The Changing Role of Test & Evaluation in DoD

Welcome to the Pacific Aerospace Consulting blog. Here is our first post!

Once upon a time, there was an expectation of receiving full funding for our DT&E projects. We maximized efficiency where we could, but were never required to adapt to a new DT&E business culture until now.

The DoD commissioned a Defense Science Board (DSB) Task Force to conduct a comprehensive review of how we do T&E. Their published results can be downloaded here. In summary they found:
– Lack of disciplined processes from eroding workforce and loss of senior T&E experience
– DT&E deficiencies identified but not implemented timely because of schedule and funding constraints
– Greater emphasis on integrated testing is required

The DSB findings have driven a shift in culture, as seen in the very recent (13 June 2011) update to the Defense Acquisition Guidebook (DAG). Among other changes, the DAG now places a greater emphasis on technical maturity risks, instead of cost and schedule risks. Also, the Guide to Incorporating T&E into DoD Acquisition Contracts now assumes a reader’s thorough understanding of DAG chapter 9 (integrating T&E into the acquisition process) for future DoD bids. Test agencies are also responding to the changing Defense Acquisition world. For example, here is a story on the change in organizational culture at the Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC).

For this blog discussion, please consider the following:

How do the DSB findings affect the industry’s view of DT&E as we strive to support our customer’s needs?

How can we in the industry help our government customer adapt (What key areas to focus on)?

How are foreign military sales efforts affected? Positive or negative?

Please post your thoughts and comments on any/all of the above. We need to be proactive, because these changes affect us all!