The fundamental purpose of test and evaluation (T&E) is to enable the Do D to acquire systems that work.To that end, T&E provides engineers and decision-makers with knowledge to assist in managing risks, to measure technical progress, and to characterize operational effectiveness, operational suitability and survivability (including cybersecurity), or lethality.DOT&E is a member/advisor of both the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) and the OIPT, providing advice and recommendations at DAB reviews; and has direct access to both USD(AT&L) and the Sec Def, on all matters relating to OT&E.PMs initiate early engagement with DOT&E through the Service and Defense Agency T&E Executives and independent Operational Test Agencies (OTAs).The strategy for T&E begins with a review and understanding of the threat and the requirements.Program managers devise a T&E strategy generating the knowledge necessary for the acquisition, programmatic, operational, technical, and life-cycle support decisions of a program.Therefore, programs need a comprehensive T&E strategy to inform acquisition decisions.In assessing the level of evaluations necessary, consider the maturity of the technologies used, the complexity of integration, and the operational environment of the system.
In accordance with 10 USC 139, OTAs provide DOT&E plans to assess adequacy of data collection and analysis planning to support DOT&E’s independent assessment of a system’s operational effectiveness, operational suitability, and survivability (including cybersecurity) or lethality.
This creates an environment where the evaluation guides the formulation of test objectives, configurations, conditions, data requirements, and analysis to develop information in support of the decision-making process.
Scientific Test & Analysis Techniques (STAT) should be used in designing an effective and efficient T&E program, in accordance with Do DI 5000.02 (Encl.
5, para 5(e) – page 101), in order to balance risk and the level of knowledge required for evaluations.
A non-developmental item (i.e., Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) or Government-Off-The-Shelf (GOTS)) still requires evaluation to assess capability.
The Defense Acquisition Guidebook (DAG), Chapter 8, provides guidance on the process and procedures for managing risks through planning and executing an effective and affordable test and evaluation (T&E) program that enables the Department of Defense (Do D) to acquire systems that work.