Index

Best Practices: A More Constructive Test Approach Is Key to Better Weapon
System Outcomes (Chapter Report, 07/31/2000, GAO/NSIAD-00-199).

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the
role of testing and evaluation in product development, focusing on: (1)
how the conduct of testing and evaluation affects commercial and
Department of Defense (DOD) program outcomes; (2) how best commercial
testing and evaluation practices compare with the DOD's; and (3) what
factors account for the differences in these practices.

GAO noted that: (1) for the leading commercial firms GAO visited, the
proof of testing and evaluation lies in whether a product experiences
what one firm called "late cycle churn," or the scramble to fix a
significant problem discovered late in development; (2) late cycle churn
has been a fairly common occurrence on DOD weapon systems; (3) often,
tests of a full system identify problems that could have been found
earlier; (4) leading commercial firms GAO visited use testing and other
techniques to expose problems earlier than the DOD programs GAO
reviewed; (5) the firms focus on validating that their products have
reached increasing levels of product maturity at given points in time;
(6) the firms' products have three maturity levels in common--components
work individually, components work together as a system in a controlled
setting, and components work together as a system in a realistic
setting; (7) the key to minimizing late surprises is to reach the first
two levels early, limiting the burden on the third level; (8) by
concentrating on validating knowledge rather than the specific technique
used commercial firms avoid skipping key events and holding hollow tests
that do not add knowledge; (9) on the weapon programs, system level
testing carried a greater share of the burden; (10) earlier tests were
delayed, skipped, or not conducted in a way that advanced knowledge;
(11) the differences in testing practices reflect the different demands
commercial firms and DOD impose on program managers; (12) leading
commercial firms insist that a product satisfy the customer and make a
profit; (13) success is threatened if managers are unduly optimistic or
if unknowns about a product are not resolved early, when costs are low
and more options are available; (14) the role of testing under these
circumstances is constructive, for it helps eliminate unknowns; (15)
product managers view testers and realistic test plans as contributing
to a product's success; (16) success for a weapon system program is
different--it centers on attempting to provide a superior capability
within perceived time and funding limits; (17) success is influenced by
the competition for funding and the quest for top
performance--delivering the product late and over cost does not
necessarily threaten success; (18) testing plays a less constructive
role in DOD because a failure in a key test can jeopardize program
support; (19) specifically, test results often become directly linked to
funding and other key decisions for programs; and (20) such a role
creates a more adversarial relationship between testers and program
managers.

--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------

 REPORTNUM:  NSIAD-00-199
     TITLE:  Best Practices: A More Constructive Test Approach Is Key
	     to Better Weapon System Outcomes
      DATE:  07/31/2000
   SUBJECT:  Cost effectiveness analysis
	     Defense cost control
	     Weapons systems
	     Comparative analysis
	     Operational testing
	     Weapons research and development
	     Private sector practices
	     Defense procurement
	     Procurement planning
IDENTIFIER:  DarkStar Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
	     SDI Theater High Altitude Area Defense System
	     Standoff Land Attack Missile
	     F-22 Raptor Aircraft

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GAO/NSIAD-00-199

A

Report to the Chairman and Ranking Minority Member, Subcommittee on
Readiness and Management Support, Committee on Armed Services, U. S. Senate

July 2000 BEST PRACTICES A More Constructive Test Approach Is Key to Better
Weapon System Outcomes

GAO/ NSIAD- 00- 199

Letter 3 Executive Summary 4 Chapter 1

10 Introduction

The Role of Testing and Evaluation in Product Development 11 Problems in DOD
Testing and Evaluation Remain, Despite Numerous

Reforms 13 Objectives, Scope, and Methodology 14

Chapter 2 17

Problems Found Late Problems Revealed Late in Testing Are a Major Source of
Disruption

in DOD Programs 17 in Development Signal

Testing and Evaluation Helps Leading Commercial Firms Avoid Weaknesses in
Testing

Late- Cycle Churn 23 and Evaluation

Chapter 3 26

Employing Testing to Focusing Validation Methods on Progressive Levels of
Product

Maturity Reduces Late- Cycle Churn 27 Validate Product

Delayed Validation of Product Knowledge Contributes to Discovery Knowledge
Early Is a of Problems Late in Development 34 Best Practice

Chapter 4 41

Different Incentives Testing Is Critical to the Success of Commercial
Product Developments 42

Make Testing a More Testing Is Perceived as Impeding the Success of Weapon
System Constructive Factor in Programs 47 Commercial Programs Than in Weapon
System Programs

Chapter 5 54

Conclusions and Conclusions 54

Recommendations 55 Recommendations

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation 56 Appendixes Appendix I: Validation
Practices of AT& T, General Electric, and

DuPont 60 Appendix II: Comments From the Department of Defense 62 Appendix
III: GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments 65

Related GAO Products 66 Figures Figure 1: Planned and Actual DarkStar
Program Schedules 19

Figure 2: Planned and Actual THAAD Program Schedules 20 Figure 3: Planned
and Actual F- 22 Program Schedules 22 Figure 4: Boeing 777 Airliner 24
Figure 5: Product Maturity Levels Commercial Firms Seek to Validate 27
Figure 6: Intel's Pentium “ Pro Microprocessor 33 Figure 7: The THAAD
Missile System 36 Figure 8: The SLAM- ER Missile 39 Figure 9: Key Factors in
the Business Case for a Commercial Product Development 42

Figure 10: Key Factors in the Business Case for a Weapon System Development
47 Figure 11: DarkStar Unmanned Aerial Vehicle 52

Abbreviations

DOD Department of Defense THAAD Theater High Altitude Area Defense SLAM- ER
Stand- off Land Attack Missile- Expanded Response

National Security and International Affairs Division

Lett er

B- 282345 July 31, 2000 The Honorable James Inhofe Chairman The Honorable
Charles Robb Ranking Minority Member Subcommittee on Readiness and
Management Support Committee on Armed Services United States Senate

As you requested, this report addresses how best commercial practices for
testing and evaluating new products offer ways to improve the way the
Department of Defense conducts test and evaluation on weapon systems. It
also addresses how differences in the commercial and the Department
environments for testing and evaluating new products affect the
corresponding practices.

We are sending copies of this report to other congressional committees; the
Secretaries of Defense, the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force; and the
Director, Office of Management and Budget.

If you or your staff have any questions, I can be reached at (202) 512-
4841. Contacts and key contributors to this report are listed in appendix
III.

Katherine V. Schinasi Associate Director Defense Acquisition Issues

Executive Summary Purpose Despite good intentions and some progress by the
Department of Defense

(DOD), weapon system programs still suffer from persistent problems
associated with late or incomplete testing. Often, the fate of a program is
jeopardized by unexpectedly poor test results. In such cases, testing

becomes a watershed event that attracts unwanted attention from
decisionmakers and critics. The discovery of problems in complex products is
a normal part of any development process, and testing is perhaps the most
effective tool for discovering such problems. However, why surprises in
testing repeatedly occur and why such results polarize organizations into
proponents and critics of programs have proven elusive questions to answer.
Indeed, numerous solutions proposed over the years

by different DOD leaders and distinguished outside panels have not had much
effect.

Lessons learned by leading commercial firms in developing new products are
applicable to the management and testing of weapon systems. These firms
achieve the type of outcomes DOD seeks: they develop more sophisticated
products faster and less expensively than their predecessors. Commercial
firms have found constructive ways of conducting testing and evaluation that
help them avoid being surprised by problems late in a product's development.
In response to a request from the Chairman and the Ranking Minority Member,
Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support, Senate Committee on Armed
Services, GAO examined (1) how the

conduct of testing and evaluation affects commercial and DOD program
outcomes, (2) how best commercial testing and evaluation practices compare
with DOD's, and (3) what factors account for the differences in these
practices.

Background The fundamental purpose of testing and evaluation does not differ
for military and commercial products. Testing is the main instrument used to

gauge the progress being made when an idea or concept is translated into an
actual product. Evaluation refers to what is learned from a test. Testing
and evaluation is used at a variety of levels, including basic technology,
components and subsystems, and a complete system or product. The ultimate
goal of testing and evaluation is to make sure the product works as intended
before it is provided to customers. In both DOD and commercial firms,
product testing is conducted by organizations separate from those
responsible for managing product development.

Among the key sources of information GAO relied on for this report were
individual DOD acquisition programs and commercial firms, including Boeing,
Intel, Dupont, AT& T, and General Electric. These firms are recognized as
leaders in developing high- quality products on time and within budget. In
this report, GAO highlights these firms' practices in testing and evaluating
new products. As such, these practices are not intended to describe those of
all commercial industry or suggest that commercial firms are without fault.

Results in Brief For the leading commercial firms GAO visited, the proof of
testing and evaluation lies in whether a product experiences what one firm
called

“late- cycle churn,” or the scramble to fix a significant
problem discovered late in development. Nearly all the firms had experienced
such problems on some of their previous products but used testing and
evaluation to preclude such problems on new products. Late cycle churn has
been a fairly common occurrence on DOD weapon systems. Often, tests of a
full system,

such as launching a missile, identify problems that could have been found
earlier. Typically, DOD's response to such test results is to expend more
time and money to solve the problems. Only rarely are programs terminated.
Problems revealed in flight tests caused two programs GAO

reviewed- the Theater High Altitude Area Defense system and the DarkStar
unmanned aerial vehicle 1 -to take twice as long to develop as planned. The
leading commercial firms GAO visited use testing and other techniques to
expose problems earlier than the DOD programs GAO reviewed. The

firms focus on validating that their products have reached increasing levels
of product maturity at given points in time. The firms' products have three
maturity levels in common: components work individually, components work
together as a system in a controlled setting, and components work together
as a system in a realistic setting. The key to minimizing late

surprises is to reach the first two levels early, limiting the burden on the
third level. By concentrating on validating knowledge rather than the
specific technique used- such as testing- commercial firms avoid skipping
key events and holding hollow tests that do not add knowledge. 1 The Theater
High Altitude Area Defense weapon is a mobile, ground- based missile system
designed to hit and destroy incoming ballistic missiles. The DarkStar
unmanned aerial vehicle program was designed to provide theater
reconnaissance and surveillance to operational commanders.

On the weapon programs, system level testing carried a greater share of the
burden. Earlier tests were delayed, skipped, or not conducted in a way that
advanced knowledge. For example, several failures in flight tests of the
Theater High Altitude Area Defense system were traced to problems that could
have been discovered in ground testing.

The differences in testing practices reflect the different demands
commercial firms and DOD impose on program managers. Leading commercial
firms have learned to insist that a product satisfy the customer and make a
profit. Success is threatened if managers are unduly optimistic or if
unknowns about a product are not resolved early, when costs are low and more
options are available. The role of testing under these circumstances is
constructive, for it helps eliminate unknowns. Product managers view testers
and realistic test plans as contributing to a product's success. Success for
a weapon system program is different; it centers on

attempting to provide a superior capability within perceived time and
funding limits. Success is influenced by the competition for funding and the
quest for top performance; delivering the product late and over cost does

not necessarily threaten success. Testing plays a less constructive role in
DOD because a failure in a key test can jeopardize program support.
Specifically, test results often become directly linked to funding and other
key decisions for programs. Such a role creates a more adversarial
relationship between testers and program managers.

Principal Findings Problems Found Late in Over the years, GAO found numerous
examples of late- cycle churn in DOD Development Signal programs, regardless
of their size, complexity, or product type. More recent Weaknesses in
Testing and examples include the following: Evaluation

The DarkStar unmanned aerial vehicle crashed during initial flight tests.
DOD spent twice the planned money and time to redesign and retest the
aircraft, eventually terminating the program. The Theater High Altitude Area
Defense missile program was nearly terminated after eight consecutive flight
test failures. Instead of taking

4 years, the Army spent 8 years developing the missile. The last two flight
tests in 1999 were successful. The Army bought 6,700 cargo trailers before
tests revealed that the trailers damaged the trucks they were hitched to. As
a result, the trailers

required extensive modifications. The majority of the trailers are currently
in storage.

Commercial firms have learned from making similar mistakes. For example,
Boeing experienced significant problems with the 747- 400 airliner; the
problems caused the company to deliver the aircraft late and to assign 300
engineers to solve problems not found earlier in development. Its testing
approach was so much more effective on the 777- 200 airliner that Boeing
reduced change, error, and rework by more than 60 percent. In

addition, the Federal Aviation Administration certified the initial aircraft
for overseas flight on the basis of test results. The certification normally
requires 2 years of actual flight service. After a flaw in the original
Pentium  microprocessor cost Intel about $500 million to replace products
for customers, the firm approached the testing of subsequent

microprocessors differently. The quality of these microprocessors, such as
the Pentium  Pro and Pentium  III, has significantly improved, yet they
were developed in the same amount of time as the original Pentium 
microprocessor, despite being many times more complex.

