Case Study in Waste Part II

Movie Guy in the first post on this subject brings up a couple of points worthy of a new post.

“The testing cycle hours have been very limited for the prototype testing on this vehicle. The vehicle design hasn’t been proven to be a failed design, rather the issue is improving the vehicle’s maintenance reliability. Two different issues entirely. Moreover, the unit cost per vehicle has jumped considerably in recent fiscal years.”

Movie guy is a good student of military acquisitions, as am I. He shows a depth of knowledge differentiating maintenance reliability from mission reliability. Mission reliability means the EFV gets through a mission cycle with no breakdowns. This can be done with expensive redundancy and materials that are gold plated to be in a bengin environment. I do not know the mission reliability of the EFV. It may be as specified.

Maintenance reliability says the thing can do its missions but comes in needing maintenance on the redundancies which often must be fixed before the vehicle is sent out again, the redundancy is needed to meet its survivable, safe performance.

In any event achieving mission reliability with high maintenance doubles the costs of manufacture while also making support costs very high. It also raises weight. fuel requirements and the need for Marines to be repairmen rather than rifle men.

It is the second part of Movie Guy’ comment that needs to be dissected.

He states that we have not proven the vehicle to have failed. Be that as it may, the buyer should insist the vehicle passes its test not that it needs to be double tested to prove it is a failed design.

This attitude is like Bush requiring that we invade Iraq to be proven wrong on WMD’s.

Proving a negative is very hard, and certainly if I were shepherding my money I would only buy a system which is proven to be good.

In terms of traditional quality testing Movie Guys approach is for zero producers risk, that is no chance that a good product will be rejected.

While the customer should be looking for less chance that a bad product is accepted.

DoD development seems to tend toward zero chance of rejecting a weapon system, and so they want to test it until it is proven bad.

With this approach there is never enough design money.