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Life Cycle Management (LCM) Initiative

What is it?
On August 2, 2004, the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ASA (ALT)) and the Army Materiel Command (AMC) Commanding General signed a Memorandum of Agreement that launched the Army's LCM Initiative. It is intended to strategically and operationally align structure, processes, and responsibilities to enable greater synergies and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of all organizations involved in LCM. The strategic and operational processes between the AMC major subordinate commands, the program executive offices (PEOs), and the direct reporting program managers (PMs) are integrated at the project and product manager levels by way of integrated product and process teams led by the PM as the life cycle manager. The PM as the life cycle manager directs and synchronizes the product development, production, and sustainment to provide optimized value to the Soldier. The organizations participate in LCM in a traditional project matrix management structure where the product manager provides the overall direction pertaining to what needs to be done and when, while the functional managers provide resources to the integrated team, continuously improve business processes to support the integrated team, and execute the work to be done.

The LCM Initiative is the Army's implementation of the Department of Defense Directive 5000.1, Total Life Cycle System Management, and Army Regulation 70-1. The goals of the initiative are to enhance the input of logisticians into acquisition processes pertaining to current and future sustainment and readiness, reduce costs, improve quality, get products to the Soldier faster, and implement a more holistic approach to product development and system support.

What has the Army done?
Four LCM commands have been organized along the following commodity lines: 1) tank, automotive, and armaments; 2) aviation and missile; 3) communications and electronics; and 4) Joint munitions and lethality. The LCM commands and PEOs have entered into a collaborative partnership and aligned their operations to enhance the value provided to Soldiers. The Department of the Army-led Lean Six Sigma approach is being used to identify, measure, and implement continuous LCM improvement. In addition, the ASA (ALT) Military Deputy established the Deputy for Life Cycle Integration located at AMC to lead efforts to enhance effectiveness among the secretariat staff at ASA (ALT) and the headquarters staff at the AMC. The AMC has developed 50 process maps illustrating the activities and process flow among the Army Sustainment Command, the Army field support brigades, and the LCM commands and the headquarters of the AMC to strengthen and integrate support in theater.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The ASA (ALT) is currently in a state of leadership transition with the change of administration. The basic tenets of continuous improvement of LCM, a core competency, will continue with each new administration and has been integrated into Army policies as it is essential to how the Army operates.

Why is this important to the Army?
By implementing a LCM operating strategy with a Lean Six Sigma methodology, the ASA (ALT) strives to prevent product quality defects caused by the lack of resources while improving the capability provided to Soldiers. As the Secretary equips the Army, we must mitigate the risks that put our Soldiers in increased danger and do all we can to provide effective equipment and services to the Soldiers who need them, at the right place, at the right time, and at the right cost.

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