Testing Early to Validate Leading commercial firms GAO visited think in
terms of validating that a Product Knowledge Is a

product works as intended and use testing and evaluation as a means to Best
Practice that end. To limit the burden on the product's third maturity level
(operating in a realistic environment), leading firms ensure that (1) the

right validation events- tests, simulations, and other means for
demonstrating product maturity- occur at the right times, (2) each
validation event produces quality results, and (3) the knowledge gained from
an event is used to improve the product. The firms hold challenging tests
early to expose weaknesses in a product's design. AT& T refers to this as a
“break it big early” philosophy. To reduce the burden on later
testing,

Boeing made extensive investments in computer- aided design techniques and a
system integration laboratory that could test all of the 777- 200's main
components in simulated flight conditions. Intel's most significant
improvement in validation has been in the design stage- before any

prototype microprocessors are made. Its revamped validation techniques have
enabled testers to identify most flaws before a prototype is made and have
reduced the number of prototype iterations needed.

The weapon system programs GAO reviewed had a greater tendency to attempt to
reach all three product maturity levels in one step in the late stages of
development. For example, knowledge typically gained during component
testing was not validated before flight testing began on the Theater High
Altitude Area Air Defense system. Many components, like the seeker, which
finds and tracks the intended target, were shipped for flight tests without
having been ground tested; they later contributed to flight test failures.
Validation of system level maturity was limited on the Navy's

Standoff Land Attack Missile- Extended Range 2 for different reasons.
Although the program followed a disciplined development process, with over
6,000 tests, problems experienced in a predecessor missile were

excluded. Also, conditions for system level tests were not realistic, which
lowered the value of the information gained and masked some missile
limitations. These limitations contributed to the missile's failure when the
customer used the system in realistic test conditions.

Different Incentives Make Leading commercial firms GAO visited adopted best
practices because they Testing a More Constructive

gained a better appreciation for why testing is done versus how it is done.
Factor in Commercial Full corporate support for new product developments
defuses test results

Programs Than in Weapon as a threat to program support and enables testers
to contribute throughout System Programs

product development. Candor is rewarded by a product's success. The manager
of Boeing's 777- 200 program viewed test problems as “gems to be
mined” and stressed that the earlier a problem is discovered, the less

expensive it is to fix. DuPont has undergone a similar cultural change. A
test failure used to mean that a product did not meet expectations; now,
DuPont sees a test failure as meaning that knowledge was not gained. Intel

has succeeded in getting its validation staff to actively seek out and
communicate problems to product managers to improve a product's success. The
role testers have in a commercial product is not determined by their
organizational position or ability to withhold approval; it is because (1)
they help a product succeed and (2) they are credible and have

earned the confidence of product developers. GAO's previous and current work
has shown that it is difficult for a weapon system program to compete for
approval unless it offers significantly better performance than other
weapons, yet fits within available funding and planned schedules. There are
thus greater incentives for managers to 2 The SLAM- ER is a Navy missile,
which will be used on aircraft carriers and launched from

F/ A- 18 aircraft to make precision strikes against land targets.

accept immature technologies and make optimistic assessments about what can
be accomplished with limited resources. Test results tend to become
scorecards that demonstrate whether the program is ready to proceed or to
receive the next increment of funding. Whereas testing and evaluation of
commercial products mainly benefits the product manager, in DOD, testing and
evaluation is more for the benefit of the testers and decisionmakers above
the program manager. Managers thus have incentives to postpone difficult
tests and to limit open communication about test results. Externally imposed
constraints on cost or schedule can

intensify these incentives. Pressures to meet an early fielding date caused
managers of the Theater High Altitude Area Air Defense system to cut back
efforts to validate the first two product maturity levels and to overrule
the objections of testers. Managers in both the DarkStar unmanned aerial
vehicle and the Standoff Land Attack Missile programs also overruled testers
because of funding and schedule pressures. Recommendations To lessen the
dependence on testing late in development and to foster a more constructive
relationship between program managers and testers, GAO recommends that the
Secretary of Defense instruct acquisition managers to structure test plans
around the attainment of increasing levels of product maturity, orchestrate
the right mix of tools to validate these maturity levels, and build and
resource acquisition strategies around this approach. GAO also recommends
that validation of lower levels of product

maturity not be deferred to the third level. Finally, GAO recommends that
the Secretary require that weapon systems demonstrate a specified level of
product maturity before major programmatic approvals. Agency Comments DOD
committed to establishing appropriate levels of product maturity, and

agreed with two of the three recommendations. It disagreed with GAO's third
recommendation, which originally called for DOD not to schedule major test
events in the same budget year as major programmatic or funding decisions.
DOD stated that the recommendation would delay the delivery of weapon
systems and increase costs. GAO has reworded the recommendation, dropping
the language on holding major test events and program decisions in different
years, and substituting the language on demonstrating product maturity
before major programmatic approvals. A discussion of DOD's comments appears
in chapter 5, and the comments appear in full in appendix I.

Chapt er 1

Introduction Someone new to the study of weapon systems might observe the
turmoil around problems that testing revealed in new weapons like the Army's
cargo trailer and wonder why they were not found and corrected earlier. A
more seasoned observer will recognize this turmoil as a replay of what has
often happened in past programs, such as the C- 17 Airlifter and the
Sergeant York Air Defense Gun. In such cases, testing becomes a watershed
event in the weapon's survival and attracts much unwanted attention from
decisionmakers and critics. Sometimes, test results prompt the cancellation
of a program after the bulk of the development investment has been made, as
with Sergeant York. In other cases, like the C- 17, substantial schedule and
cost increases are accepted to redesign the weapon system. In still others,
key tests are completed after production has begun- or, in the case of the
B- 1B bomber, after production is completed- necessitating very costly
retrofits.

The discovery of problems in complex products is a normal part of any
development process, and testing is perhaps the most effective tool for
discovering such problems. However, why problems in Department of Defense
(DOD) testing repeatedly occur and why test results polarize

organizations into proponents and critics of programs have proven elusive
questions to answer. Indeed, numerous solutions proposed over the years by
different DOD leaders and distinguished outside panels, as well as
reorganizations within the Department, have not made much difference in the
test experience of weapon systems.

Our previous work has disclosed that the lessons learned by leading
commercial firms in different aspects of product development, such as the
maturation of new technologies and the building of good business
relationships with suppliers, are applicable to the management of weapon
systems. These firms are developing new products with the types of outcomes
DOD seeks: more sophisticated designs than their predecessors but developed
faster and less expensively. While leading commercial companies employ
testing techniques and tools that are similar to DOD,

they have found ways to apply these tools and techniques with more
constructive results. Testing and evaluation have become important
ingredients to the firms' ability to obtain better outcomes for newly
developed products. This approach holds promise for DOD. On the other hand,
proceeding under current testing and evaluation practices will continue to
disclose serious problems in the late stages of development, when the cost
to correct them is very high.

The Role of Testing and The fundamental purpose of testing does not differ
for military and Evaluation in Product

commercial products. Testing is perhaps the main instrument used to gauge
the progress being made when an idea or concept is translated into an
Development

actual product that people use. Evaluation refers to the analysis of the
meaning of test results and what can be learned from them. Ideally, testing
progresses from early laboratory testing of technologies, to component and
subsystem testing, through testing of a complete system, and finally to
trial

use in the customer's hands. To be of value at each stage, test results must
be credible and used to improve the product. If a test has been poorly
designed or has not been properly controlled, its results may not be usable.
On the other hand, if test results are credible but are not properly
evaluated or used, they do not help the product mature.

To manage its testing process, DOD has developed a complex organization that
includes acquisition, test, and oversight officials in the services and in
the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In addition, individual weapon
systems are subject to specific congressional direction regarding the

conduct of their test programs. For example, Congress specifically directed
1 that the Secretary of Defense certify that the F- 22 fighter aircraft
program had completed 433 hours (about 10 percent of the planned flight test
hours) before it began production. If this level of testing was not
achieved, the Secretary was required to justify to Congress the reasons why.
DOD divides testing into two categories: developmental and operational. The
goal of developmental tests is to determine whether the weapon system meets
the technical specifications of the contract. Developmental testing is done
by contractors, university and government labs, and various

organizations within each military service. The goal of operational testing
is to evaluate the effectiveness and suitability of the weapon system in
realistic combat conditions. Operational testing is managed by different
military test organizations that represent the customers, such as the

combat units that will use the weapons. Each service has its own operational
test organization and associated test ranges. Operational testers have more
independence than developmental testers; they provide their results to
Congress as well as to senior officials in the services and the Office of
the Secretary of Defense. 1 P. L. 105- 261, section 131.

Congress has been particularly interested in operational testing. In 1983,
Congress established the office of the Director of Operational Test and
Evaluation to effect several reforms concerning operational testing.

Prominent among the reform objectives were independent oversight and
coordination of the military services' planning and execution of operational
tests, and objective reporting of those results to decisionmakers in DOD and
Congress.

Leading commercial firms also have organizations dedicated to testing new
products, but these organizations are more integrated with product managers.
Commercial firms generally do not make a distinction between developmental
and operational testing. One reason for this is that new technologies are
aggressively tested and well understood before commercial firms allow them
in a new product development. Another reason they do not single out
developmental testing is that they are developing the product themselves-
not receiving it through a contract. Unlike DOD, commercial firms are not
typically subject to specific congressional direction regarding their test
programs and therefore have more freedom to develop and test products
without external restrictions. However, many firms are subject to some
regulatory oversight by other government agencies such as the National
Transportation Safety Board and

the Federal Aviation Administration (for commercial aircraft) and the Food
and Drug Administration (for chemicals used in commercial products). Testing
is done by leading commercial firms within the broader context of a

knowledge- based product development process. In an earlier report, we
described this process as having three key junctures, or knowledge points. 2
These are knowledge point 1: when a match is made between the customer's
requirements and the available technology; knowledge point 2: when the
product's design is determined to be

capable of meeting performance requirements; and knowledge point 3: when the
product is determined to be producible

within cost, schedule, and quality targets. 2 Best Practices: Successful
Application to Weapon Acquisitions Requires Changes in DOD's Environment
(GAO/ NSIAD- 98- 56, Feb. 24, 1998).

Problems in DOD Many studies over the years have acknowledged problems with
DOD's

Testing and Evaluation acquisition approach, including testing, and have
attempted to reform or improve the process. DOD itself has recognized the
need to reform and has

Remain, Despite tried a variety of approaches to this end- streamlining
acquisition

Numerous Reforms organizations, mandating career and training requirements
for its workforce, and establishing independent test organizations in each

service- with limited success. In the 1970s, DOD adopted a “fly before
buy” policy to ensure that weapon systems were more thoroughly tested
prior to committing to a production decision. In 1981, the Deputy Secretary
of Defense, Frank Carlucci, noted weaknesses in testing and recommended
initiatives to increase test hardware so that the designing and testing of
subsystems, systems, and software could be conducted thoroughly and
efficiently. Five years later, the Packard Commission recommended

improvements to early prototype testing. 3 More recently, a 1999 Defense
Science Board study concluded that testing must be addressed earlier in the
development process. 4 It advocated that operational test personnel

should be involved in the early acquisition stages to provide critical
testing perspectives to acquisition planners. In addition, a 1999 Science
Applications International Corporation report cautioned that although DOD's
goal of reducing cycle time for weapon system development and production was
valid, curtailing testing was not an option because it was already at a
minimum level. 5

Despite good intentions and some progress, DOD weapon programs still suffer
from persistent problems associated with late or incomplete testing. Many
weapons still begin production with only a minimal amount of knowledge
gained through testing. Our ongoing reviews of DOD's major weapon system
acquisitions show that significant reforms have not yet been reflected in
the management of and decision- making for individual programs. Over the
years, we have reported on testing issues, such as unexpected performance
problems, inadequate component testing, difficulties with software/ hardware
integration, deletion of test events, and

limited analysis of test results. Such problems occur regardless of weapons'
complexity or the era in which they were procured. Invariably, 3 A Quest For
Excellence: Final Report to the President by the President's Blue Ribbon
Commission on Defense Management, June 1986.

4 Report of the Defense Science Board on Test and Evaluation, September
1999. 5 Best Practices Applicable to DOD Developmental Test and Evaluation,
June 1999.

test weaknesses cause negative program outcomes, such as cost increases,
schedule delays, or performance shortfalls.

Objectives, Scope, and The Chairman and the Ranking Minority Member,
Subcommittee on

Methodology Readiness and Management Support, Senate Committee on Armed
Services, requested that we examine various aspects of the acquisition

process to identify best practices that can improve the outcomes of weapon
system programs. To date, we have issued reports on advanced quality
concepts, earned value management techniques used to assess progress of
research and development contracts, management of a

product's transition from development to production, management of the
supplier base, technology maturation, and training for best practices (see
related GAO products). This report covers the best practices for testing and

evaluating new products. Our overall objective was to evaluate whether best
practices in testing and evaluation offer methods or strategies that could
improve the way DOD manages weapon systems. Specifically, we

examined (1) how the conduct of testing and evaluation affects commercial
and DOD program outcomes, (2) how best commercial testing and evaluation
practices compare with DOD's, and (3) what factors account for differences
in testing practices.

