The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering approved DoDI 5000.88, Engineering of Defense Systems on November 18, 2020. This policy document covers systems engineering, and other engineering disciplines, in the development of DoD systems which aligns with industry best practices.
Effective parts management is an important contributor to the long-term success of any program, because the end-item's reliability, maintainability, and supportability is dependent on the parts the comprise it.
One key feature of this DoD Policy document is the emphasis on the importance of implementing processes for Parts Management, standardization, and DMSMS and obsolescence issues, and requiring that a parts management process is used during parts selection.
Per Section 3.6.f, Parts Management:
"The Program Manager (PM) will ensure that a parts management process is used for the selection of parts during design to consider the life cycle application stresses, standardization, technology (e.g., new and ageing), reliability, maintainability, supportability, life cycle cost, and diminishing manufacturing sources and material shortages. As applicable, parts management requirements should be specified in the RFP's statement of work for the TMRR, EMD, and production acquisition phases."
And per Section 3.7.f. Standardization:
"The PM will plan for the identification and implementation of specifications and standards that support interoperable, reliable, technologically superior, and affordable capabilities pursuant to DoDI 4120.24."
If parts management sounds like an important engineering design consideration, well, — it is — especially in today's acquisition environment characterized by rapidly changing designs and technologies and by increased risk to DoD weapon systems and equipment due to issues with parts that affect reliability, standardization, supportability, and affordability. Parts are the basic units from which systems are created; and selecting the right parts is fundamental to achieving many engineering and manufacturing objectives, and influencing cost, schedule, and performance.
In short, parts management processes determine the optimum parts for an end item while considering all the factors that may affect program outcomes. Effective parts management, employed early in system design, can provide significant benefits throughout the life cycle of the system.
DoDI 5000.88 is available on the Washington Headquarters Services Directives Division website at https://www.esd.whs.mil/DD/.
Additional information on Parts Management, DMSMS, and Standardization can be found using the links below