chapter 4 (Life Cycle Sustainment)
- DoD Logistics Assessment Guidebook
- DAU Integrated Product Support Implementation Roadmap Tool
- CLL 046 The Twelve Integrated Product Support Elements
- Integrated Product Support (IPS) Elements (ACQuipedia Overview Article)
- Integrated Product Support (IPS) Element – Manpower & Personnel ACQuipedia Article
- LOG CoP Manpower & Personnel IPS Element Site
Next up: Facilities and Infrastructure!