A short paper on ways to estimate the value of a range of reliability activities. Given at RAMS 2012.
Selecting the right tool, or the right investment for a specific reliability task is often left to the judgment of the reliability professional. With experience these choices become simpler, yet in many cases the task can be daunting. By examining the decision process we explore a means to determine the most cost effective reliability activities for specific situations.
Not all reliability tools provide useful information or timely results in every situation, yet how does one choose the best activities for a given situation. After conducting over 100 reliability program assessments and working with dozens of design teams to build effective reliability programs, the author lays out an means to trade-off the cost and benefits for the appropriate selections of reliability activities.
Considering the constraints and the objectives - there is a best set of tools to employ during the development process to produce a reliable product. This paper explore the cost/benefit equation in three different cases: High cost low volume, low cost high volume and brand new technology product development situations. Considerations include risk, models, processes, and technology along with customer or market expectations. Another significant consideration is the reliability maturity of the organization.
There isn't a single set of tools or activities that will always produce a reliable product in a cost effective manner. Carefully, considering the current situation and capabilities permit the team to select the right tools to make significant progress toward a reliable product.