I am happy to announce that volume 2 of my Sustainment Handbook series is now available on Amazon as an eBook. Like volume 1, it is affordably priced at $5 plus tax. Search for “Charles Vono” in the Amazon search box
The entire handbook is just under 10,000 words and contains thought-provoking ideas for those trying to improve their sustainment organizations. Below is an excerpt from Chapter 3.
SUSTAINMENT RISK SYSTEMS
As more meetings are held, the next round of discussions will likely focus on the formats required of the meeting attendees and presenters. Do your best, but don’t fret excessively. In the early days, whatever format you decide upon will get changed as the team’s understanding of their roles change.
As an example, it is likely that, of all the content required for the meeting, there will certainly be the decision to present one risk with one chart (a summary chart). Such a chart would be formatted to look the same from risk to risk. It should start out with at least the following:
- An alphanumeric designation of the risk, e.g. A023
- A title, e.g. “Unreliable Gyro 66 Testers”
- A statement of the risk in if…then format, e.g. If the testers continue to fail, aircraft availability rates will drop to 70% by June 2020.
- A brief explanation of the statement
- Which readiness factor is affected, e.g. “availability”
- Likelihood of impact, seriousness of impact
- Timing of impacts (see next section)
- One or more suggested mitigations
As the team becomes more sophisticated, they may want to add items such as:
- A link to the project mitigating the risk
- A graphic to help visualize the likelihood/impact relationship
- More words explaining impacts to performance, schedule, and cost
- Names of individuals responsible to shepherd the risk and mitigation
Other formats required could be summary prioritized risk lists, detailed risk books, short mitigation program plans, and some IMS formats.
Timing of Impacts
In design and deployment, schedules are fixed and risks are discussed within this time frame. In a sustainment risk system, the time factor must be added to fully prioritize risks. At its most simplistic, a medium impact risk that could happen in a year or two will be prioritized above a high risk that could happen in 8 to 10 years. The latter is still important to track as a risk, but in a resource constrained environment it might not get worked on as quickly. However, the length of time it takes to respond to the risk and execute the mitigation will most likely be variable as well. Thus, a combination of time needed and time available should inform the time factor. This concept is captured by the phrase, “lead time ahead”.
The Risk Matrix
In “j” above, what is typically seen is a 5 x 5 two-dimensional matrix of impacts versus likelihood resulting in a stratification across 25 boxes that may result in 3 or 4 conclusions of low, medium, and high priorities. Two changes need to be made to this risk matrix to make it work better for sustainment risks. First, the time factor must be incorporated to ensure risks with less lead time available get higher priorities. Non-sustainment risk systems usually have some kind of external schedule constraint that makes this unnecessary. Second, the matrix should be at most 3 x 3. This helps the risk meetings to proceed more quickly and efficiently. Top level managers will rearrange the final priority rankings anyway based upon real world constraints.