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Strategies to the Prediction, Mitigation and Management of Product Obsolescence by Michael G. Pecht, Peter Sandborn, Ulrich Ermel, Bjoern Bartels

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9.2 INITIATION STAGE

The initiation stage describes problem recognition and analysis (Olfert, 2008). Applied to comprehensive strategic obsolescence management, this stage is used to analyze the current situation and to build a consistent knowledge base regarding obsolescence, as described in the following sections.

9.2.1 Auditing

Auditing generally refers to inspection personnel using checklists to check and verify certain conditions within an organization. This is done through quality management or through obsolescence management (EN ISO 9000, 2000).

An audit based on quality is a systematic and autonomous analysis to detect whether operations and their results are in conformity with directives or standards. Furthermore, the directives are analyzed to determine whether they can be realized in an effective way and therefore are appropriate for reaching certain goals (Geiger, 1994).

Organizations should regularly be analyzed and evaluated regarding obsolescence management. Completed checklists provide an opportunity to analyze the responses and formulate an early assessment as to the potential depth and complexity of future obsolescence management issues. Furthermore, this activity provides a means for generating programmatic documentation that raises the awareness level of potential obsolescence impacts (Tomczykowski et al., 2000).

For example, a supportability checklist for new or proposed R&D programs is provided by the Air Force Research Laboratory Research and Development ...

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