The Electronic Capability Manager (ECM) consists of utilities and daemons to manage Capabilities by ECM files. An ECM file primarily contains Capabilities with the associated attributes such as description, costs, risks, and dependencies.
The ECM Utilities and Daemons perform the necessary management, checking, and distribution of the Capabilities. The description uses a standard indexed encoding to help translations.
The ECM treats restrictions, dependencies on other capabilities, required key information, etc., all as dependencies. Dependencies are critical for determining system design, schedule, and accountability.
The ECM fully tracks the amount of success. Effectively turning accountability into a reputation for the source.
ECM defines optionals as a desired but not required capability. These optionals, such as neat features or diagnostic tools may be relegated to certain project phases or changing priorities based on the specific end system.
ECM breaks risk into different classes based on the effected areas. There are risks to schedule, safety, reliability and costs. Also there are different units used for quantizing risk such as extra cost, labor hours, mean time between failures, etc. Recurring verses non recurring are included in the ECM file. Overall risks are definable on a per project bases, but typically consists of supplier anticipated risk scaled by the supplier reputation further scaled by suppliers assigned priority to the capability.
This scheme highlights high demand capabilities and supports both low and high priority projects. Low priority projects avoid risk by avoiding high demand resources which can be taken away. High priority projects can count on resources being available when required. Management has full visibility into these contentions and can work to create more or better Capabilities.
ECM files uses a simple binary format where the data layout is described in the header portion of the file. The header includes layout, cross references and dependency requirements.
A capability can have one or more descriptions. Each description targets different perspectives. An example a capability may have a detailed description for the design description, a separate description for a sales broacher, and a third description for manufacturing.
Individual descriptions are index driven to support internationalization, similar to gettext. Gettext, however, is not run time data oriented and requires continuous translators for support. The ECM uses a hierarchies of language phrase libraries starting a common base. ECM allows run time selection of existing phrases, or requests for additions.
Descriptions are not limited to language. Descriptions can include expression evaluation, schematic, image, simulation, and context specific data.