To obtain the above information and identify the best testing practices in
the commercial sector, we conducted literature searches and contacted
universities, industry associations, testing laboratories, and experts and
consultants in the area of testing for new development products. On the
basis of these discussions and analyses, we selected several world- class
companies with a solid track record for developing high- quality products.
We used structured interview questions sent in advance of our visits to
gather uniform information about each firm's testing practices and the

results achieved. After our visits, we analyzed data from each company and
identified best testing practices used by these firms. We then prepared and
distributed a depiction of these practices to each firm we contacted. We
incorporated their comments and insights in our subsequent analyses; we

also provided each firm a copy of our draft report for review and comment.
We did not attempt to select only those commercial firms whose products have
the most in common with weapon systems. Such an approach would have limited
our ability to obtain an understanding of best practices in testing from a
diverse group of recognized industry leaders. The firms we selected
represent markedly different industry sectors and product lines.

Nevertheless, the testing practices and approaches exhibited similarities.
The firms we visited were

AT& T, Warrenville, Illinois, Boeing Company, Seattle, Washington, DuPont,
Inc. Wilmington, Delaware, General Electric Aircraft Engines, Evendale,
Ohio, and INTEL, Hillsboro, Oregon.

Our report summarizes a number of the best commercial practices in testing
and evaluation. We did not intend to describe all commercial industry
practices or suggest that all commercial firms continually use best
practices. Also, we were limited in our ability to obtain and present some
relevant data that commercial firms considered proprietary in nature. Due to
the highly competitive nature of their businesses, the firms did not wish to
release specific details of how their current product lines achieved

successful test outcomes. To better understand DOD's testing and evaluation
practices, we reviewed current DOD and service policy directives and
guidance on testing and evaluation. We met with officials from the Director
of Operational Testing and Evaluation, Deputy for Developmental Testing and
Evaluation in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and test officials
from Army and Air Force headquarters. The Navy provided written responses to
our questions. We analyzed recent studies of DOD testing and evaluation by
external organizations such as the Defense Science Board and Science
Applications International Corporation. We also conducted detailed work on
four

individual weapon programs: the Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)
missile, the DarkStar unmanned aerial vehicle, the Standoff Land Attack
Missile- Expanded Response (SLAM- ER), and the F- 22 Raptor aircraft. We
also examined information from GAO and DOD Inspector General reports on the
testing experiences of other weapon systems.

The THAAD is a mobile ground- based missile system designed to hit and
destroy incoming ballistic missiles. It is jointly managed by the Army and
the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization. THAAD is expected to provide
higher altitude missile defense in concert with lower altitude systems like
the Patriot missile system. It consists of mobile launchers; interceptors;
radars; battle management/ command, control, communication, and intelligence
units; and ground support equipment. It is estimated to cost $17.6 billion.
The DarkStar was a high- altitude unmanned aerial vehicle designed to
provide theater reconnaissance and surveillance to operational

commanders. It consisted of an air vehicle piloted remotely from the ground
and a ground control station. Its total cost was $212 million. The SLAM- ER
is a Navy missile that will be used on aircraft carriers and launched from
an F/ A- 18 aircraft to make precision strikes against land targets. The
expanded response missile, a follow- on to the original SLAM missile, is
designed to have a longer range, increased probability of destroying
targets, increased system lethality, and improved guidance and navigation.
Its estimated program cost is $525 million. The Air Force's F- 22 aircraft
is an air superiority fighter designed to succeed the F- 15. It is designed
with low radar observability, supersonic cruise capability, and

sophisticated avionics. Its estimated program cost is $62.5 billion. Cost
figures for the above programs are represented in then year dollars. In
analyzing the reasons why differences existed between DOD's testing
practices and those of the firms we visited, we drew on both work done for
this report and previous work done on best practices. In particular, the
information we present on the factors that comprise the business cases-

or justification for new program or product developments- draws heavily on
our previous reports and testimonies we have issued. These can be found in
the list of related GAO products at the end of this report.

We conducted our review from March 1999 through June 2000 in accordance with
generally accepted government auditing standards.

Problems Found Late in Development Signal

Chapt er 2

Weaknesses in Testing and Evaluation Late- cycle churn is a phrase one
commercial firm used to describe the scramble to fix a significant problem
or flaw that is discovered late in a product's development. Usually, it is a
test that reveals the problem. The “churn” refers to the
additional- and unanticipated- time, money, and effort that must be invested
to overcome the problem. Problems are most devastating when they delay
product delivery, increase product cost, or “escape” to the
customer. Most of the commercial firms we visited had experienced such
problems on earlier products but found ways to avoid them on more recent
products. They view late surprises in testing as symptoms that the testing
and evaluation for a product was not planned well or executed properly.

The discovery of problems in testing conducted late in development is a
fairly common occurrence on DOD programs, as is the attendant late- cycle
churn. Often, tests of a full system, such as launching a missile or flying
an aircraft, become the vehicles for discovering problems that could have
been found out earlier and corrected less expensively. For example, several
failures in flight tests of the THAAD system were traced to problems that
could have been revealed in ground testing. 1 When significant problems are
revealed late in a weapon system's development, the reaction- or churn-

can take several forms: extending schedules to increase the investment in
more prototypes and testing, terminating the program, or redesigning and
modifying weapons that have already made it to the field. These outcomes
have broader implications for DOD's overall modernization as well, because
the additional investment that is needed to correct the problems of one
program is often made by cutting the funding of other programs.

Problems Revealed Over the years, we have reported numerous instances in
which weapon Late in Testing Are a system problems were discovered late in
the development cycle. Differences in the type of weapon system, the
complexity of the design, the Major Source of respective military service,
or the acquisition strategy being followed have

Disruption in DOD not mattered. The corrective action most often taken was
to restructure the

Programs development program so that the weapons could be redesigned and

re- tested before production or to redesign and retrofit weapons in
production. Rarely did a poor test result lead to program termination. The

1 The THAAD missile system is currently in the engineering, manufacturing
and development phase. The problems referred to occurred in an attempt to
provide an early operational system that could be fielded.

following are examples of weapon systems that have enforced testing problems
late in development.

C- 17 Globemaster II Aircraft Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles ALQ- 135
Radar Jammer ALR- 67 Radar Warning Receiver V- 22 Osprey Aircraft Sensor
Fused Weapon B- 1B Lancer Bomber Pioneer Unmanned Aerial Vehicle B- 2 Spirit
Bomber Pioneer Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Tacit Rainbow Missile M- 1 ABRAMS
Tank F- 18E/ F Hornet Aircraft Sergeant York Artillery Gun F- 14D Tomcat
Aircraft Standoff Land Attack Missile Rolling Airframe Missile Aquila
Remotely Piloted Vehicle High Mobility Trailers DarkStar Unmanned Aerial
Vehicle F- 22 Raptor Aircraft Theater High Altitude Area Defense Missile
Airborne Self- Protection Jammer

Source: GAO.

Described below are four programs that have recently experienced latecycle
churn as a result of unexpected test results late in development.

DarkStar Unmanned Aerial The DarkStar development program was structured to
demonstrate the Vehicle military utility of the unmanned aircraft. As an
Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration, the DarkStar's design was to rely
on mature or off- the- shelf technologies. 2 Originally, DOD planned to
develop, test, and

evaluate the DarkStar in 2 years. Near the end of the 2- year schedule, the
aircraft crashed in its second flight test. The ensuing redesign efforts to
solve the problems caused costs and schedule to double. After over 4 years

of development, the program was terminated. The DarkStar's planned and
actual development schedules are shown in figure 1.

2 DOD initiated Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrations in 1994 to help
expedite the transition of mature technologies from the developers to the
warfighters. The purpose of such demonstration projects is to assess the
military use of a capability, such as a weapon, that is comprised of mature
technologies.

Figure 1: Planned and Actual DarkStar Program Schedules

Design, build prototypes Planned program

05/ 94 02/ 96

05/ 96 Program start

Begin flight Program

tests completion

Design, build prototypes Redesign aircraft Flight tests Actual program

05/ 94 02/ 96

02/ 96 05/ 98

02/ 99 Program

Begin flight Flight

Flight tests Program

start tests

crash resume

terminated

Source: GAO's analysis of DOD data.

As a result of the crash, the program was extended while the contractor made
significant design changes and modifications to the remaining air vehicles.
Significant improvements were made in modeling and simulation, component
qualification and airworthiness testing. At the end of this 2- year
modification effort, the second air vehicle was flight tested, but it
exhibited design flaws in the fuel subsystem. The third and fourth air
vehicles incorporated design changes that resolved these problems. By that
time,

the program's cost had increased from $106 million to $212 million and its
schedule had grown from 2 years to 4 years and 9 months. In February 1999,
the DarkStar program was canceled; its termination was due to a lack

of available funding for it and another unmanned aerial vehicle program.
According to program officials, the later aircraft configurations showed
promise, but the program was terminated before they could test them. Thus,
the main purpose of the program- to determine military utility- was never
achieved.

THAAD Program The Army had planned to develop and field an initial version
of the THAAD system in just under 5 years at a cost of $2.5 billion. This
initial version was

to provide the Army an interim capability to intercept enemy missiles, which
was to be followed by an engineering and manufacturing

development phase to field a more capable system in greater numbers. As a
result of problems discovered in flight testing, however, the initial
version took over 8 years to develop at a cost of $4. 2 billion. The THAAD's
planned and actual development schedules are shown in figure 2. Figure 2:
Planned and Actual THAAD Program Schedules

Design, build prototypes 20 flight tests Planned program

01/ 92 10/ 94

10/ 96 Program start

Begin flight Early operational

tests assessment

Design, build prototypes 11 flight tests Actual program

Flight tests 01/ 92

04/ 95 2- 9 fail

06/ 00 Program start

Begin flight Start engineering

tests and manufacturing

development

Source: GAO's analysis of DOD data.

Once flight testing began in 1995, the missile experienced numerous
problems. The first flight tested only the propulsion system and missile
functions such as booster performance and interceptor launch. In the next
eight flight tests, the THAAD missile experienced a variety of failures.
Problems revealed in these tests included software errors, booster
separation, seeker electronics, flight controls, electrical short circuits,
foreign object damage, and loss of telemetry. These failures brought the
program to the brink of cancellation in 1998. The program was subjected to
four independent reviews and was significantly restructured. In the
restructuring, the requirement to field an interim version of the missile
was

deleted. After the missile intercepted the target in the 10th and 11th
flight tests, the initial version of the missile was judged successful and
the program entered engineering and manufacturing development in June 2000.
However, this phase will run longer than planned- over 7 years- with a
commensurate delay in fielding the final missile system. Program

officials estimate that acquisition costs- both development phases and
production- have increased by over $5 billion.

Army Cargo Trailer In 1993, the Army purchased about 6, 700 truck trailers
that cannot be used because they have serious safety problems and damage the
trucks towing

them. The Army entered into a 5- year production contract for the trailers
without first testing the design to see if it met requirements. The Army
later found that the contractor could not meet the delivery schedule, that
the

trailers could not pass testing, and that the trailer design would need
extensive modifications. Despite these performance problems, the Army
accepted 740 trailers of the original design, which it placed in operational
units. After numerous problems with the fielded trailers, the Army issued a

safety message that required that the trailers not be used. Since that
message, the Army has continued to accept the remaining trailers from the
contractor but has placed them in storage. Breaking the 5- year production
contract in order to redesign the trailer is expected to increase unit costs
by about 50 percent. Also, the Army will pay for modifications to the
trailer and trucks; these costs have not yet been disclosed.

F- 22 Air Superiority Fighter The Air Force had planned for the F- 22 to
spend 5.5 years in engineering and manufacturing development before
manufacturing of deployable aircraft 3 began. During that time, 1,400 hours
of flight testing were planned, as shown in figure 3. Over the next few
years, the F- 22 development schedule was extended by nearly 4 years, the
start of flight testing was delayed 2 years, and only 200 hours of flight
testing were accomplished

before the manufacturing of deployable aircraft began. 3 Deployable aircraft
refers to aircraft that will eventually be put into the F- 22 operational
fleet.

Figure 3: Planned and Actual F- 22 Program Schedules

Design, build prototypes 1,400 flight hours Planned program

08/ 91 09/ 95

01/ 97 Start

Begin flight Start

development tests

manufacturing deployable

aircraft Design, build prototypes 200 flight hours Actual program

08/ 91 09/ 97

12/ 98 Start

Begin flight Start

development tests

manufacturing deployable

aircraft

Source: GAO's analysis of DOD data.

Since 1991, the F- 22 aircraft has experienced (1) a number of technical and
performance problems, such as software, and hardware; (2) integration
problems with the communication, navigation, and identification and
electronic warfare subsystems; and (3) delays in delivery of wings and aft
fuselage. The effort to solve these problems has led the Air Force to extend

the engineering and manufacturing development schedule from 5.5 years to
about 7. 5 years and increased estimated development costs from $15.3
billion to $20.4 billion- a cost cap mandated by Congress. Flight testing
has also been delayed and significantly reduced in scope. The F- 22 was
originally planned to undergo 5,191 hours of flight testing, 1,400 of which-
27 percent- were to be done by the time manufacture of deployable aircraft
commenced. Current plans call for 3,757 total flight test hours. Only 200- 5
percent- were completed by the time manufacturing

began. The F- 22 has experienced some late- cycle churn as evidenced by cost
growth, schedule delays, and performance problems. The potential for
performance problems in the future is significant, given that the flight
testing done to date has not included all of the F- 22's sophisticated

subsystems (e. g., its advanced avionics). The low- rate initial production
decision is currently scheduled for December 2000.

