A wide variety of tests are conducted during the life of a program, and usually the results of each test are presented individually. Inconsistent formats do not allow management to make an assessment of overall progress toward reliability.
To provide reliability trend analysis, it is essential that all test data be analyzed and displayed in a consistent manner; this should be a key requirement specified in the contract.
Project management should set up a single, computerized database for recording test data and all test failures. This database should:
- Compute and plot statistics such as the Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF).
- Provide summaries and special reports for project management, designers, programmers, and manufacturing engineers.
The inclusion of reliability development (TAAF) tests and other life measuring tests is essential to project risk reduction.
Critical subcontractor equipment should be included and test results should be reported in the proper format to project management.
Improved management visibility will be provided when all test results are reported using a TAAF-type format.
Consideration of the need during the planning stage will ensure that an adequate reporting system is ready during field evaluation tests.