DoD outline for quality

■ The organization has a "corporate-level" policy statement attaching the highest priority to the principles of total quality and Six Sigma. This policy statement defines quality in terms relevant to the individual enterprise or activity and its products or outputs.

■ The corporate policy statement is supported by a quality implementation plan that sets enduring and long-range objectives lists, criteria for applying quality tools to new and on-going projects and programs, provides direction and guidance, and assigns responsibilities. Every employee at each level plays a functional role in implementing the plan.

■ All personnel are given training in quality principles, practices, tools, and techniques. Importance is placed on self-initiated quality and Six Sigma effort.

■ The quality effort begun in the conceptual phase of the acquisition cycle is vitally concerned with establishing a rapport between the producer and the user or customer and a recognition of the latter's stated performance requirements, mission profiles, system characteristics, and environmental factors. Those statements are translated into measurable design, manufacturing, and support parameters that are verified during demonstration and validation. Early new product activity is outlined in the Design Reference Mission Profile template and Design Requirements template. The Trade Studies template is used to identify potential characteristics which would accelerate design maturity while making the design more compatible with and less sensitive to variations in manufacturing and operational conditions.

■ Design phase quality activity is described in the Design Process template. Key features enumerated include: design integration of life cycle factors concerned with production, operation, and support; availability of needed manufacturing technology; proof of manufacturing process; formation of design and design review teams with various functional area representation; and use of pro-ducibility engineering and planning to arrive at and transition a producible design to the shop floor without degradation in quality and performance. The Design Analysis template and Design Reviews template provide guidance in identifying and reducing the risk entailed in controlling critical design characteristics. Both hardware and software are emphasized (reference the Software Design template and Software Test template). A high-quality design includes features to enhance conducting necessary test and inspection functions (reference the Design for Testing template).

■ An integrated test plan of contractor development, qualification, and production acceptance testing and a test and evaluation master plan (TEMP) covering government-related testing are essential. The plans detail sufficient testing to prove conclusively the design, its operational suitability, and its potential for required growth and future utility. Test planning also makes efficient use of test articles, test facilities, and other resources. Failure reporting, field feedback, and problem disposition are vital mechanisms to obtaining a quality product.

■ Manufacturing planning bears the same relationship to production success as test planning bears to a successful test program (reference the Manufacturing Plan template). The overall acquisition strategy includes a manufacturing strategy and a transition plan covering all production-related activities. Equal care and emphasis are placed on proof of manufacture as well as on proving the design itself. The Quality Manufacturing template highlights production planning, tooling, manufacturing methods, facilities, equipment, and personnel. Extreme importance is attached to subcontractor and vendor selection and qualification, including flow down in the use of quality principles. Special test equipment, computer-aided manufacturing, and other advanced equipments and statistical-based methods are used to check and control the manufacturing process.

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