Given the flurry of product support-related reports, policy and guidance over the last year, let’s pause for a moment to take stock. We now have a statutory requirement for a Product Support Manager (PSM). We have policy in place outlining the qualifications, roles, responsibilities, and deliverables. We have processes and guidance available to assist in achieving success. Let’s review a few key facts first.
Keep in mind that the Program Manager (PM) has specific Life Cycle Management (LCM) responsibilities outlined in Department of Defense Directive (DoDD) 5000.01, Para E1.1.29. Total Systems Approach. The Product Support Manager (PSM), not only supports the PM in executing their life cycle management responsibilities, but is often the PM’s strongest advocate and ally in successfully achieving this outcome. The PSM has very specific responsibilities outlined in Public Law 111-84, Sec 805 and Directive Type Memorandum (DTM) 10-015 “Requirements for Life Cycle Management and Product Support” to develop, validate, document, and execute robust weapon system product support strategies that effectively/ affordably deliver optimized system readiness across the entire life cycle. This product support strategy is documented in the Life Cycle Sustainment Plan (LCSP). Also per DTM 10-015, the PSM must be a member of the defense acquisition workforce certified as a Level III Life Cycle Logistician. Indeed the vast preponderance of DoD life cycle logisticians, regardless of whether you are an ILS Manager, Logistics Management Specialist, an equipment specialist, or any one of wide-range of other potential duty titles, provide support to the PSM either directly (as part of the program office/PEO itself) or indirectly from matrixed or supporting organizations, depending on the individual Service or major command organizational construct.
The good news is the Department of Defense has crafted a series of key guidance documents to assist the PSM and the life cycle logistics community in achieving the desired product support outcomes mentioned above. In addition to Service or Agency-specific references, several key DoD-level documents I would absolutely encourage you to become personally familiar with include:
• Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS) JCIDS Manual
• Defense Acquisition Guidebook (DAG)
• Product Support Manager (PSM) Guidebook
• Product Support Business Case Analysis (BCA) Guidebook
• Logistics Assessment (LA) Guidebook
• Life Cycle Sustainment Plan (LCSP) Outline
• DoD Reliability, Availability, Maintainability-Cost (RAM-C) Report Manual
• Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages (DMSMS): A Guidebook of Best Practices and Tools for Implementing a DMSMS Management Program (SD-22)
The integrated nature of these key documents is clear when you stop to consider the fact that the fundamental requirements are identified using processes outlined the JCIDS Manual, foundational supportability, reliability & maintainability driven into system design using processes outlined in the RAM-C Manual, the product support strategy is developed & executed using processes outlined in the DAG and the PSM Guidebook, documented in the LCSP, validated by the BCA, evaluated using the LA, and sustained leveraging a robust DMSMS mitigation strategy outlined in the DMSMS Guidebook in conjunction will virtually all of these previously-mentioned references. Thus, these (and other) key references are essential components in developing and executing a robust product support strategy. Each of these key documents is available directly from the newly launched Product Support homepage on the DAU Logistics Community of Practice (LOG CoP).
Moreover, there are still four key other guidance documents still remaining to be issued; each of which will complement those listed above. We anticipate all four of them should be released and available to DoD PSMs, their staffs, and indeed the entire defense acquisition workforce by early in 2012. Of course, we plan to add all four to the suite of key product support guidance on the LOG CoP. They are:
• Public-Private Partnering (PPP) Guidebook
• Integrated Product Support (IPS) Element Guidebook
• Operations & Support (O&S) Cost Management Guidebook
• Updated OSD Cost Assessment & Program Evaluation (CAPE) O&S Cost Estimating Guidebook
I personally believe all four will ultimately prove to be critically important reference documents that will help Product Support Managers craft product support strategies which achieve affordable readiness, including the latter three which should assist in helping PSMs tie and align the 12 IPS Elements (see Appendix A of the PSM Guidebook) to the CAPE O&S Cost and Program Budget Elements.
If you are a Product Support Manager, regardless of whether you were recently selected or long-tenured, you might be asking, “So what is next? What other resources, references, and tools are available to help prepare my team? What else must I know? What else must I be prepared to do?” Glad you asked. However, you’ll have to wait until early next week for some thoughts on these and a few other related questions.
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