Testing and Evaluation The leading commercial firms we visited have found
ways to employ

Helps Leading testing in a way that avoided late- cycle churn yet enabled
them to efficiently yield products in less time, with higher quality, and at
a lower

Commercial Firms cost. Generally, these practices were prompted by problems-
and

Avoid Late- Cycle late- cycle churn- encountered on earlier products. Both
Boeing and Intel Churn

were hurt by new products in which testing found significant problems late
in development or in production that may have been preventable. Boeing
absorbed cost increases in one line of aircraft and delivered it late to the
first customer; Intel had to replace more than a million flawed
microprocessors from customers. On subsequent products, these firms were
able to minimize such problems by changing their approach to testing and
evaluation and were able to deliver more sophisticated products on

time, within budget, and with high quality. Boeing encountered significant
difficulties late in the development of its 747- 400 airliner, which delayed
its delivery to the customer and increased costs. When the 747- 400 was
delivered to United Airlines in 1990, Boeing had to assign 300 engineers to
solve problems testing had not revealed earlier. The resulting delivery
delays and initial service problems irritated the customer and embarrassed
Boeing. Boeing officials stated that this experience prompted the company to
alter its test approach on subsequent

aircraft, culminating with the 777- 200 program of the mid- 1990s. According
to company officials, the 777- 200 testing was the most extensive conducted
on any Boeing commercial aircraft. As a result, Boeing delivered a Federal
Aviation Administration- certified, service- ready 777- 200 aircraft at
initial delivery and reduced change, error, and rework by more than 60
percent.

Figure 4: Boeing 777 Airliner

Testing and evaluation on the 777 enabled the airliner to avoid problems
experienced with previous airliners. Source: Boeing.

A hallmark of the 777- 200's success was the extended- range twin engine
certification for transoceanic flight it received from the Federal Aviation
Administration on the first aircraft. This certification is significant
because it normally takes about 2 years of actual operational service before
the Federal Aviation Administration grants extended range certification. In
the case of the 777- 200, the testing and evaluation effort provided enough
confidence in the aircraft's performance to forego the operational service
requirement.

Intel has also employed testing to avoid late- cycle churn on its new
microprocessors. According to Intel officials, the company learned this
lesson the hard way- by inadvertently releasing the initial Pentium 
microprocessor with defects. After the release, Intel discovered a flaw in

one of the Pentium  microprocessor's higher level mathematical functions.
Using analytical techniques, Intel concluded that this flaw would not
significantly affect the general public because it would occur very rarely.
Intel, however, miscalculated the effect on the consumer and was forced to
replace more than a million microprocessors at a cost of about

$500 million. Intel underwent a significant corporate change in its test
approach to ensure that bugs like this did not “escape” to the
public again. As a result, the quality of subsequent microprocessors like
the Pentium  Pro and Pentium  III microprocessors has significantly
improved. Despite adopting a much more rigorous testing and evaluation
approach, Intel did

not increase the amount of time it took to develop new, more sophisticated
microprocessors. In fact, Intel's rate of product release increased over
time.

Employing Testing to Validate Product

Chapt er 3

Knowledge Early Is a Best Practice The leading commercial firms we visited
think in terms of validating a product and using testing and evaluation as a
means to that end. Validation refers to verifying knowledge that a product
is maturing or working as intended. 1 Thus, the focus is on attaining the
necessary knowledge rather than on which techniques are used or what events
are held. While

individual approaches varied, the firms we visited all used validation to
ensure that their products met a basic set of standards- which we refer to
as product maturity levels- at given points in time. We found three product
maturity levels that commercial firms had in common: technologies and
subsystems work individually, components and subsystems work together as a
system in a controlled setting, and components and subsystems work together
as a system in a realistic setting. The key to minimizing surprises late in
development is to reach the first two levels in such a way as to limit the
burden on the third level. Consequently, leading firms place a high value

on conducting the right validation events at the right time, ensuring that
the events produce useful results, and using the results to make the product
better. These firms often find that the actual effort to validate a new
product's performance- indicated by test hours, for example- exceeds the
effort originally planned. On the weapon system programs we reviewed, it was
much more likely for validation of product knowledge to travel to the latter
stages of development because tests were often delayed, skipped, or not
conducted

in a way that advanced knowledge. Consequently, the techniques and the
knowledge to be gained became separated. In some cases, product knowledge
was not advanced because a test was seriously flawed or because test results
were not used to improve a weapon's design. Also, the amount of testing that
was actually conducted on these weapons during development was often
significantly less than planned. Our current and previous work on best
practices has shown that because immature technologies are incorporated in
weapon system designs, they are often not

mature enough to be validated until late development or early production.
For these reasons, the defense programs we reviewed did not validate product
maturity levels as early as their commercial counterparts. Instead,

product knowledge was validated later, with system level testing- such as
flight testing- carrying a greater burden of discovery and at a much higher
cost than found in leading commercial firms.

1 Validation in this context differs from the standard systems engineering
definition in which validation means that the system meets its real world,
operational requirements.

Focusing Validation To minimize surprises discovered through testing late in
product Methods on

development, leading commercial firms we visited validate a product's
performance against their own standards for what knowledge should be
Progressive Levels of

attained at different stages in a product development. The standards-
Product Maturity product maturity levels- we saw as being common among the
firms are Reduces Late- Cycle

shown in figure 5. Churn

Figure 5: Product Maturity Levels Commercial Firms Seek to Validate

Level 3 Level 2 Level 1 Components and

Components and subsystems work

Technologies and subsystems work

together as a system subsystems work

together as a system in a realistic setting

individually in a controlled setting

Source: GAO.

These levels do not have to be reached in a sequential manner. For example,
a firm can build a replica of a system in a laboratory, with some actual
subsystems physically present and others simulated. As additional subsystems
are matured, they can be brought into the laboratory to replace their
simulation counterparts. However, commercial firms will not install a

subsystem that has not been integrated and validated with other subsystems
in the laboratory and put it on a product like an aircraft and test it in
flight. The risk for surprises in a very expensive environment, such as
flight testing, is too high. By focusing on the validation of product
maturity levels, the firms guard against skipping or delaying a critical
test or being misguided by an event that has failed to validate knowledge.

The Timing, Quality, and Leading commercial firms have found that if they do
not validate a new Utilization of Validation

product properly, they experience the same kinds of problems that DOD Events
Are Critical to

weapons experience late in development. These problems either Reaching
Product Maturity disappointed customers or allowed the competition to
overtake them. To reach the first two product maturity levels in such a way
as to limit the

Levels burden on the third level, leading firms have learned to discipline
their validation approaches to ensure that the right validation events occur
at the right times,

each validation event produces quality results, and the knowledge gained
from an event is used to improve the product.

The first factor has been described as “doing the right thing,”
that is, having the key steps in place to validate the product. The other
two factors refer to “doing the thing right.” Regarding the
timing of events, two features of leading commercial firms' validation
efforts stand out. First, individual technologies are validated before they
are included in a product's design. Second, the firms schedule challenging
validation events early to expose the weaknesses in the design. AT& T refers
to this as a “break it big early” philosophy. Events are
comprised of a variety of tools and techniques, such as modeling and
simulation, physical testing, software regression, hardware- in- the- loop,
and a fault tree analysis. 2 While we found that the firms used the full
range of techniques, no single technique was the most important. The
maturity of a prototype, software and hardware compatibility, realism

of test conditions, and fidelity of modeling and simulation all play a role
in determining the quality of validation events. It is possible to conduct a
test or simulation that does not contribute worthwhile information. For
example, conducting a system integration test would produce limited results
if the hardware and software were incompatible. On the other hand, modeling
and simulation might be performed with such a degree of fidelity that other
physical tests are not needed. Thus, the same product maturity level can be
reached with different tools, given the tools have the quality to produce
the requisite knowledge. In other cases, modeling and simulation

could not substitute for physical testing. Given that the right events have
2 Hardware- in- the- loop is a test technique that employs system software
with representative subsystem hardware to simulate a weapon system's actual
operating environment. A fault tree analysis is a technique that assesses
hardware safety to provide failure statistics and sensitivity analyses that
indicate the possible effect of critical failures.

been held and conducted the right way, the knowledge gained must be used to
improve the product. Using the knowledge depends on an accurate analysis and
evaluation of an event's results and taking the time and effort to
incorporate changes into the product design.

All of the firms we visited had adopted product validation approaches that
have reduced the burden on system level testing late in development. These
approaches feature maturing products in increasing- and well- defined-
levels of maturity and testing difficult technology or design features
early. Several of the firms noted that no validation approach is perfect and
that validating one product the right way does not guarantee that mistakes
will not be made on the next product. Examples of successful validation

approaches applied by Boeing and Intel are detailed below. Details on the
validation approaches of AT& T, General Electric, and DuPont are discussed
in appendix I.

Boeing's Investments in the After experiencing late- cycle churn on the 747-
400, Boeing adopted a gated

777- 200 Program Improved product development process to validate knowledge
earlier in product Both the Quality and

development. Officials referred to this as having to “move discovery
to the Quantity of Validation left.” Previously, Boeing engineers
would continue to design an aircraft after manufacturing had begun, which
limited the amount of product knowledge attained early and shifted the
burden of discovery to later testing. For example, Boeing generally did not
release 90 percent of engineering drawings on a new aircraft- a key
indicator of design

maturity- until flight testing began. On the 777- 200 program, Boeing
released 90 percent of the drawings about 14 months before flight testing.
This accomplishment was due in part to Boeing's significant investment in
design and validation processes, particularly in simulation and ground
testing.

According to Boeing officials, the key to successfully integrating new 777-
200 components and subsystems into a system- the second product maturity
level- was Boeing's emphasis on early validation and ensuring that the
critical processes, tools, and facilities were in place to perform the

validation. Boeing did not allow candidate technologies, such as advanced
avionics, into 777- 200 components and subsystems unless they were mature.
The candidate technologies were validated extensively in Boeing's
laboratories through materials testing, modeling and simulation, and scale

model testing- before the 777- 200 program was launched. If a sufficient
knowledge base could not be established or if the results indicated that a
technology represented a significant risk, the technology was not included

in the design. For example, after testing aluminum lithium, a lightweight
material, Boeing determined that the material was immature and thus too
risky to be included on the 777- 200.

To help ensure that mature test articles were available for higher level
validation tests, Boeing initiated a process called proven functional
operability dates. This is a process by which Boeing defines all of the
functions for its components, parts, subsystems, and the dates those
functions are to be ready for test. The proven functional operability dates
process provides a critical path for validating the maturity of components
before they are integrated into system level testing. For example, a flight

control component may ultimately have to perform 10 functions. Boeing will
define those functions at the start of development and lay out a schedule
for validating them before flight testing. This baseline becomes the
criteria for assessing not only the component's maturity but also the
quality of the test event as well. If a test of the flight control is to
demonstrate 7 of the 10 functions, but the article being tested has fallen
behind and is capable of only 4 functions, the test has less value- it no
longer validates as much knowledge. Validating the other three functions
will have to be made up or the product could fall behind or build up too

much risk in the later stages. Boeing made an extensive investment in new
system- level techniques to design the 777- 200 and validate its maturity in
a controlled setting. Specifically, a three- dimensional design tool and a
systems integration laboratory improved the quality of validation- enabling
component integration with little or no rework- and saved time and money.
Boeing

adopted a design system called computer- aided three- dimensional
interactive application for the 777- 200. All design drawings were done on
computers, which meant that the geometric definitions of parts and tools
were incorporated in a digital database. The data aided both the design of
the aircraft and the design of manufacturing techniques and assembly
layouts. Formerly, Boeing relied on physical mockups, which were expensive
and time- consuming to construct, to design components that were difficult
to accurately design on two- dimensional paper drawings. The resultant parts
were inaccurate and required high rates of rework. The use of the new design
tool not only facilitated final assembly, but also reduced changes, errors,
and rework by more than 60 percent compared with previous practices.

Boeing also used a new technique to validate the 777- 200's maturity in a
controlled setting- a systems integration laboratory. The laboratory

combined actual 777- 200 subsystems such as avionics, electrical system, and
cockpit flight controls with simulated flight conditions. Boeing linked over
60 individual laboratories into the integration laboratory to validate the
777- 200 as a system. Each simulated flight recorded measurements from all
systems, giving the engineers accurate data to investigate system

operation and interaction. Test problems were recorded for each flight,
entered into a tracking system, and processed as a “real”
airplane flight discrepancy report. In this way, Boeing used the test
problems to improve the aircraft. Boeing officials informed us that the
accuracy of the

computer- generated information is critical to the credibility of such a
laboratory and that Boeing's large base of actual data from predecessor
aircraft was key to the laboratory's success. Ultimately, the laboratory
added about 2,000 test hours to the 777- 200 program and greatly enhanced
the efficiency of subsequent flight tests. Flight testing still revealed
problems, but the number of new problems was low- not significant enough to
cause late- cycle churn. Boeing was able to analyze them and

identify potential solutions that were validated in the system integration
laboratory before being incorporated on the aircraft. The monthly test-
flying hour rates of the 777- 200 airplane exceeded all previous programs,
yet the number of new problems found on the airplane was low. Intel's
Improved Approach

Intel's experience with the mathematics error in the first Pentium  to
Validating the First microprocessor resulted in a significant change in
Intel's approach to Product Maturity Level Was validating product maturity.
According to Intel officials, one of the reasons the Key to Better Product
the problem occurred was that testing had stopped too early. Intel
instituted a validation approach to detect flaws- referred to as

Outcomes “bugs”- early, and more than tripled its validation
staff. It adopted a

three- tiered strategy to manage its new product testing: validating the
microprocessor design before hardware- silicon- is made, validating
prototype microprocessors in a laboratory, and validating prototype
microprocessors in customers' computers. Like Boeing did on the 777- 200,
Intel often does more product validation than planned. According to Intel, a

smaller percentage of bugs are escaping and those that do escape are less
significant. In its Pentium  Pro microprocessor, Intel detected and
corrected 99.7 percent of bugs before releasing the product to the public.
Like Boeing, Intel guards against ineffective tests and immature test
articles, which limit product knowledge and allow bugs to go undetected. It
is in the pre- silicon phase that Intel has made the most significant

improvement in validation. The objective of this phase is to not only firm
up the microprocessor's architecture, but ensure that the first prototype

microprocessor will be able to start and run an operating system. Intel made
a heavy investment in design tools and training to limit the number of bugs
designers create. It conducts extensive design validation using modeling and
simulation and various software logic and architecture validation tools.
Intel estimated that it finds 95 percent of all bugs during

the pre- silicon phase. Intel used to proceed to silicon prototypes with
less knowledge about the microprocessor. This approach relied more on
finding problems in the prototypes, redesigning the microprocessor, and
having additional versions of prototypes made. With the amount of validation
done during the pre- silicon phase, Intel builds fewer iterations of
prototypes. This, in turn, enhances productivity and reduces Intel's time to
market.

Intel prototypes its first microprocessors to validate their performance in
laboratory systems- the second product maturity level. This level ensures
that the new microprocessor and other computer electronics integrate
effectively and comply with industry standards. For its Pentium  II
microprocessors, Intel built over 60 dedicated test stations with more than

$100,000 of instrumentation per system. In the prototype phase, Intel also
validates the compatibility of the new microprocessor with a range of
peripheral computer equipment.

Figure 6: Intel's Pentium     Pro Microprocessor

Intel's investment in early validation has reduced the burden on prototype
testing, such as on the Pentium  Pro microprocessor.

Source: Intel.

By the time a few customers are using the prototype microprocessor on a
trial basis- the third product maturity level- product knowledge is very
high. This is a marked contrast to past practices. Previously, users
typically found many of the bugs. Intel now uses a variety of strategies to
test a new microprocessor in realistic conditions. Computer equipment
manufacturers test the microprocessor in their own products using their

own methods. This strategy enables Intel to get feedback on the product's
performance in a wide range of realistic environments. Intel also uses
independent software and hardware vendors to test the interoperability of a
wide range of peripheral equipment and software with its microprocessor.
Intel developed a new user test program for the Pentium 

Pro microprocessor, selecting over 600 users to do pre- release testing of
the new microprocessor. For 5 months, the users tested financial, technical,
business and entertainment applications and found no new bugs. Delayed
Validation of

In the weapon system programs we reviewed, opportunities to validate Product
Knowledge component maturity and system maturity in a controlled environment
were often missed, putting a disproportionate share of validation on system

Contributes to testing in a realistic environment- the third product
maturity level. The net

Discovery of Problems effect was to attempt to reach the three levels of
product maturity levels in

Late in Development one step in the late stages of development, which
greatly increased the

chance of discovering unexpected problems when the cost and schedule impact
was the greatest. Testing and other techniques employed in these programs
did not validate product maturity early because (1) events were skipped,
postponed, or did not produce quality information or (2) information from
one event was not incorporated into the product design before proceeding
with the next event.

Lower Levels of Product Knowledge typically gained during technology
development and

Maturity Not Validated component and systems integration was not validated
before actual flight

Before THAAD and testing began on THAAD. The planned 4- year development
schedule was

DarkStar Flight Testing very tight given the THAAD's complex subsystems,
several of which were

Began unproven- a new radar, launcher system, command and control system,

and an advanced seeker. The original THAAD flight test schedule left little
time to develop and test technologies and subsystems. The combination of a
compressed schedule and a complex technological challenge caused much
validation of the first and second product maturity levels to be deferred
until the third level. Instead of a break it big early philosophy, program
officials waited until flight testing to stress components and subsystems.
As a result, key subsystems were not sufficiently matured for integration
and flight testing. For example, the original seeker technology could not
satisfy the user's needs, but tight time frames did not allow the contractor
to develop a better technical solution. Although the less capable technology
was chosen because it was already developed, it later proved immature.
Ground testing was curtailed, and many components were shipped without
thorough ground testing. Program officials acknowledged that they took many
shortcuts in technology maturation, expecting to make up this knowledge
during flight testing.

Validation that the THAAD components could work together as a system in the
laboratory and on the ground was limited as well. While the contractor spent
millions of dollars to develop an early, robust modeling and simulation
tool, competing pressures to field an operational system delayed the tool,
reducing its ability to help validate the integration of components and
subsystems before flight testing. To stay on schedule,

designers minimized the amount of test instrumentation used on the missile.
Even the initial test plans did not allow sufficient time for discovery and
problem resolution.

Due to time constraints, the seeker's performance was not formally validated
with other subsystems before the seeker was shipped to the prime contractor
for flight tests. Because the seeker developer was not allocated funding to
conduct hardware- in- the- loop testing on the subsystem, the designers
scavenged piece parts from around the factory to construct a test article.
As a result, they did some limited subsystem testing

before they shipped the seeker to the prime contractor. Software validation
was also a source of problems: iterations of software were released behind
schedule, lowering the quality of the tests that involved the software.
Testing of avionics software was incomplete, and the corrections that were
identified were not well tracked or documented. Hardware- in- the- loop
testing was impaired because the hardware was not tested with the right
software configuration. In addition, the missile had not been ground tested

with all systems operating while subjected to thermal or vibration stresses,
which it would encounter in actual use conditions.

Figure 7: The THAAD Missile System

Several THAAD flight test problems were traced to components that were not
adequately ground tested.

Source: Lockheed Martin.

The limited component and integration testing placed the main burden of
validation and discovery on flight testing. The failures in flight tests two
through nine evidenced the amount of discovery that had to occur in the
final level of product maturity. The contractor's ability to analyze why
these tests failed was hampered by the elimination of earlier validation
events. For example, the missile had been enclosed in a canister, leaving no
hookup points to attach instrumentation for test and measurement purposes.
Post- test troubleshooting and analysis were thus greatly hampered, making
it difficult to isolate problems that caused a test to fail and to correct
those problems before the next test. Knowledge validation was further
limited by the fact that in virtually every flight test, there was a new
seeker configuration. According to the seeker contractor, the original
seeker had

encountered many performance and schedule problems and had been redesigned
frequently. During flight testing, contractor officials stated that

they ran out of seekers and had to switch to a new seeker technology.
Ironically, the contractor noted that flight test failures actually worked
in its favor because the resultant delays enabled the new seeker to mature
in a more disciplined manner. According to several expert reviews from both
inside and outside the Army,

the causes of failures in these flights included inadequate ground testing
and poor test planning. One study noted that failures were found in
subsystems usually considered low risk. The failures were attributed to poor
subsystem design and fabrication and inadequate ground testing. According to
a 1997 Army program assessment, the physical limits of components and
subsystems were discovered only by accident, when

something went wrong unexpectedly. Problems were compounded by insufficient
time to make corrections between flight tests. For example, the faulty
software logic, which caused the failure of flight test 4, could have been
discovered with pre- flight tests that are fairly standard for a system of
this type. Similarly, the cause of flight test 6- seeker contamination-

should have been found during subsystem qualification testing. These reviews
also identified significant shortcomings in design and fabrication
discipline, test planning, ground testing, and preflight review. Like THAAD,
the DarkStar's components and subsystems were not adequately validated
before flight testing began. Program managers curtailed some testing earlier
in the program to stay on schedule. Limited knowledge about the aircraft's
performance contributed to the crash of the first test vehicle. For example,
the fuel system was not sufficiently instrumented or ground tested before
flight tests began. Some key sensor testing was deferred until after flight
testing. Also, the contractor made extensive use of commercial components
without testing or qualifying

them for use on a military system. Efforts to validate the DarkStar at the
system level fell short as well. The modeling and simulation that was
conducted before flight testing was not of high quality and did not have
sufficient fidelity. It was cited as one of the

factors that caused the crash. To save money, managers decided not to
construct an “iron bird,” which is a physical replica of the
aircraft's hydraulics and mechanical subsystems. Normally, such a test bed
is used to validate the integrated performance of these subsystems in a
laboratory setting- a less complete and less sophisticated version of the
777- 200 system integration laboratory. Finally, problems surfaced during
the first flight test that were not fully investigated and resolved due to
time constraints. For example, braking and flight dynamics problems were not

resolved prior to the next flight. After the crash, however, managers did
improve modeling and simulation, component qualification, and airworthiness
testing for the remaining aircraft prototypes.

Validation Approach Taken Knowledge validation before system testing in a
realistic environment was on the SLAM- ER Was Too also limited in the SLAM-
ER program, but for different reasons. The Narrow SLAM- ER program followed
a disciplined, sequential development process, with over 6,200 tests
conducted in all. However, the approach was too

narrowly defined and ignored problems experienced by the original SLAM
missile. Also, the conditions for some system level tests were not
realistic, which lowered the value of the information gained and masked some
limitations. These limitations became apparent in operational testing when
the missile failed to perform its mission under realistic conditions while
in the hands of the customer, that is, the intended user. According to the
program manager, the SLAM- ER went through a disciplined, stair- stepped
testing and evaluation process before flight testing. In its early phase,
program officials identified the high- risk

technologies, such as an advanced wing deployment design. The program
manager used experts in national test facilities to test and refine the
design. For example, experts at the Johns Hopkins University's Applied
Physics Laboratory conducted extensive modeling and simulation on the wing

deployment characteristics. In addition, the program used wind tunnel tests
to further refine the wing design. To reduce development risks, the program
manager required that all software be built and tested incrementally and
reviewed by an independent team. The program also benefited from a strong
corporate knowledge base; most of the management and staff had worked on the
original SLAM program. All of these factors validated the maturity of SLAM-
ER components and

subsystems early, according to the program manager. The program manager
stated that the SLAM- ER underwent more than 3,490 subsystem and component
hardware tests and over 1,800 digital software simulations. At the system
integration level, the missile

underwent a variety of tests, including structural tests, separation tests,
hardware- in- the- loop tests, and fit checks, to ensure compatibility.
Officials also conducted 12 system- level ground tests prior to flight
testing. According to the program manager, developmental test results and
early flight test results were promising. During initial flight tests, in
which the missile performed all functions except actual firing, the
missile's ability to

find targets appeared excellent. On the basis of these results, the program
manager believed the missile was ready to be tested by the customer.

Figure 8: The SLAM- ER Missile

Missed opportunities to find and correct problems early contributed to the
SLAM- ER's failures in customer testing.

Source: DOD.

However, during operational testing by the customer, only 5 of the 11
missile firings were successful. The tests revealed problems with the
seeker's ability to find and track the intended target. Many of the problems
were some of the same problems that had made users reject the original SLAM
missile. These problems included signal interference, poor ability to find
the target, and poor image resolution, all of which impaired the missile
operator's ability to see the target through the missile seeker and guide
the missile to the target. These problems were not addressed in the SLAM- ER

development, yet they were significant enough to preclude the missile's
ability to find and track the target. They also shortened the distance from
which the missile can be fired.

Other failures were attributed to subsystem problems that went unnoticed
because of quality limitations in earlier testing and evaluation. For

example, hardware and software versions did not match, which degraded the
maturity of test articles and made it difficult to isolate the cause of
problems. In some cases, SLAM- ER developmental flight tests were

designed not so much to validate product maturity as to succeed. Test pilots
and maintenance crews had become expert and intimately familiar with the
test missiles. Thus, they knew how to work around problems, such as when the
video images on the target acquisition system froze. For example, for one
test, the ground crew heated up the intended target area to help the heat-
sensing seeker. In addition, developmental test conditions were carefully
controlled and test articles were prepared and maintained to be in the best
condition. Finally, the system configuration was not stable- it was changed
even during operational tests. The cumulative effect of these conditions was
to limit the knowledge gained from the tests, allowing

discovery of problems by the customer's pilots and maintenance crews.

