With platforms lasting longer than planned for or expected, the military services and their contractor partners are continually looking for replacement parts that are no longer in production. This problem of obsolescence—referred to in DoD as Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages—is a chronic problem that program managers deal with every day.
Given this tremendous challenge, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, Ms. Ellen Lord, signed out DoD Instruction (DoDI) 4245.15, DoD DMSMS Management Instruction, on November 5, 2020. This is first DoD-wide policy on obsolescence/DMSMS since 1976 (!) and looks to "establish and implement risk-based, proactive DMSMS management throughout the life cycle of all DoD items."
On December 2nd George Mason University (GMU) hosted a webinar focused on this new policy. The OSD DMSMS lead, Ms. Robin Brown, gave an excellent summary of the Instruction and Bill Kobren from DAU described the training resources available to all in this area. The panel also engaged with each of the Service DMSMS leads, who each heavily contributed to the drafting of the Instruction, with specific questions about how the new DoDI would impact their respective organizations.
There were 475 attendees from government, industry, academia, and not-for-profits all over the country that participated in this discussion! It was GMU's biggest event ever and they could not keep up with the questions coming in from the audience.
We are pleased to share the slide deck—full of useful information on the instruction and implementation resources—and a link to the video recording: