TEMPLATES MINIMIZE HIGH TRANSITION PHASE PRODUCT
The major thrust of the DSB report is directed toward the identification and establishment of critical engineering processes and their control methods. This will lead to a more organized accomplishment of these activities and will place more significance and accountability on them. In order to do this, the task force generated a matrix of the most critical events in the design, test, and production elements of the industrial process. These events were then transformed into what are referred to as "templates," a term that defines their nature and intended use.
The underlying principle of this approach is the recognition that everyone in the Department of Defense and all of its contractors sincerely want to do a good job. If the proper environment exists and the necessary tools to accomplish the work are developed, satisfactory products will be forthcoming. Having first established these fundamentals as a reference point, it is now necessary to ensure the right environment, which in this case, is a matter of obtaining adequate visibility, and establishing the tools, which by their use form a frame of reference to evaluate their proper application. In this case, the tools are the templates.
Figure 1-1. represents the DSB task force perspective of the transition problem and the action level that must be reached in order to define understandable and achievable engineering: solutions to repetitive transition risks. The key here is to recognize that risk is eliminated only when the industrial process is changed, and that change is effected at a level of detail normally not visible to the technical decision maker. Understanding for this crucial point is paramount to electing the low risk course of action.
The templates describe techniques for improving the "acquisition process" by recognizing it for what it is-an industrial process concerned with the design, test, and production of low risk products.
Selected areas of this document stress the electrical and electronic disciplines because of the significant role that the electronics field is playing in improving system effectiveness and productivity. Recent surveys have shown that the majority of the key technologies affecting future weapon system capability and DoD budgets are in the electronic fields. These technologies include such disciplines as very high-speed integrated circuits, advanced software and algorithms, machine intelligence, and space-based and short wave-length radars. However, emphasis shall be placed on maintaining program technical balance within all disciplines.
Specific attributes override all detail requirements. These are (1) assurance of design maturity, (2) measurement of test stability, and (3) certification of manufacturing processes. Design maturity is a qualitative assessment of the implementation of contractor design policy: Test stability is the absence or near absence of failures in development testing of a stable design. Certification of the manufacturing processes implies both design for production" on and proof of process that occur during pilot production (concurrency). Each of the above attributes is a function of the proper application of all of the templates identified in the design, test, and production sections of this document.