Original Date: 08/20/2001
Revision Date: 12/14/2006
Best Practice : Aegis Commercial-off-the-Shelf Technology Family Analysis and Selection Tool
Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems-Surface Systems developed an all-encompassing strategy for dealing with the complexities found in today’s commercial-off-the-shelf acquisition environment. The Aegis Commercial-off-the-Shelf Technology Family Analysis and Selection Tool leverages the entire program community for risk mitigation and optimal system design.
Historically, the Aegis design process at Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems-Surface Systems (NE&SS-SS) incorporated commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment based on performance characteristics and acquisition cost. In recent times, this approach has become problematic due to the considerable insertion of COTS equipment, and has been exacerbated by conditions in which final product fielding typically occurred five years after design-based selection. Employing only two discriminators made the program extremely vulnerable to the risks of technological change, company viability, and diminishing manufacturing sources (DMS). Furthermore, late involvement of logistics staff in the design/COTS process led to major supportability issues and extravagant replacement costs. In 2000, the Lifetime Support Operations at Lockheed Martin NE&SS-SS implemented the Aegis COTS Technology Family Analysis and Selection Tool (ACTFAST).
This relatively new tool and process assess total life cycle concerns in COTS equipment selection process. ACTFAST addresses acquisition focus areas of technical/performance, program management (e.g., development; production; operations, support and training), total relative cost, and roadmaps (multiple baselines; viability; market/technology trends). The method requires only a minimum amount of information to start, and involves a three-phased approach consisting of technology identification, vendor selection, and end-product choice. During the Integrated Product Team (IPT) process, discriminative questions lead to discriminatory categories which, in turn, require data collection. The acquisition information collected is then refined, weighed, and assessed by the IPT prior to making a selection. The IPT consists of representatives from the Navy Fleet, Program Office, Production Engineering, Manufacturing, Sourcing, Lifetime Support Operations, industry, and laboratories.
ACTFAST creates a forum in which roadmaps from Engineering, Sourcing, and Lifetime Support Operations are compared and aligned on a proactive basis with customer buy-in. This type of total community involvement promotes robust equipment decisions, efficient COTS equipment selection processes, and superior equipment design.
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