2-11 Develop Life Cycle Support Plan

Typically, life cycle support plans are used when the Postal Service purchases products, not services, with the life cycle spanning the time from product conception to product retirement, with more than 80 percent of the TCO being in the postpurchase phases. The life cycle support plan is a component of the purchase plan, and is a dynamic document that guides the project throughout its entire duration and is revised as more detailed information becomes available. The purchase/SCM team determines which products call for the development of a life cycle support plan. It is essential to note that a life cycle support plan is not appropriate to all purchases, but should be developed for products of considerable nature, scope, and complexity (e.g., for high value and high complex products). Whether such a product is purchased from a supplier or made by the Postal Service, during its life cycle development, quality, cost, schedule, and user requirements must be considered at all phases. What follows is a comprehensive view of a life cycle support plan, but the plan developed by the purchase/SCM team should reflect the complexity of the particular purchase being considered.

A life cycle support plan clarifies the project lifespan of the product. An effective life cycle support plan enables the Postal Service to reduce complexity and decrease life cycle costs and allows for the focusing of all efforts toward providing best value to the client. The plan is instrumental in the development of the SOO, SOW, specification, or product description, and, if applicable, the DAR. The life cycle support plan serves as a guide to the future and a record of the past.

At this stage in the Develop Sourcing Strategy task of Postal Service Supplying Practices Process Step 2: Evaluate Sources, the client’s strategy, and how best to meet this strategy, are nearly defined. The elements to support the product are defined; the organizations that participate in the life cycle process is identified; and the life cycle phases of the specific product or service are known and in the process of being defined.

The three critical components needed to develop the life cycle support plan are:

The life cycle support plan developed by the purchase/SCM team will be implemented in Section 5-3, Implement Life Cycle Support Plan.