The proliferation of tests, the standardization of test environments, and the continued approach to reliability testing as "a hurdle to overcome" - rather than as a process to uncover faults - prevent testing from achieving its true goals in the acquisition process.
The overall manufacturing process is usually measured by Producibility. Producibility is a measure of the ability of the design to be produced, with high quality, on time, and within budget. The end product must also meet all mission requirements. This process can only be accomplished when manufacturing is involved early on and at the appropriate levels in the design of the product. Without the benefit of thorough manufacturing planning, unproven processes and inadequate procedures can cripple, or even terminate, a product before rate production is achieved.
The results from failure to adequately plan the manufacturing process can be seen in high rework and scrap rates, low quality, missed schedules, poor communication, cost overruns, and degraded product performance. Without adequate planning for and qualification of the manufacturing process, and without the exercise of appropriate controls on the myriad procedures and varied subcontractors involved in manufacturing, this most costly and time-consuming portion of the acquisition process will surely result in failure. And failure in today's climate of rapidly increasing competition for even more rapidly decreasing resources, is simply not tolerated.
The risk associated with testing can most effectively be addressed by focusing on these areas of historically high risk in the acquisition process. The ability to identify existing risk, reduce risk wherever possible, and manage the remaining risk in these areas will be key to achieving ongoing success.
The Test Templates include:
While these Test Templates do not cover every aspect of reliability testing of a
military weapons system, they are generally considered to define a critical
path through that process. If there are any other areas of risk which need to
be considered on any given project, by all means do so.