Last Week’s post said there were 5 key elements to mitigating risks. This week, a few details.
- Mitigations identified and described with sufficient clarity to request funding.
- Decision-makers kept informed of the complete spectrum of current and future fixes
- Funding of the right type doled out in proper amounts over the proper times
- Program execution and modification deployment fully integrated in a single schedule
- Compromises made across programs to ensure optimum use of funds
Information to Support Funding Requests
No matter what organization you are a part of, there will be many times when funding or other resources are needed. Typically, some level of funding, with associated restrictions, is available from decision-makers within your organization. There will also be decision-makers outside your organization with the ability to provide you with money and other resources. In both cases, these decision-makers have very specific needs for information before they will release their funds. Generally, these fall along the lines of how much, when, what will you do with it, how important is it, and so on. Properly designed readiness observation and risk identification programs will generate the data and information needed to answer these questions. You will most certainly need to re-package the observation results and risk descriptions in a way that is useful to your decision-makers. Learning how to do this is critical to the survival of your system.
Keep Decision-Makers Current
Keeping your decision-makers in the loop and in the know on a continual basis will make this job not only easier, but in some cases, possible. Don’t wait for the crisis to cultivate your funding source.
Funding Types and Their Timing
Any complex system will have many fixes in progress. Any one of those fixes can have several time-phased requirements each requiring different kinds of resources and funding. For instance, in weapon systems, research monies cannot be used for production and production monies cannot be used for maintenance. So, your request needs to understand what kinds of money you need and when. And all of this must be integrated with the monies you are already authorized to receive. It will be obvious to your decision-makers when you don’t understand these details and they will be reluctant to support you.
Integrated Deployment Schedules
Your best bet as a sustainment organization is to take whatever time is needed to create and maintain a fully integrated modification deployment schedule. Assign people to become experts and have them look for emerging problems. An example may be one where the deployment of the new electronics boxes is proceeding apace, but the associated test stations are falling behind. Once deployed, this will cause immediate system availability issues.
Opportunities for Optimization
In all phases of funding requests and funding execution, opportunities will arise to shift resources to solve problems like those mentioned above. Just as with your overall sustainment program, these insights and decisions need to be timely. An example in the early phase: lack of key repair depot equipment could greatly slow down depot production. An ideal solution might be to replace 5 stations with 5 new stations. The compromise, based on funding available, might be to create 4 new stations while keeping 2 old stations, always keeping one old station working. An example in the later phases: New test stations are falling behind while the new electronics boxes are ahead of schedule. Take a top engineer from one team and place them in the other with the charter to find the issues.