“Proactively consider DMSMS through[out] a system’s life cycle by anticipating potential DMSMS occurrences and taking appropriate logistics, acquisition, and budgeting steps to prevent DMSMS from adversely affecting readiness or total ownership cost.” SD-22 DMSMS Guidebook
Continued from a previous post: Being Proactive
While obsolescence management traditionally starts after products become mature, that is really waiting too long. Sustaining legacy systems requires up-front planning in design and development. A critical part of this planning is implementing ongoing obsolescence risk assessment that can be updated and checked as products transition from the active to the legacy part of their life cycles.
However, at almost every conference I have been to recently, I have heard three assertions:
- You need to be proactive to get a handle on obsolescence.
- You need to assess your ongoing risk to make a plan for how to manage obsolescence.
- It is impossible to assess your actual need, so you can’t actually be proactive.
If you look at how obsolescence has been traditionally managed, these points are true. However, the third claim is not only wrong but also misses the point of proactive management altogether. It is possible—without a crystal ball—to assess what your need, current risks, your risk tolerance are likely to be.
Risk tolerance is the easiest thing to assess. You don’t worry about finding new parts for your toaster; you do worry about whether parts are available for your car. Risk assessment requires a little more work and collaboration; however, with the right information and people, risk assessment is doable. Once you have conducted a risk assessment, you have a clear sense on where your fires are likely to start showing up before you create a plan.
With items one and two from the above list out of the way, assessing your need is almost a test to see whether your plan is solid—or whether you’re going to be in trouble in five years. A program that implements these three components (current risks, risk tolerance, and actual current need) will also be better positioned to provide solutions for any unexpected increase in life cycle or additional demand.
Kaye & the GDCA Team