The challenges of keeping reliability at the resource and schedule negotiating table mid-program can be greatly helped by a solid effort to connect it to the business case when the product program is created.
It’s the ambiguity of how reliability makes the company money that makes the case in live negotiation so difficult. Everyone knows that reliability affects sales, marketing, warranty expense, future development. But how do you compare that to the urgency of time to market or cost point? If you, as the reliability representative, can point to a specific quantitative connection made to the business case for the product you have one.
When the program begins spend time with sales, marketing, and leadership. Request that they collaborate with you to outline how reliability affects factors like sales. “Would we lose 15% of our market if we have reliability worse than our main competitor?” This can be easily estimated, but is more likely to be done at a more relaxed stage of the program. These people may be on the other side of the negotiating table at a later date as well.
But now there is a collaborative conclusion to be referenced throughout the program. It’s too late if you pursue that topic in the heat of the resource battle.