TQM During Concept Exploration
The TQM effort begun in the conceptual phase of the acquisition cycle is vitally concerned with establishing a rapport between the developer and the buyer or customer and a recognition of the latter's stated performance requirement, mission profiles, system characteristics, and environmental factors. Those statements are translated into measurable design, manufacturing, and support parameters that are verified during demonstration and validation. Early TQM activity is outlined in the activities: Develop Mission Profile and Prepare the "A" Spec. A management policy should be established that stresses design process and adequate time for requirements flow-down, etc. over program and delivery schedule. In addition, trade studies should be used to identify potential characteristics which would accelerate design maturity while making the design more compatible with and less sensitive to variations in manufacturing and operational conditions. Trade studies should be an integral part of the design process.
During CE a risk management system should be established to report technical risk throughout the development process. See Conduct Risk Assessments for more information.
Monitoring Technical Progress
In many cases technical data, in the form of progress or test reports, are used to monitor technical progress. Since these reports normally follow the work performed by 30 to 90 days, any assessment or control of technical progress is lost. To provide real time monitoring and reduce data requirements, technical progress should be monitored through the use of on-site technical representatives or the performance of monthly progress reviews. To ensure that adequate substantiating data is available for monthly progress reviews, it maybe necessary to include contract requirements for certain technical data. However, cost savings may be realized by allowing the contractor to retain the data for the on-site reviews, rather than require delivery of the data to the government.