RECOVERY

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There must be documented characteristics of the item being developed

whether that item is a system or a unit or a module. The best place to derive

these characteristics is from the Specification. If you do not have such a list, use

the following characteristics as a starter and look into the Specification for similar

items that may be used to characterize the quality of the item in question.

General

• Primary purpose of the item

• Interfaces of the item

• Common language within the item

• Life-cycle objectives

• Operations and maintenance plan

Specific

• MTTR/MTBF

• Availability

• Other specific characteristics from Spec

10c (NO) Quality is not measured so that improvement or

degradation is not clear.

Quality is not measured so that improvement or degradation is not clear

when each quality characteristic is not measured and not tracked via metrics.

RECOVERY

Return to Cause Description 10b and ensure that each quality factor is recognized

and documented. Create a two-column list and enter the quality factors

in the left column. Evaluate each factor and assign or develop a measurement

or metric for each factor that will not only show success or failure but will show

general ‘‘health’’ as well (i.e., an analog that shows direction of quality and can

be compared to a standard or the last reading).

11 FINAL DELIVERY

11a (NO) Final delivery was not accepted by the customer without

delay.

It is expected that final delivery will be accepted by the customer without

delay because it is one of the most important steps in the closure process. Occasionally,

the customer will not accept the product for one reason or another.

There can be only three reasons that the customer will not accept the product

at final delivery. These are:

1. You have not completed all the requirements stipulated in the requirements

document (contract).

2. There are circumstances beyond the control of the customer.

3. The customer simply does not want to accept the product.

RECOVERY

In the first situation, ask the customer why the product is not being accepted.

What requirements have not been met? Next, you need to outline the requirements

and lay out the Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM), then doublecheck

the requirements and results. If necessary, make the changes required.

Then call the customer for a conference and make your presentation and show

you have completed all requirements.

In the second case, you still ask the customer the same questions. There are

three possible reasons that the customer cannot accept delivery. These are: force

majeure, an Act of God, or some reason the product honestly cannot be accepted,

such as the fact that transportation services or storage facilities are not

available. Check your contract to determine if the first two are exceptions to the

contract. If they are, inventory the product, work with the customer to secure

the product, and relieve the team. If the third issue is the reason, inventory the

product, work with the customer to secure the product, and relieve the team.

Go through all closure steps that you can. If the first two factors are not invoked

or if the third factor is the issue and you have completed all requirements for

delivery, you likely have a claim. You must advise the customer of this situation.

Go through all closure steps that you can to minimize additional costs to the

customer.

In the third case, you likely have a political situation on your hands. First,

ensure that you have an open communication channel with the customer. Ensure

that you have completed all requirements necessary for delivery. If at all

possible, negotiate with the customer to make final delivery. Sometimes a customer

will use acceptance as a bludgeon to get something he wants. And sometimes

it is cheaper in the long run to cave in and give customers what they want.

But, if the wants are expensive and if you are clean and can prove it, and if you

have exhausted all reasonable remedies, inventory the product. Advise management,

turn the issue over to legal, and advise the customer of the situation in

writing.

11b (NO) Third-party or drop shipping is involved.

Third-party or drop shipping is involved whenever the product is not

shipped directly from your facilities to the customer’s facilities.

This may appear to be a strange way to end up the checklist but it is a

situation that can contribute greatly to finalizing a contract or delivery. Drop

shipping (shipping from an associate or subcontractor) can be a useful and

sometimes economical methodology. Just as often however, it can end up being

uneconomical and get you into trouble in that you are depending on another

contractor who does not have the responsibility you have.

RECOVERY

Short of not using third-party or drop shipping, I suggest you add an incentive

clause to the subcontract with the associate or subcontractor. Such an incentive

clause would have the effect of more than neutralizing any liability you

might incur for late or bad delivery. The reason I say ‘‘more than’’ is because

your reputation is on the line. You could have run a wonderful program for a

long time and lose it all at the last moment. You need to make the penalty so

severe that the event does not happen. By the way, if you use penalties, it is a

good idea (and sometimes required) that you use positive incentives as well. In

other words, if you penalize a subcontractor for being late, give a bonus for

being early or even on time. There are situations when you want the product to

arrive exactly on time, not sooner, not later. Each of these situations requires

analysis and judgments—it is not possible to develop a checklist to cover all

these situations. Instead, as always, use your good sense.

Notes

1. Most Purchase Orders are issued against a catalog number and a catalog price;

therefore a budget review is not called for. However, if there is an add-on or modification

using your money, Budget Reviews are proper.

2. Most Purchase Orders are issued against a catalog number and a catalog price;

therefore, a budget review is not called for. However, if there is an add-on or modification

using your money, Budget Reviews are proper.

3. You can usually hold TIMs only when there is a change in the standard purchased

product.