Different Incentives Make Testing a More Constructive Factor in Commercial
Programs

Chapt er 4

Than in Weapon System Programs The Under Secretary of Defense for
Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, before he took office, pinpointed
the following differences in commercial and DOD testing: In the commercial
world, the reason for testing and evaluating a new item is to determine
where it will not work and to continuously improve it . . . . Thus testing
and evaluation is primarily for the purpose of making the best possible
product, and making it as robust as possible . . . . By contrast, testing
and evaluation in the Department of Defense has tended to be a final exam,
or an audit, to see if a product works. Tests are not seen as a critical
element in enhancing the development process; the assumption is that the
product will work and it usually does. Under these conditions, the less
testing the better- preferably none at all. This rather perverse use of
testing causes huge cost and time increases on the

defense side, since tests are postponed until the final exam and flaws are
found late rather than early. 1 We have found similar differences in testing
practices. On the basis of our current and previous work on best practices,
2 we believe these differences reflect the different demands that commercial
firms and DOD impose on programs. The way success and failure are defined
for commercial and DOD product developments differs considerably, which
creates a different set of incentives and behaviors from program managers.
Leading commercial firms insist on a solid business case for starting a new
product, which centers on designing and manufacturing a product that will
sell well enough to make an acceptable profit. Successful management of a
product

hinges on identifying unknowns early and resolving them. The role of testing
or validation under such a business case is constructive, for thorough and
early validation helps eliminate unknowns. Accordingly, problems that are
found in testing do not threaten the product, and product managers view
testers as valuable contributors to the product's success. Consequently, the
leading commercial firms we visited have committed to disciplined validation
approaches and to the resources necessary to carry them out. The business
case for a weapon system program is different; it centers on providing a
superior capability within perceived time and funding limits. Success is
more influenced by the competition for funding and the quest for superior
performance. Significant unknowns are accepted in the DOD environment.
Delivering a product late and over cost does not necessarily threaten
program success. Testing plays a less constructive role within the 1 Defense
Conversion: Transforming the Arsenal of Democracy; MIT Press, 1995.

2 See Related GAO Products.

DOD business case; a failure can jeopardize the next increment of funding
and thus becomes an obstacle. Testers consequently have a more adversarial
relationship with program managers. Compromises in test approaches and
resources are more readily made in weapon system programs in deference to
other priorities, such as keeping advertised costs low. The cumulative
effect of these pressures is to defer validation of product knowledge to the
end of the development phase, the conditions

that lead to late- cycle churn. Testing Is Critical to The main focus of a
commercial product development program is to the Success of

produce and sell the right product at the right time. On the basis of our
current and previous work on best practices, we have identified several
Commercial Product factors that are critical to establishing a sound
business case for

Developments undertaking a new product development (see fig. 9).

Figure 9: Key Factors in the Business Case for a Commercial Product
Development

Market opportunity

exists Ability to

Product Return on

deliver the success

investment product

Sufficient investment

capital

Source: GAO.

While leading commercial firms have their own unique processes for starting
a new product development, we have found these basic factors have to be
present in some form for a commercial product to be successful. If the firm
does not accurately gauge the customers' needs and determine that there is a
market for the potential product, the product may not sell. If the firm does
not have the technology or the engineering expertise to

design a product with the features that the customer wants and to bring it
to market on time, a competitor may win the customer's business. Commercial
firms must spend their own money on developing new products; if they do not
have the financial resources to develop the product properly, they cannot go
forward with it. Finally, the firm must be able to manufacture the product
at a cost that will enable it to sell with a reasonable return on
investment. Cost, in this sense, includes the quality of the product because
the cost of warranty repairs and returns must be factored into profit
calculations.

If a product's business case measures up, the company commits to the entire
development of the product, including the financial investment and the
support of all company organizations. On the other hand, if any of these
factors get out of line, the product may not sell and the customer could
walk away. In the short term, this causes a company to lose its investment
and to forego profit. In the long term, it could mean that the company's

reputation is damaged. This environment encourages realistic assessments of
risks and costs; doing otherwise would threaten the business case and invite
failure. For the same reasons, a high value is placed on having the
knowledge needed for making decisions. Program managers have good reasons to
want risks identified early, be intolerant of unknowns, and be conservative
in their estimates.

Commercial Incentives Once a company decides to launch a product
development, strong Foster Candor and Realism incentives, grounded in the
business case, encourage a focus on product

in Product Validation validation to keep the program on track. To meet
market demands, leading commercial companies plan around comparatively short
cycle times-

often less than 2 years- to complete a product's development. These short
time frames make customer acceptance and return on investment close at hand.
Consequently, production looms as a near- term reality that continues to
influence subsequent product decisions within the framework of the business
case. To deliver the product on time, commercial firms insist on validating
the maturity of technologies before they are allowed onto a new product.

Keeping technology development out of the product development reduces the
scope and risk of testing and helps make delivery times predictable. For the
same reasons, the commercial firms we visited emphasize the validation of
product knowledge as early as possible. The corporate commitment that
product developments receive from the start defuses individual test results
as a threat to program support. Because test failures do not jeopardize a
program, leading commercial firms can use testing to foster knowledge and
improve the product. The commercial firms we visited actively encourage
testers to uncover problems. Candor is rewarded

by the success of the product. Problems are expected, even welcomed, in new
developments; testers are responsible for finding problems as soon as
possible so that they may be corrected. The earlier problems are discovered,
the less expensive and easier they are to fix. Tests are not considered
failures if the product has problems or cannot achieve the anticipated
performance goal; they are only failures if they do not provide insights
into the product's performance.

Intel accepts the fact that bugs are inevitable, no matter how well the
product has been designed. However, it can no longer afford to have a
microprocessor with serious bugs to escape because production and

distribution rates of microprocessors have skyrocketed since the initial
Pentium  microprocessor. Today, a mistake could be in the hands of millions
of customers in a matter of months. Under these circumstances, if a problem
like the one on the Pentium  microprocessor escaped into the

public today, the financial consequences of having to replace millions of
microprocessors would be far more serious. This fact forces an aggressive
approach to validation- a change Intel officials called both cultural and
procedural. Recognizing the need to overcome what one official called
“the human tendency to try to rationalize or ignore problems,”
Intel strongly encourages its validation staff to find bugs in its products.
No one is ostracized for either creating or detecting a bug. As a result,
Intel has been successful in getting its validation staff to actively seek
out problems and communicate them to product managers in order to improve
product quality. Similarly, Boeing officials characterized

problems as “gems to be mined” and said they were motivated to
find and resolve problems as early as possible. During the development of
the 777- 200, Boeing leadership stressed the need for full and open

communication- there was no kill the messenger syndrome. In the early 1990s,
DuPont became increasingly concerned about the time it took to get a new
product to market. It typically took up to 6 years for

DuPont to deliver new products, while its competitors delivered products in
about half the time. DuPont estimated that it could lose about $100 million
for every 2- year delay on a project and concluded that if it could cut
cycle time in half, it could increase revenues by 40 percent. Using these
analyses, DuPont revamped its product development process, which

reduced the cycle time by 40 to 60 percent. Inherent in the revamped process
was an increased emphasis on testing as a means to validate product
knowledge. DuPont underwent a cultural change that enabled the product
designers and testers to redefine the meaning of “test failure.”
Previously, a test failure meant that the technology or product did not
achieve expectations. Now, a test is only considered a failure if it does
not produce useful information. Product failures during testing are not only

expected, they are designed to occur. As long as information about a product
is gained that will enhance development, the test is considered a success.

Within this constructive view of testing, commercial companies involve their
testers throughout the product design, development, and production
processes. Companies do this by not only making testers part of the product
team but by giving them an equal voice. Testers in commercial firms are
typically high- performing staff with a lot of experience and thus,
credibility. The testers have a say in product development decisions. For

example, Intel asks its validation staff- not its designers- whether a
design is worthy of proceeding to the silicon development phase. Testers
work cooperatively with the design and manufacturing engineers to devise the
project plan, including the types of tests required, the timing of the

tests, and the duration of the tests. Test staff also provide expert advice
on how a product can be designed to facilitate testing. The significant
influence of test and validation staff on a commercial product is not due to
their organizational position or their ability to withhold approval. Rather,
they have influence because they (1) help a product succeed and (2) are
credible and have earned the confidence of the product developers. Realistic
Validation Plans

Just as candor helps cast commercial testers in a constructive role, realism
and Resources Help helps make resource and schedule estimates accurate and
predictable. Commercial Products

Consequently, leading firms commit to thorough planning and resourcing of
Succeed product validation. Commercial program development teams use fact-
based estimates- proven on past programs- to arrive at realistic schedules.
Optimistic schedules and resource estimates invite failure because
management will have to reallocate resources to a program to cover cost
overruns. Also, the customer may walk away. Conversely, a

sound and well- resourced validation approach will help ensure deliver a
quality product on time.

Boeing develops an aircraft development schedule using lessons learned and
actual experiences from predecessor programs. Boeing officials described the
testing and evaluation conducted on the 777- 200 as the most comprehensive
they have ever done. While better ways of validating product maturity are
encouraged, optimistic departures from successful practices are not.
Boeing's commitment to delivering a product to a

customer is built around this validation approach. A critical part of the
resource decision is the need to have continuity of technical staff and test
facilities. Boeing counts on staff to carry their knowledge and experience
from one program to another. Test managers are heavily involved in test
planning in order to maximize knowledge on the product as early as possible
and take full advantage of Boeing's test centers. Boeing has made a
significant investment in its own laboratories, and these facilities can be
staffed around the clock when necessary. Boeing officials observed that this
flexibility is crucial when deadlines are approaching because external test
facilities are rarely so accommodating.

At AT& T, testing requirements are developed at the starting point of the
product development schedule. Thus, curtailing or delaying tests to regain a
schedule slip is inconsistent with its quality goal. Company officials
stated, however, that they are not inflexible; if prior test results are
convincing, AT& T can revise its test plans to delete tests that all parties
agree are unnecessary. In other words, validation of maturity- not

expediency- is the determining factor. Likewise, once corporate resources
are allocated to the program development and testing efforts, they are made
available to the development team so product success is not compromised. The
resources that a product developer makes available do

not define the scope of testing. DuPont's validation process also includes
rigorous test planning. Using early test results, the team makes a
recommendation whether further company resources should be allocated to the
program. There are strong incentives for the teams to be very informative
and “honest” in their recommendations to management. Often,
teams will be rewarded if they can show that resources should no longer be
focused on their program.

Testing Is Perceived as The basic management goal for a weapon system
program in DOD is Impeding the Success similar to that of a commercial
product: to develop and deliver a product that meets the customer's needs.
However, the pressures of successfully of Weapon System competing for the
funds to start and sustain a weapon system program Programs

create incentives for launching programs that embody more technical unknowns
and less knowledge about the performance and production risks they entail.
On the basis of our present and previous work, as well as our review of
outside studies, such as those sponsored by DOD, we have identified several
key factors that affect the business case for starting a

new weapon system program. These factors are shown in figure 10.

Figure 10: Key Factors in the Business Case for a Weapon System Development

User requirement

exists Program

Program Annual

promises best success

funding is capability

approved Program

looks affordable

Source: GAO.

Although DOD is attempting to create more flexibility in how technical
requirements are set, a new program is encouraged to possess performance
features that significantly distinguish it from other systems. The
competition with other candidates for meeting the user's requirements

creates incentives for an aspiring program to include performance features
and design characteristics that enable it to offer the best capability. A
new program will not be approved unless its costs fall within forecasts of
available funds. Because cost and schedule estimates are comparatively soft
at the time, successfully competing for funds encourages the program's

estimates to be squeezed into the funds available. Unlike the commercial
business case, once a DOD program has been approved, it does not receive
full support. The program must compete to win its next increment of funding
in each budget cycle.

These pressures and incentives explain why the behavior of weapon system
managers differs from commercial managers. Problems that are revealed in
testing or indications that the estimates are decaying do not help sustain
funding support for the program; admission that costs are

likely to be higher could invite failure. Rewards for discovering and
recognizing potential problems early in a DOD program are few. In contrast
with leading commercial firms, not having attained knowledge- such as on

the performance of a key technology- can be perceived as better than knowing
the problems exist. When valid test results are not available, program
sponsors can assert projected performance.

Testing Can Pose a Serious Within the DOD business case for the programs we
reviewed, test results

Threat to a DOD Program tended to become scorecards that demonstrated to
decisionmakers that the program was ready to proceed to the next acquisition
phase or to receive the next increment of funding. As a result, testing
operated under a

penalty environment; if tests were not passed, the program might look less
attractive and be vulnerable to funding cuts. Managers thus had incentives
to postpone difficult tests and limit open communication about test results.
Under these conditions, demonstrations that show enough progress to continue
the program are preferred over actual tests against criteria, which can
reveal shortfalls. Accordingly, DOD testers are often seen as adversaries to
the program. In general, testers are often organizationally

removed from the design and development effort and are viewed as outsiders.
Unlike their commercial counterparts, they do not have a strong voice in
early program planning decisions. As a result, their authority or influence
is limited, and they are often overruled in decisions to proceed with
programs despite testing weaknesses.

