Original Date: 01/23/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Processes Developed for Test and Evaluation
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) drafted a plan to develop formal process developmental procedures in response to a 1991 DOE investigation into accidental damage to a test item. The DOE identified a number of contributing issues with a lack of "formalized processes" as the most prevalent.
Sandia began by identifying existing procedures, identifying qualified personnel in the test and evaluation department to develop needed processes, and recruiting experienced test process development personnel. Test processes were evaluated and formalized documents were developed. SNL developed their test process documents such that their operations would be in compliance with tenets set forth in "DOE Conduct of Operations, Order 5480.19." A key to the success of this effort was staff personnel development. Training based on Stephen Covey's principles and on social styles was utilized to establish a common base for communication and interpersonal skills.
This undertaking in formal process documentation in test and evaluation produced effective results. In 1994, SNL had zero incidents or occurrences. Customer feedback metrics ranged from good to outstanding. Employee benefits were numerous, including an improved "job ownership" attitude stemming partly from a clearer understanding of job requirements and responsibilities, as well as improved interpersonal skills (communication, teamwork, mutual respect). In addition, the department experienced improved test cost estimating, cost savings, and the resultant contribution to future test cost planning.
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