A stakeholder is anyone who can affect or is affected by an organization’s actions, objectives or policies. For dependability, this includes both users and operators who depend on products, systems or services to perform as and when expected as well as those responsible for ensuring that dependability can be achieved.
Who are typical stakeholders for dependability?
Users of items and services: The most crucial stakeholders for dependability are the users of an item or a service. They will be impacted by its reliability, that is, failures during its use or failure to provide the required function or service.
Management: The role of management in dependability is to ensure that adequate resources are applied to dependability activities. Top management has responsibility for overall strategy and planning and is responsible for approving financial resources to carry out these activities. The first level of management/supervision/project leader has a more direct role in hiring staff and ensuring dependability activities are carried out. They have an important role in supporting staff performing dependability activities and reporting results to higher level management and stakeholders.
Specification of requirements: Specification of dependability requirements starts during the concept stage where general requirements are established and continues after the actual design has been established. Stakeholders who might specify dependability requirements could be design/system engineers and staff responsible for purchasing or procurement.
Design and enhancement: The main stakeholders involved in dependability during design or enhancement of an item are either the various disciplines responsible for the design or specialists providing support for dependability analysis such as statisticians in applied analysis, safety or security analysis specialists or maintenance staff.
Manufacturing, acquisition and installation: The main role for dependability during the realization stage of the life cycle is to verify that the various attributes of dependability can be achieved. This could include reliability testing, verification of maintainability and maintenance support resources and availability testing. Quality assurance and quality control activities for both manufactured and purchased items also provide assurance that dependability requirements can be achieved. In some situations, proper assembly and installation should be verified by commissioning checks.
Operation or use of items: Some stakeholders operate or control items, such as the pilot in an aircraft or an operator in a process plant. They have an important role in ensuring that items are operated safely and within their design and operating constraints. The same can be said for use of consumer products where the nature of their use can affect their dependability.
Maintenance of items: Maintenance of items requires various types of stakeholders, including technical staff to perform corrective or preventive maintenance, those responsible for support such as spare parts, specialists for monitoring of machinery, such as vibration testing and analysis and staff performing software maintenance.
Obsolescence: Stakeholders for obsolescence may be involved in planning for obsolescence and subsequently when items have been deemed to be obsolete. Affected stakeholders could be users and operators of the item, management, maintenance support personnel, manufacturers and spare parts providers.
Retirement: When items are retired, some stakeholders may have to find a replacement and others may be involved in decommissioning, dismantling or abandonment. Some items may be reused and thus may have to be re-evaluated from a dependability point of view.
Regulations and contracts: Dependability standards may be used in regulations or contracts in which case stakeholders could be international standards organization, national standards organizations, standards development organizations and their dependability experts, governments, organizations being regulated and organizations using dependability standards in contracts.
Academic and research institutions: Some stakeholders for dependability exist in academic and industry-based research institutions where expertise is available to develop new or improved methods, tools and techniques. Their expertise may apply to any of the areas of dependability.
The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) is the world's leading organization that prepares and publishes globally relevant international standards for all electric and electronic devices and systems. It brings together 173 countries, representing 99,2% of the world population and 99,1% of world energy generation. Close to 20 000 experts cooperate on the global IEC platform and many more in each member country. They ensure that products work everywhere safely and efficiently with each other. The IEC also supports all forms of conformity assessment and administers four Conformity Assessment Systems that certify that components, equipment and systems used in homes, offices, healthcare facilities, public spaces, transportation, manufacturing, explosive environments and during energy generation conform to them. IEC work covers a vast range of technologies: power generation (including all renewable energy sources), transmission, distribution, smart grid and smart cities, batteries, home appliances, office and medical equipment, all public and private transportation, semiconductors, fibre optics, nanotechnology, multimedia, information technology, and more. It also addresses safety, EMC, performance and the environment.