The role testing plays in DOD programs was analyzed in a September 1999
report from the Defense Science Board. 3 The Board concluded that the
“response to perceived test failures is often inappropriate and
counterproductive.” Instead of using testing, especially in the early
stages, as a vital learning mechanism and an opportunity to expand product

knowledge, testing is often used as a basis for withholding funding, costly
rescheduling, or threats of cancellation. The Board stated that distrust
remains between the development and test communities, noting that some
program offices have been reluctant to involve these communities early in an
attempt to maintain control of the early test results. The Board also stated
that testers have some reluctance to get involved early for fear of

losing their independence and that this has led to polarization between the
two groups when they should be united to produce a quality and robust weapon
system. The Board recognized that because testers are not involved in the
early stages of developing a test plan, their influence is minimized. When
they are involved, they are considered disrupters rather

than helpers who can anticipate problem areas and seek remedies to avoid
them.

These forces were present on the THAAD program. The establishment of an
early fielding requirement changed the program's priorities and became
critical to the program's perceived success and funding support. The steps
normally taken to validate the maturity of components, individually and
integrated, before flight testing conflicted with the accelerated schedule
and were curtailed. Instead, program support became equated with the results
of the flight tests. When numerous test failures occurred, the program was
threatened with termination. Failures, made more likely by the accelerated
schedule, were at the same time less tolerable. Although the test staff
raised numerous concerns about the elimination of component and ground
tests, program managers who were intent on

meeting the operational deadlines overruled them. In addition, contractor
officials informed us that they built the first test items without including
normal test instrumentation, over test staff's objection. According to the
test staff, the program manager decided test instrumentation would have
weighed too much, so it was deleted. The evaluation of the independent

testers was highly critical of THAAD, which further distanced the test
community from the program manager. 3 Report of the Defense Science Board on
Test and Evaluation, September 1999.

The test approach taken on the SLAM- ER program was consistent with
incentives to avoid bad news. Its test plan did not cover resolution of
serious pre- existing problems on the missile. The relationship between the
testing community and the program manager eventually became a hindrance to
program success. During development, testers repeatedly expressed serious
concerns about the missile's capabilities and the resolution of historical
problems. Funding and schedule pressures led the program manager to
disregard the testers' repeated requests to investigate problems. Thus, the
opportunity for the tests to make a better missile was lost. Two separate
test organizations later criticized the problems the missile experienced in
operational testing. When these criticisms jeopardized the SLAM- ER's
approval for production, program officials believed the test staff was
trying to kill the program. Eventually, a second operational test was
ordered, following redesign work to correct the

problems found in the first test. The test approach taken on the DarkStar
unmanned aerial vehicle was significantly compromised by cost and schedule
constraints that DOD established for the program. DOD gave the program 2
years and

$106 million to demonstrate military utility. Compelled by these
constraints, DarkStar program managers informed us that they overruled the
concerns of test officials. Little emphasis was placed on test
instrumentation, software verification, automated test equipment, data
analysis, and documentation. The contractor made extensive use of off- the-
shelf parts, which was used as justification to skip various subsystem
tests. When testers raised concerns about the need to integrate and test
these items, schedule pressures prevailed over integration tests. After the
first flight test, testers raised concerns about the vehicle's stability and
flight worthiness, which were overridden by the managers' need to keep on
schedule.

On the other hand, tester can invite an adversarial relationship with
program managers. Testers can create the impression that it is more
important to adhere to test regulations than it is to help make the product

better. For example, one weapon system program manager informed us that the
test plan was tied to an original set of requirements that the customer had
since backed away from. Nonetheless, the testers insisted on testing to the
requirements because that approach was in accordance with regulations and
could be defended. In such cases, hollow testing- that which satisfies the
requirement to hold a test but does not advance product

knowledge- could actually meet some of the needs of both program manager and
tester.

DOD Testing Impaired by Although DOD does extensive test and resource
planning, the planning on

Optimism and Insufficient the weapon systems we reviewed was often undercut
by unrealistic

Resources assumptions. DOD's acquisition regulation 5000.2R requires formal
test plans and resource estimates for every weapon system program that must
be reviewed and approved by numerous organizations. This formal process does
not guarantee that the program will comply with the plan or receive

the resources requested or that the plan itself is realistic. On the
programs we reviewed, pressures to keep schedule and cost estimates as low
as possible forced managers into optimistic plans that presume success

instead of anticipating problems. Test resources and schedules were assigned
accordingly. The resultant test plans eventually proved unexecutable because
they underestimated the complexity and the resources necessary to validate
the product's maturity. Typically, the time and money allocated to testing
was more a by- product than a centerpiece of the product development
estimate.

The THAAD program had a requirement to develop and field a missile in 4
years that could hit and kill another incoming missile. To achieve this
requirement, many unproven technologies had to come together and be proven
in system tests. Yet, test plans were highly optimistic. According to
program officials, the difficulty of the technology maturation process alone
could not be accomplished in the time allotted. To satisfy the early
fielding date, program managers opted to omit fundamental ground and
subsystem tests and use flight testing to discover whether the missile
design would work. When the flight tests proved unsuccessful, the early
fielding date was postponed and the requirement was eventually deleted
entirely.

The DarkStar test approach had similar constraints. The contractor developed
a test plan that accommodated cost and schedule limits, but did not address
the range of technical parameters that needed to be investigated. Problems
were noted during testing, but because of schedule and cost pressures,
minimal attempts were made to correct them. The safety investigation board,
which investigated after the vehicle crashed, reported that
“scheduling was dictated by programmatic pressures rather than sound
engineering processes” and “the overriding driver repeatedly
appeared to be schedule and budget.” The funding and schedule
constraints were imposed without considering what resources were needed to
adequately mature and integrate DarkStar components into a system.
Ironically, the resources to redesign and retest the system- double

the original estimate- were made available only after serious problems
occurred under the original plan.

Figure 11: DarkStar Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

Schedule and budget pressures significantly weakened testing and evaluation
of the DarkStar. Source: DOD.

The F- 22 also constructed its test plan using optimistic assumptions. For
example, program officials assumed that no hardware or software problems
would be encountered during ground or taxi tests. They also

assumed that one aircraft would be available for flight testing at all times
and that all fights would be productive. The avionics test plan assumed a
software error rate of only 15 percent, despite prior experiences of 100
percent on the B- 2 and 60 percent on the C- 17 aircraft. In addition,

planned testing was curtailed to accommodate cost constraints on the overall
program. Not only were test efforts eliminated, but the remaining tasks were
often inefficiently rescheduled. Due to funding constraints, the two
additional avionics test facilities recommended by an independent team were
not established as intended. The first facility, an integrated

hardware- in- the- loop test center, was combined with an existing test
facility to save money. The second facility, an additional avionics
integration laboratory, was never built due to budget limitations.

We Have Previously We have previously reported on the need for the DOD
environment and

incentives to become conducive to applying best commercial practices to
Recommended Ways to

weapon systems. 4 We have recommended several actions that DOD could Make
the DOD take to lessen the pressure to oversell programs and to make it more
Environment More

encouraging for managers to be realistic and forthcoming in assessing their
Conducive to Best

programs' progress. These recommendations have implications for testing and
evaluation as well and have included Practices

maturing new technologies ahead of and separately from weapon system
programs, so that a program manager will not have to manage technology
development and product development at the same time;

redefining the launch point for a weapon system program as the point at
which technology development is complete; and sending signals through
individual program decisions that create

incentives for managers to identify unknowns and ameliorate risks early in
development, such as fully funding the efforts of a manager who has
identified a high risk early.

DOD has agreed with these recommendations and is taking policy- level
actions to adopt best commercial practices. For example, DOD is currently
rewriting the directives that guide the creation and management of weapon
systems- known as the 5000 series- to better separate technology development
from product development. How and when these actions will be manifested on
individual weapon system decisions remains to be seen.

4 Best Practices: Better Management of Technology Development Can Improve
Weapon System Outcomes (GAO/ NSIAD- 99- 162, July 30, 1999) and Best
Practices: Successful Application to Weapons Acquisition Requires Changes in
DOD's Environment

(GAO/ NSIAD- 98- 56, Feb. 24, 1998).

Chapt er 5

Conclusions and Recommendations Conclusions We believe that late- cycle
churn could be reduced and even avoided by weapon system programs if best
testing and evaluation practices are applied. These practices are not tied
to the use of any particular tool or technique; indeed, each firm we
examined employed a unique mix of tools to test a product. Regardless of
these differences, the commercial firms were alike in focusing their testing
and evaluation tools on validating increasing levels of product maturity. In
so doing, commercial firms guard

against conducting tests that do not produce knowledge, not applying the
knowledge gained from validation to improving the product, and skipping
tests to stay on a schedule. Such a validation approach became central to
the success of commercial product developments; schedules and resources

were built around the steps needed to validate product maturity. While DOD
uses a wide variety of testing and evaluation tools, as applied, the tools
often do not validate product maturity until too late, resulting in problems
that require significant time and funding to correct. Several factors weaken
the contribution testing and evaluation makes, particularly early in the
program. These include the disruptive effects of attempting to develop
technology concurrently with the product; optimistic assumptions

embedded in test plans; and the fact that testing and evaluation is not
viewed or funded as being central to the success of the weapon system. Under
these circumstances, testing and evaluation events can become disassociated
with the process of validating product maturity and illuminating areas that
require more attention. Leading commercial managers have adopted best
practices out of

necessity. Lessons were learned when managers ran into problems late in
product development that cost the firms money, customers, or reputation.
Essentially, they recognized that testing and other validation techniques,
along with candor and realism, were instrumental to the success of that
product. Thus, the improvement in their practices had more to do with a
better appreciation for why testing is done versus how it is done. This
recognition has cast validation in a different and more constructive role.

With commercial testing and evaluation tools employed to advance the
maturity of the product without being the basis for winning funding support,
the testers were seen by product development managers as helping the product
succeed. The firms have actually taken extra steps to find problems in the
product because these discoveries make the product better- and not a target
for criticism.

For testing and evaluation to become part of a constructive effort to
validate the maturity of new weapon systems in DOD, the role it plays and
the incentives under which it operates must change. Currently, testing and
testers are not seen as helping the product succeed but as potential
obstacles for moving forward. They become more closely linked with funding
and program decisions and less likely to help the weapon system improve.
Given the pressures on program managers to keep development cost and
schedule estimates low, being optimistic and reluctant to report

difficulties is more important to program success than planning a realistic
validation effort to discover design and other problems. Attempts by
decisionmakers to impose cost and schedule constraints on a program without
full consideration of what is required to reach product maturity levels
becomes a false discipline that can intensify pressures to defer or weaken
testing, thereby increasing the potential for late cycle churn.

If DOD is successful in taking actions that respond to our previous
recommendations, especially those that will reduce the pressure to oversell
programs at their start, the Department will have taken a significant step
toward changing what constitutes success in weapon systems and making

testing and evaluation a more constructive factor in achieving success.
Recommendations To lessen the dependence on testing late in development and
foster a more

constructive relationship between program managers and testers, we recommend
that the Secretary of Defense instruct the managers and testers of weapon
system programs to work together to define levels of product maturity that
need to be validated, structure test plans around reaching increasing levels
of product maturity, and orchestrate the right mix of tools to validate
these levels. Acquisition strategies should then be built and funded to
carry out this approach. Such a focus on attaining knowledge,

represented by product maturity levels, can guard against the pressures to
forego valuable tests to stay on schedule or to hold tests that do not add
value to the product. This approach, which creates common ground between
testers and product managers in leading commercial firms without
compromising independence, still demands that the product or weapon system
being matured meet the needs of the customer.

We also recommend that Secretary of Defense not let the validation of lower
levels of product maturity- individual components or systems in a controlled
setting- be deferred to the higher level of system testing in a realistic
setting. Although the mix of testing and evaluation tools may

change and the acquisition strategy may be altered during the course of a

weapon system development, the focus on attaining product maturity levels
should not change. This discipline should also help guard against the
practice of setting cost and schedule constraints for programs without
considering the time and money it takes to sensibly validate maturity.

Finally, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense require weapon systems
to demonstrate a specified level of product maturity before major
programmatic approvals. In doing so, the Secretary may also need to

establish interim indicators of product maturity to inform budget requests,
which are made well in advance of programmatic decisions. Testing and
evaluation could then be cast in a more constructive role of helping a
weapon system reach these levels and would ease some of the burden

currently placed on program managers to rely on judgment, rather than
demonstrated product maturity, in promising success at times when major
funding commitments have to be made.

Agency Comments and DOD stated that it is committed to establishing
appropriate levels of Our Evaluation

product maturity, validating those levels with appropriate testing and
evaluation, and providing the required mix of testing and evaluation tools
necessary to validate maturity (see app. I). It agreed with two of the three
recommendations but disagreed with the third recommendation. In agreeing
with the recommendation that managers and testers work

together to reach levels of product maturity, DOD noted that its commitment
was reflected in the new 5000 series of acquisition directives and
instructions, currently in draft, which is based on the concept of
integrated testing and evaluation. The Department noted that testing and

evaluation is the principal tool for measuring progress on weapon systems
and is conducted to facilitate learning and assess technical maturity. DOD
also agreed with the recommendation not to let validation of lower product
maturity levels to be deferred to the higher level of system testing in a
realistic setting. DOD noted that the new acquisition process model embodied
in its new directives and instructions establishes entrance criteria to
demonstrate that knowledge has been gained at a lower product maturity level
prior to moving to the next phase of development.

