The Contractor shall implement a Reliability Growth Test Program tailored to meet program constraints, including hardware availability and program duration. The Contractor's reliability growth program and planning shall include methods for achieving reliability growth and for assessing reliability growth progress consistent with program needs and the overall reliability program plan. This program and planning are expected to include the test procedures to be used, criteria for correcting failure modes, applicable exit criteria, expected test times and sample sizes, and methods of analyzing test data and reporting results. The Contractor is expected to utilize industry best practices designed to minimize the program risks by achieving maximum reliability growth.
For reliability programs that strive to achieve six sigma levels, the Contractor is encouraged to perform Accelerated Life Testing (ALT) (e.g. Highly Accelerated Life Testing (HALT)) early and often during development in an iterative fashion beginning at lower levels of assembly and progressing to higher levels of assembly when sufficient margins have been achieved. Environmental conditions and test methods expected to accelerate the detection and correction of failure modes shall be included as part of the reliability growth test program and planning. Failure modes that are detected but not corrected shall be analyzed to determine reliability impact. For ALT methods that utilize pass/fail criteria, those criteria and their justification shall be described.
For classical reliability growth test programs where testing is performed under actual and/or simulated use conditions, allocation of test resources shall be consistent with reliability growth rates achieved on similar products; and an analysis of cost and schedule risks will be included in the reliability growth test program.