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The Importance of Test and Evaluation (T&E) in the Systems Engineering Process


Please see attachment for reference along with any others you may use. References do not need to be excessive 3-5 max APA 7 format is required for this assignment. Please let me know if there is anything more that you may need from me. Week 3 Paper Instructions Please place the weekly homework assignments in the assignment section of the class. -

- Define Operational Assessment (OA).

• Written communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message.

• APA formatting: Resources and citations are formatted according to APA style and formatting.

• Length of paper: typed, double-spaced pages with no less than 800 words.

• Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.

The Test and Evaluation (T&E) process is an integral part of the Systems Engineering Process (SEP), which identifies levels of performance and assists the developer in correcting deficiencies. It is a significant element in the decision-making process, providing data that support trade-off analysis, risk reduction, and requirements refinement. Program decisions on system performance maturity and readiness to advance to the next phase of development take into consideration demonstrated performance. The issue of paramount importance to the servicemember user is system performance; i.e., will it fulfill the mission. The T&E process provides data that tell the user how well the system is performing during development and if it is ready for fielding. The Program Manager (PM) must balance the risks of cost, schedule, and performance to keep the program on track to production and fielding.

The responsibility of decision-making authorities centers on assessing risk tradeoffs. As stated in Department of Defense Directive (DoDD) 5000.1, The Defense Acquisition System, “Test and evaluation shall be integrated throughout the defense acquisition process. Test and evaluation shall be structured to provide essential information to decision makers, assess attainment of technical performance parameters, and determine whether systems are operationally effective, suitable, survivable, and safe for intended use.

Correcting defects in weapons has been estimated to add from 10 percent to 30 percent to the cost of each item.2 Such costly redesign and modification efforts can be reduced if carefully planned and executed T&E programs are used to detect and fix system deficiencies early in the acquisition process (Figure 1-1). Fixes instituted during early work efforts (Systems Integration (SI)) in the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) Phase cost significantly less than those implemented after the Critical Design Review (CDR), when most design decisions have already been made. 

T&E Progress is monitored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) throughout the acquisition process. Their oversight extends to Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAPs) or designated acquisitions. T&E officials within OSD render independent assessments to the Defense Acquisition Board (DAB), the Defense Acquisition Executive (DAE), and the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) at each system milestone review.

• The Test and Evaluation Master Plan (TEMP) and more detailed supporting documents developed by responsible Service activities;

• Service test agency reports and briefings;

• T&E, Modeling and Simulation (M&S), and data from other sources such as Service PMs, laboratories, industry developers, studies, and analyses.

At Milestone B, the OSD T&E assessments reflect an evaluation of system concepts and technology alternatives using early performance parameter objectives and thresholds found in an approved preliminary TEMP. At Milestone C, assessments include an evaluation of previously executed test plans and test results. At the Full Rate Production Decision Review (FRPDR), assessments include consideration of the operational effectiveness and suitability evaluations of weapon systems.

“Risk management,” according to Transition from Development to Production, “is the means by which the program areas of vulnerability and concern are identified and managed.”5 T&E is the discipline that helps to illuminate those areas of vulnerability. The importance of T&E in the acquisition process is summarized well in a July 2000 General Accounting Office (GAO) Report NSIAD-00-199, Best Practices: A More Constructive Test Approach is Key to Better Weapon System Outcomes. 6 The summary serves to underscore the importance of the T&E process as a whole: • Problems found late in development signal weaknesses in testing and evaluation; • Early testing to validate product knowledge is a best practice; • Different incentives make testing a more constructive factor in commercial programs than in weapon system programs.

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