The policy embodied in the new DOD 5000 series represents a potentially
important step to making the acquisition process more knowledge- based.
However, implementing product maturity levels on individual program level-
such as when approving acquisition strategies and test plans,

making funding decisions, or advancing programs through acquisition phases-
will be a significant challenge. The concept of integrated testing

and evaluation is already included in the March 1996 version of DOD's
directives and instructions. As it has been implemented, such integration
has not included the use of product maturity levels. If decisionmakers
forego the criteria and practices associated with reaching product maturity
levels, as was the case on the THAAD and DarkStar programs, the new

policy will be undermined and the practices that foster late- cycle churn
will prevail. DOD disagreed with our third recommendation, which originally
stated that the Secretary of Defense should not allow a major test or
validation event for a weapon system program to be scheduled in the same
budget year as a major programmatic or funding decision. DOD stated that it
could not afford to do major tests a year in advance of a decision because
it would increase the costs and delay the delivery of weapon systems to the

warfighter. It also expressed concerns over the potential loss of contractor
engineering talent and the impact such a delay would have on the
Department's goal of reducing total ownership costs and cycle time. DOD

noted that rather than specify a fixed time, it must ensure that there is
adequate time between the major event and the decision to evaluate the
results. Our recommendation to hold major test events in the budget year
before a

major program decision is scheduled was intended to make such events more
constructive to furthering the development of the weapon and to lessen the
threat they pose as the means decision makers use to base program and
funding decisions. We did not intend- nor do we believe- that an additional
calendar year would have to be inserted into program schedules. DOD's
suggestion on ensuring that there be adequate time between a major test
event and a major decision is worthwhile. However, as we have noted in the
report, pressures still exist to make program test plans and schedules
optimistic, leaving little time to resolve problems discovered in testing.
Moreover, in the current budgeting process, the funds

needed to execute a major program decision- such as to begin production-
normally have to be requested well in advance of that decision and also in
advance of key test events. DOD's suggestion does not alter these conditions
or incentives. We have reworded our recommendation, dropping the language on
holding test events and

program decisions in different budget years, and substituting language
calling for weapons to demonstrate product maturity before major
programmatic approvals. We believe these changes more directly address

existing incentives and, at the same time, make the recommendation less
susceptible to misinterpretation.

Appendi xes Validation Practices of AT& T, General

Appendi x I

Electric, and DuPont AT& T adheres to a “break it big early”
test philosophy, which is structured around quality gates. Knowledge- based
exit and entrance criteria should be met before a product can move into the
next quality gate. For any new product or service, AT& T works through
several preliminary gates to determine its feasibility, to fully define the
proposed product, and to develop a corporate commitment to it. Feasibility
assessments entail tests

and an analysis of the conceptual design to determine the technical maturity
of the proposed product; if the maturity level is too low, the product will
not proceed. Once the product has begun integration, AT& T tests the product
in what it calls the “first office application.” In this
process, AT& T certifies product features and capabilities, conducts
acceptance testing of vendor components or subsystems, and performs
regression testing to identify any logic flaws. To facilitate this process,
AT& T use an Integrated Test Network, which allows it to simulate products
and services internally in a near- operational environment. After the
successful completion of this phase, AT& T moves the product into its first
field application, which is a limited trial of the product in an actual
operational environment.

About 6 years ago, General Electric overhauled its product development
process and developed a new, three- stage, product introduction process that
stresses the criticality of early product knowledge. This new process has
reduced risks and reduced development times by up to 40 percent. The first
stage is a technology maturation process, which enables the company

to aggressively test new technologies before committing them to a new
product. Tests include modeling and simulation, characterizing the
properties of new materials, feasibility, scale model, and full- size rig
testing. This stage is conducted prior to a new product launch. One of the

basic ground rules of General Electric's new development process is that a
product must not propose a technology that has not been demonstrated through
testing. Testing continues and expands to higher level assemblies in the
next phase. Components are instrumented and tested in a laboratory, then
integrated into subsystems and re- tested until the entire product is
validated and ready for system- level testing in a controlled environment.
This requires special test facilities that simulate extreme conditions for
the products' use. The product then undergoes certification testing to
validate

performance. Once the performance is validated, the products are shipped to
the buyer for additional testing on the end product. In the early 1990s,
DuPont revamped its entire product development

process to reduce cycle time and become more competitive. The new process,
called Product and Cycle Time Excellence, focuses on early

validation. In the first stage, technology realization, the company
evaluates the commercial potential of new technologies and prepares them to
be effectively used in new product developments. As part of the evaluation

process, DuPont develops a matrix that identifies specific technical
performance criteria and establishes feasibility points to assess progress
in meeting these criteria. This is a collaborative undertaking between the
business and technical communities, so when the technology is mature, it can
readily transition to a new product. The second stage is the product
development process. A key technique used in this stage is design of
experiments. This technique accelerates the discovery process by testing
several variables at one time to see how a product will react. The objective
is to gain as much knowledge about the product by changing as many test
variables as possible, thereby stressing the performance limits of the

product. If the limits are exceeded, DuPont believes it has have gained
maximum knowledge about those variables. According to DuPont officials,
design of experimentation reduces the number of unnecessary tests, which

reduces cost and shortens schedule. After it has successfully validated
product knowledge through internal test and validation, DuPont arranges for
external evaluation of the new product.

Appendi x II Comments From the Department of Defense

Appendi x II I GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments GAO Contacts Louis J.
Rodrigues (202) 512- 4841 Paul L. Francis (202) 512- 2811 Acknowledgments In
addition to those named above, Jeffrey Hunter, James L. Morrison, and

Rae Ann Sapp made key contributions to this report.

Related GAO Products Defense Acquisition: Employing Best Practices Can Shape
Better Weapon System Decisions (GAO/ T- NSIAD- 00- 137, Apr. 26, 2000).

Best Practices: DOD Training Can Do More to Help Weapon System Program
Implement Best Practices (GAO/ NSIAD- 99- 206, Aug. 16, 1999).

Best Practices: Better Management of Technology Development Can Improve
Weapon System Outcomes (GAO/ NSIAD- 99- 162, July 30, 1999).

Defense Acquisitions: Best Commercial Practices Can Improve Program Outcomes
(GAO/ T- NSIAD- 99- 116, Mar. 17, 1999).

Defense Acquisition: Improved Program Outcomes Are Possible (GAO/ T- NSIAD-
98- 123, Mar. 17, 1998).

Best Practices: DOD Can Help Suppliers Contribute More to Weapon System
Programs (GAO/ NSIAD- 98- 87, Mar. 17, 1998).

Best Practices: Successful Application to Weapon Acquisition Requires
Changes in DOD's Environment (GAO/ NSIAD- 98- 56, Feb. 24, 1998).

Major Acquisitions: Significant Changes Underway in DOD's Earned Value
Management Process (GAO/ NSIAD- 97- 108, May 5, 1997).

Best Practices: Commercial Quality Assurance Practices Offer Improvements
for DOD (GAO/ NSIAD- 96- 162, Aug. 26, 1996).

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GAO United States General Accounting Office

Page 1 GAO/ NSIAD- 00- 199 Best Practices

Contents

Contents Page 2 GAO/ NSIAD- 00- 199 Best Practices

United States General Accounting Office Washington, D. C. 20548

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Page 4 GAO/ NSIAD- 00- 199 Best Practices

Executive Summary Page 5 GAO/ NSIAD- 00- 199 Best Practices

Executive Summary Page 6 GAO/ NSIAD- 00- 199 Best Practices

Executive Summary Page 7 GAO/ NSIAD- 00- 199 Best Practices

Executive Summary Page 8 GAO/ NSIAD- 00- 199 Best Practices

Executive Summary Page 9 GAO/ NSIAD- 00- 199 Best Practices

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Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Introduction

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Chapter 1 Introduction

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Chapter 1 Introduction

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Chapter 1 Introduction

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Chapter 1 Introduction

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Chapter 1 Introduction

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Chapter 2

Chapter 2 Problems Found Late in Development Signal Weaknesses in Testing
and Evaluation

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Chapter 2 Problems Found Late in Development Signal Weaknesses in Testing
and Evaluation

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Chapter 2 Problems Found Late in Development Signal Weaknesses in Testing
and Evaluation

Page 20 GAO/ NSIAD- 00- 199 Best Practices

Chapter 2 Problems Found Late in Development Signal Weaknesses in Testing
and Evaluation

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Chapter 2 Problems Found Late in Development Signal Weaknesses in Testing
and Evaluation

Page 22 GAO/ NSIAD- 00- 199 Best Practices

Chapter 2 Problems Found Late in Development Signal Weaknesses in Testing
and Evaluation

Page 23 GAO/ NSIAD- 00- 199 Best Practices

Chapter 2 Problems Found Late in Development Signal Weaknesses in Testing
and Evaluation

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Chapter 2 Problems Found Late in Development Signal Weaknesses in Testing
and Evaluation

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Chapter 3

Chapter 3 Employing Testing to Validate Product Knowledge Early Is a Best
Practice

Page 27 GAO/ NSIAD- 00- 199 Best Practices

Chapter 3 Employing Testing to Validate Product Knowledge Early Is a Best
Practice

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Chapter 3 Employing Testing to Validate Product Knowledge Early Is a Best
Practice

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Chapter 3 Employing Testing to Validate Product Knowledge Early Is a Best
Practice

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Chapter 3 Employing Testing to Validate Product Knowledge Early Is a Best
Practice

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Chapter 3 Employing Testing to Validate Product Knowledge Early Is a Best
Practice

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Chapter 3 Employing Testing to Validate Product Knowledge Early Is a Best
Practice

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Chapter 3 Employing Testing to Validate Product Knowledge Early Is a Best
Practice

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Chapter 3 Employing Testing to Validate Product Knowledge Early Is a Best
Practice

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Chapter 3 Employing Testing to Validate Product Knowledge Early Is a Best
Practice

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Chapter 3 Employing Testing to Validate Product Knowledge Early Is a Best
Practice

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Chapter 3 Employing Testing to Validate Product Knowledge Early Is a Best
Practice

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Chapter 3 Employing Testing to Validate Product Knowledge Early Is a Best
Practice

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Chapter 3 Employing Testing to Validate Product Knowledge Early Is a Best
Practice

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Chapter 4

Chapter 4 Different Incentives Make Testing a More Constructive Factor in
Commercial Programs Than in Weapon System Programs

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Chapter 4 Different Incentives Make Testing a More Constructive Factor in
Commercial Programs Than in Weapon System Programs

Page 43 GAO/ NSIAD- 00- 199 Best Practices

Chapter 4 Different Incentives Make Testing a More Constructive Factor in
Commercial Programs Than in Weapon System Programs

Page 44 GAO/ NSIAD- 00- 199 Best Practices

Chapter 4 Different Incentives Make Testing a More Constructive Factor in
Commercial Programs Than in Weapon System Programs

Page 45 GAO/ NSIAD- 00- 199 Best Practices

Chapter 4 Different Incentives Make Testing a More Constructive Factor in
Commercial Programs Than in Weapon System Programs

Page 46 GAO/ NSIAD- 00- 199 Best Practices

Chapter 4 Different Incentives Make Testing a More Constructive Factor in
Commercial Programs Than in Weapon System Programs

Page 47 GAO/ NSIAD- 00- 199 Best Practices

Chapter 4 Different Incentives Make Testing a More Constructive Factor in
Commercial Programs Than in Weapon System Programs

Page 48 GAO/ NSIAD- 00- 199 Best Practices

Chapter 4 Different Incentives Make Testing a More Constructive Factor in
Commercial Programs Than in Weapon System Programs

Page 49 GAO/ NSIAD- 00- 199 Best Practices

Chapter 4 Different Incentives Make Testing a More Constructive Factor in
Commercial Programs Than in Weapon System Programs

Page 50 GAO/ NSIAD- 00- 199 Best Practices

Chapter 4 Different Incentives Make Testing a More Constructive Factor in
Commercial Programs Than in Weapon System Programs

Page 51 GAO/ NSIAD- 00- 199 Best Practices

Chapter 4 Different Incentives Make Testing a More Constructive Factor in
Commercial Programs Than in Weapon System Programs

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Chapter 4 Different Incentives Make Testing a More Constructive Factor in
Commercial Programs Than in Weapon System Programs

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Chapter 5

Chapter 5 Conclusions and Recommendations

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Chapter 5 Conclusions and Recommendations

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Chapter 5 Conclusions and Recommendations

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Chapter 5 Conclusions and Recommendations

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Appendix I

Appendix I Validation Practices of AT& T, General Electric, and DuPont

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Appendix II

Appendix II Comments From the Department of Defense

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Appendix II Comments From the Department of Defense

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Appendix III

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