Reliability Management

Reliability Management


Reliability is the ability to successfully perform an intended function under the intended conditions. It can be expressed as a probability of success, or as a rate of failure (i.e., failures per hour, cycle, mile or other life unit). Sometimes it is combined with maintainability, the rate at which an item can be repaired, into availability, a measure of the percentage of time that an item is successfully operating. Reliability is an important characteristic of products and systems, regardless of whether they are intended for routine commercial use or for critical military operations. Reliability impacts mission success and support costs for military systems, and warranty costs and customer satisfaction for commercial products. Safety and liability are also important factors in the need for reliability. Whether delivering products, systems, or even services, today’s successful companies need to worry about reliability. It’s hard to find published advertisements for successful companies that don’t tout the reliability (and/or quality) of their offerings as a market discriminator!

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Product Description

The series name has a double meaning:
(1) the spelling of the name r-e-l-e-a-s-e indicates that the series is intended to “release“ the non-expert down the path to reliable products and
(2) the complementary terms “REL” with “ease”, implying the series goal of “reliability made easy.”

Of course, reliability success is seldom easy, requiring expertise and tailoring with tradeoffs addressing life-cycle costs and other issues, but we hope that the series will help those not familiar with reliability practices understand the basics.

While it is unlikely that the reader will become an instant expert in reliability by reading the RELease guides, it is likely that he/she will gain a better appreciation of the basic tools that lead to designing and building reliability into products and systems. The number of pages in each guide is intentionally limited to address only the basics, with comprehensive authoritative references listed for those wanting to know more. The initial set of guides will be continuously expanded in the future. Please let us know how the series can be improved to meet your needs in introducing reliability to the non-expert, or suggest other topics you would like to see developed.

Additional information

File Type:



Preston MacDiarmid





Publication Date:

July 2013

Table of Content

1. Why Reliability       2
2. Making Reliability Happen       3
3. Management of Reliability       5
4. Starting a Reliability Organization       9
  4.1. Reliability Staffing     9
  4.2. Reliability Knowledgebase     11
  4.3. Reliability Training and Education     15
  4.4. Reliability Consultants     15
5. For More Information       17

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