Test and Evaluation

Test and evaluation (T&E) normally refers to physical confirmation of the performance of an overall system. It is carried out in at least two key contexts: (1) completion of the full-scale development of a system, and (2) placing the system in an operational environment. The former is called development test and evaluation (DT&E), and the latter is operational test and evaluation (OT&E). For many systems, OT&E can be exceedingly difficult because the operational environment for the system cannot be adequately represented or simulated. Examples include many military weapon systems for which it would be prohibitively expensive to truly test the system in terms of stated operational requirements. In such cases, attempts are made to combine real-world test data with models in order to verify performance. An example is the rather large-scale National Test Bed (NTB) established for the strategic defense initiative (SDI).

The PM and the CSE must pay a great deal of attention to the systems engineering element of T&E because these are the arenas in which there is a ''sell-off'' of the system to the customer. It is the stage at which there is overall confirmation that the system meets the given user requirements. If failures occur during T&E, it may be extremely expensive to go back and make the changes necessary to improve performance. It is also usually very time-consuming. As described in the quality assurance element of systems engineering, trying to test quality into a system is basically the wrong approach. In that sense, a system that moves into DT&E and OT&E with a large number of defects still remaining in the system is very likely to become a major disaster.

As the SEMP (systems engineering management plan) is the key document that describes what is to be done to execute and manage the systems engineering elements, the TEMP (test and evaluation master plan) documents the T&E activities. For the reasons cited earlier, the best systems engineers should be involved in structuring all T&E concepts and plans as well as the interpretation of results.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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