Importance of Testing and Evaluating Early in the Acquisition Process
Test and evaluation refer to a set of practices and procedures carried out to determine whether a product meets the required set standards before it is utilized. This process and procedures are carried out in the early stages of the acquisition so as to determine whether the design and other features of the product meet or reflect the functional requirements of the product (Teplitzky et al., 2019). Moreover, the test and evaluation are necessary to assess whether the product in question meets the usability requirements of the personnel in the field. This technique is not only used in the manufacturing of products but also widely used in engineering fields, defense departments, hardware and software integrations as well as other systems with the aim of obtaining systems that function effectively.
The Primary Purpose of T&E in an Acquisition Program
The primary purpose of test and evaluation in the acquisition process is to offer timely, accurate and precise information to management positions, decision makers in different fields as well as to other stakeholders with the aim to facilitate support in research, development, and acquisition in a way that reduces risk management. Reduction in risk management involves activities such as reduction in financial programs risk, schedule as well as performance. The dangers, in this case, is the ones engaged in developing, producing or manufacturing, operation and maintenance of systems and capabilities. For instance, in engineering systems test and evaluation process are essential concepts of the Systems Engineering Process (SEP) which determines and asses the performance level while also assisting the developers in amending the deficiencies that are diagnosed (Tuegel et al., 2017).
The Role of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) in T&E
The office of the secretary of defense is headed by the secretary of defense just as the name suggests. This office also consists of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) who is the principal staff assistant and a senior legal advisor to the secretary of defense. The functions of the secretary of Defense are executed by the Director, Operational Test, and Evaluation (DOT&E). He or she is responsible for issuing to Department of Defense Operational Test and Evaluation (DoDOT&E) policy and procedures, carrying out a review and analysis of the findings of Operational Test and Evaluation conducted for every significant acquisition program of the DOD (Teplitzky et al., 2019). This office is also mandated with the role of providing independent assessments to the secretary of defense, the Under Secretary of Defense for acquisition as well as providing the same independent evaluation to the Congress making a budget and financial recommendations. The final role of the Office of Secretary of Defense is to oversight to ensure that the Operational Test and Evaluations for major acquisition programs are suitable to confirm functional effectiveness and the adequacy of the military systems in case combat use is required.
Roles and Responsibilities of Program Manager Regarding Acquisition T&E
The program manager is a designated individual with the mandate and authority to complete the program objectives of the company he or she is employed to. However, the specific role of a program manager concerning acquisition Test and Evaluation is negotiating, seeking out, accomplishing and coordinating purchasing of deals on behalf of the company he or she is underemployment. Program managers’ responsibilities involve ensuring completion of program goals for development, production and ensure sustainment to fulfill user’s operational requirements. Moreover, the program manager is responsible for ensuring that the acquisition program requirements and actions that are in line with their employer’s contracts are anticipated and addressed for their specific program (Shin, Sim, & Lee, 2017).
Importance of Acquisition Program Baseline (APB) and Baseline Documentation
The APB is a document that is designed by the program manager before just before the actual commencement of the program. This document, basically defines the advantages, expenses, schedule of an acquisition program and performance attributes that identifies the program progress (Tuegel et al., 2017). The Acquisition Program Baseline enables the acquisition program manager to make a practical assessment of the program objectives against any formal baseline. Therefore the APB provides the program managers with an alert on any problem that might arise during implementation. Baseline documentation is another important document used in project management. The report is essential for the successful delivery of the project on time and within the estimated cost of operation. Hence without proper baseline documentation, there is no appropriate performance assessment and no any valued analysis of the progress performance of the project in question.
The Primary Difference between DT&E and OT&E
The Development Test and Evaluation (DT&E) is carried out during the whole acquisition process to help in engineering designs and development as well as assessing whether the technical performance of a system is met. Examples of the activities included in the development test and evaluation include establish that the system will meet all the requirements, the designs risks have been minimized, to ensure the practical, safe and maintenance, and among others (Shin et al., 2017). On the other hand, Operational Test and Evaluation is a fielded test carried out under realistic combat situations, for components of any weapon program for assessing the effectiveness and suitability of the system for any combat.
Shin, Y. D., Sim, S. H., & Lee, J. C. (2017). Model‐Based Integration of Test and Evaluation Process and System Safety Process for Development of Safety‐Critical Weapon Systems. Systems Engineering, 20(3), 257-279.
Teplitzky, T. B., Angster, K., Rosso, L. E., Ferruggiaro, A. R., Isaiah, A., & Pereira, K. D. (2019). The Role of Cognitive Evaluation in Predicting Successful Audiometric Testing among Children. Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, 0194599819832510.
Tuegel, E. J., Kobryn, P., Zweber, J. V., & Kolonay, R. M. (2017). Digital Thread and Twin for Systems Engineering: Design to Retirement. In 55th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting (p. 0876).