Update on DoD Life Cycle Management and Product Support Policy

For the past 2 ½ years HKA has been closely following important congressionally mandated changes to DoD Life Cycle Management policies.  Under Secretary of Defense Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (USD(AT&L)) Directive-Type Memorandum (DTM) 10-015, “Requirements for Life Cycle Management and Product Support” was originally signed 7 October 2010.

 What Does It Mean To You?

In true bureaucratic fashion, it’s a lot of guidance (see below) – but what does it mean to you, to your program?  How can you implement these lofty policies where you live, in the real world?

At HKA our logisticians have the background and expertise to analyze and develop an appropriate solution tailored to the unique requirements of your specific program.  At HKA we work together with our clients to arrive at Life Cycle Management and Product Support strategies that will ensure the success of their programs.

The stated purpose of DTM 10-015:

Establishes policy in accordance with DoD Directive 5134.01, ‘Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (USD(AT&L),’ 9 December 2005 to implement and institutionalize the requirements of Section 805 of Public Law 111-8. This law directs a number of changes to DoD policies designed to improve weapon systems life cycle management and product support by establishing new requirements that directly impact acquisition, fielding, and sustainment decisions.”


Change 3 to this DTM was signed out 16 January 2013.  Change 3 delineated the duties of the Product Support Manager (PSM) to be incorporated into DoD Instruction (DoDI) 5000.02, “Operation of the Defense Acquisition System,” 8 December 2008:

DUTIES OF THE PSM. The principal duties of the PSM are to:

 a. Provide weapon systems product support subject matter expertise to the PM for the execution of the PM’s duties as the Total Life Cycle Systems Manager, in accordance with DoD Directive (DoDD) 5000.01, ‘The Defense Acquisition System,’ 12 May 2003.

 b. Develop and implement a comprehensive, outcome-based, product support strategy.

 c. Promote opportunities to maximize competition while meeting the objective of best-value long-term outcomes to the warfighter.

 d. Seek to leverage enterprise opportunities across programs and DoD Components.

 e. Use appropriate analytical tools and conduct appropriate cost analyses, including cost-benefit analyses, as specified in Office of Management and Budget Circular A-94 ‘Guidelines and Discount Rates for Benefit-Cost Analysis of Federal Programs,’ 29 October 1992 to determine the preferred product support strategy.

 f. Develop and implement appropriate product support arrangements.

 g. Assess and adjust resource allocations and performance requirements for product support, not less than annually, to meet warfighter needs and optimize implementation of the product support strategy.

 h. Document the product support strategy in the Life Cycle Sustainment Plan (LCSP), in accordance with DoDI 5000.02.

 i. Conduct periodic product support strategy reviews and revalidate the supporting business case analysis prior to each change in the product support strategy or every 5 years, whichever occurs first.

Change 3 also delineated the duties of the PSM to be incorporated into the Defense Acquisition Guidebook:

The duties of the PSM include:

 a. Providing Weapon Systems Product Support Subject Matter Expertise.  The PSM shall provide weapon systems product support subject matter expertise to the PM for the execution of his or her duties as the Total Life Cycle System Manager, in accordance with DoDD 5000.01.  In support of this PM responsibility, the PSM shall have a direct reporting relationship and be accountable to the PM for product support consistent with Public Law 111-84.

 b. Developing and Implementing a Comprehensive Product Support Strategy.  The product support strategy is designed to assure achievement of warfighter capability-driven life cycle product support outcomes documented in performance-based agreements, generally expressed in preferred terms of weapon system materiel availability, reliability, and operations and support cost affordability.  The strategy should identify the execution plan to deliver integrated product support (IPS) elements to the warfighter, producing the best value balance of materiel readiness and total ownership cost.

 c. Promoting Opportunities to Maximize Competition While Meeting the Objective of Best-Value Long-Term Outcomes to the Warfighter.  Tradeoffs between the benefits of long-term relationships and the opportunity for cost reductions through competitive processes should be considered together with associated risk.

d. Seeking to Leverage Enterprise Opportunities Across Programs and DoD Components.  Joint strategies are a top priority where more than one DoD Component is the user of the respective major weapon system or variant of the system.  Likewise, product support strategies should address a program’s product support interrelationship with other programs in their respective portfolio and joint infrastructure, similar to what is performed for operational interdependencies.

 e. Using Appropriate Analytical Tools to Determine the Preferred Product Support Strategy.  Analytical tools can take many forms (analysis of alternatives, supportability analysis, sustainment business case analysis, life cycle impact analysis), dependent upon the stage of the program’s life cycle.  These analytical tools shall incorporate the use of cost analyses, such as cost-benefit analyses as outlined in Office of Management and Budget Circular A-94, as well as other appropriate DoD and Service guidance consistent with Public Law 111-84.  These tools are used to help identify the best possible use of available DoD and industry resources at the system, subsystem, and component levels by analyzing all alternatives available to achieve the desired performance outcomes.  Additionally, resources required to implement the preferred alternative should be assessed with associated risks.  Sensitivity analyses should also be conducted against each of the IPS elements and tracked to determine those IPS elements where marginal changes could alter the preferred strategy.

 f. Developing Appropriate Product Support Arrangements for Implementation.  Development and implementation of product support arrangements should be a major consideration during strategy development to assure achievement of the desired performance outcomes. These arrangements should take the form of performance-based agreements, memorandums of agreements, memorandums of understanding, and partnering agreements or contractual agreements with product support integrators (PSIs) and product support providers (PSPs), depending on the best-value service integrators or providers.

 g. Periodically Assessing and Adjusting Resource Allocations and Performance Requirements to Meet Warfighter Needs During Strategy Implementation.  Planning, programming, budgeting, and execution of the product support strategy need to be accomplished and aligned to the warfighter’s performance-based agreements with the PM and PSM.  PSMs, working in concert with the PM, users, resource sponsors, and force providers, should adjust performance levels and resources across PSIs and PSPs as necessary to optimize implementation of the strategy based on current warfighter requirements and resource availability.

 h. Documenting the Product Support Strategy in the LCSP.  The LCSP describes the plan for the integration of sustainment activities into the acquisition strategy and operational employment of the support system.  The PSM prepares the LCSP to document the plan for formulating, integrating, and executing the product support strategy (including any support contracts) to meet the warfighter’s mission requirements. In accordance with Public Law 111-84 and DoDI 5000.02, the LCSP shall be updated to reflect the evolving maturity of the product support strategy at each milestone, full rate production (FRP), and prior to each change in the product support strategy or every 5 years, whichever occurs first.  The LCSP is approved by the milestone decision authority at each milestone and FRP decision.  Updates to the LCSP for all major weapons systems after the FRP decision shall be approved by the Component Acquisition Executive (CAE), in coordination with the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Materiel Readiness.

 i. Conducting Periodic Product Support Strategy Reviews.  The product support strategy evolves with the maturation of the weapon system through its various life cycle phases.  At FRP, the LCSP should describe how the system is performing relative to the performance metrics and any required corrective actions to ensure the metrics are achieved.  Reviews and revalidations of the strategy should be performed at a minimum of every 5 years or prior to each change in the strategy to ensure alignment across system, subsystem, and component levels in support of the defined best-value outcomes.  In those situations where a support strategy is at the weapon systems level, the PSM’s reassessment should explore potential opportunities for evolving toward a portfolio approach.  In those situations where an LCSP is based on a collection of outcome-based product support strategies at the subsystem or component level, the periodic review should explicitly address integrated performance at the weapon systems level.  In all situations, the reassessment should consider opportunities to make better use of industry and DoD resources.