A portion of the introduction to the book: Fundamentals of Complex System Sustainment
Ideally, for a management model to be useful, it should be:
a) directly applicable to very complex systems
b) integrated, that is, internally consistent
c) practical and easy to apply
d) self-improving and anti-fragile
e) constant, i.e., unaffected by changing public laws, regulations, management fads
If your system is not terribly complex, congratulations! You can probably do pretty much anything in your job today that makes sense in the moment and you will keep your weapon system going and your warfighter happily meeting their mission.
If you start to follow a management model and find it is internally contradictory, you will not only be confused, but your colleagues will find your pontifications to be silly.
Abiding, steadfast approaches are self-improving and anti-fragile. Like your bones, they get stronger with heavy use.
You and your colleagues want an understandable path ahead that is not only easy to remember and apply, but also provides immediate and pragmatic guidance for each fork in the road.
Like an ever-changing eco-system, real stability of a management model lies in its ability to re-create itself to changing times, yet remain with a core set of principles that dictate even the changes.
The goal of this book is to describe such a management model so clearly that you can immediately begin to reap its benefits while still learning details. One way to do this is to keep the 5 principles of weapon system sustainment in mind:
- The warfighter’s mission is the supreme requirement for weapon system sustainment.
- In achieving sustainment goals, it is a daily, often hourly, fight to justify funding needs.
- Risk management is the primary driver of efficient sustainment management.
- Without an effective assessment program, sustainment is flying blind.
- Readiness must be concisely, precisely, numerically defined and scientifically pursued.
In a world where
- Significant amounts of time must be spent in reviews and training to help ensure public laws are not broken and regulations are followed.
- Unexpected direction arrives from above scrambling your day’s expected priorities.
- Many decision-makers appear clueless as to actual warfighter needs.
- Many around you are losing heart as something appears very, very wrong.
It is in your best interest to have a vision of the actual way to success so that you can dedicate some time to each day to push forward the tasks that are actually important in supporting the mission.
In an era where weapon systems are remaining in use longer and longer, it is past time to:
- Lead the wanderers in your organization who have lost heart and feel every day that something is very, very wrong.
- Influence leaders who have lost their way in the organizational jungle and now only desire to finish their time before retirement.