Design reviews can be powerful tools for the procuring agency to (1)
maintain visibility of the status and progress of the power supply development
to meet the specified requirements and (2) initiate corrective action if
warranted. However, in order for a design review to be effective, it must be
timely, expertly staffed and have an effective agenda.
The best intentions of program managers, with regard to power supplies in
their systems, are for naught if they are unable to evaluate and therefore
manage the status of the system at a level of technical detail adequate to
identify noncompliance to the design and manufacturing guidelines outlined in
Design reviews should be timed to the completion of major milestones of the
power supply development. Rather than establishing firm dates for the design
reviews at program start, some flexibility in scheduling should be provided
such that the activities associated with the milestones are indeed completed.
The Navy or prime contractor may take appropriate action if a significant
schedule slippage is indicated.
The quality and effectiveness of the design review is
directly dependent upon the technical qualifications of the review team
members. Technical incompetence can lead to misunderstanding, irrelevant
questions and issuance of unnecessary action items. The Navy program manager
should enlist the assistance of a team of power supply electrical, thermal and
structural specialists, to assist in the design review. A design review
checklist can be a significant aid to the review team in ensuring that every
important issue is addressed. Detailed sample checklists are included in this
publication as a guide (Appendices A and B
An agenda should be generated and agreed upon by the Navy and the
contractor well in advance of the design review. The agenda should delineate
the items to be covered and should include the format in which the information
will be presented. Once the design review date is established and an agenda
agreed upon, a design review package should be provided to the procuring
activity prior to the review in order that the members of the review team may
become familiar with the task ahead and the material to be discussed.
Three and sometimes four design reviews are key program management tools in
the material acquisition cycle: the Preliminary Design Review (PDR), the
Critical Design Review (CDR), the Production Readiness Review (PRR) and at
Navy option, the Preproduction Reliability Design Review (PRDR).
Additional design reviews may be conducted to reduce
The primary objective of the PDR should be to determine
the ability of the design to meet the specified requirements. The primary
objective of the CDR is to gain assurance that the resultant design is ready
to be released to the manufacturing area. Although the PRR is not actually a
design review, reliability is as much a function of the manufacturing process
as it is of the engineering design. The prime objective of the PRR is to
evaluate the adequacy of the tools, processes and procedures to be used in the
manufacture of the power supply. Scheduled at the discretion of the procuring
activity, the PR evaluates the maturity of the power supply design at the
conclusion of the development phase, based on all available evidence including factory and operational testing and evaluation.