Technology Readiness Assessment Guide: Best Practices for Evaluating the Readiness of Technology for Use in Acquisition Programs and Projects
U.S. Government Accountability Office Washington United States
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Technology readiness assessments TRAevaluations that determine a technologys maturityhave been used widely at the U.S. Department of Defense DOD and National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA since the 1990s.4 This approach has also been embraced by other government agencies, as well as industry in aerospace, maritime, oil and gas, electronics, and heavy equipment that use TRAs to help manage their acquisitions. Relatively few agencies have guides for assessing a technologys maturity and its readiness for integration into larger acquisition programs, and the federal government has not adopted a generally accepted approach for evaluating technology beyond using technology readiness level TRL measures.5 This TRA Guide is intended to help fill those gaps. The Guide has two objectives 1 to describe generally accepted best practices for conducting high-quality TRAs of technology developed for systems or acquisition programs, and 2 to provide technology developers, program managers, and governance bodies with useful information to more effectively mature critical technologies, determine a technologys readiness, and manage and address risk. In addition, oversight bodiessuch as those with department or agency acquisition officials or government auditorsmay use the Guide to evaluate whether the fundamental processes and best practices of effective TRAs have been followed and whether a TRA demonstrates the characteristics credibility, objectivity, reliability, and usefulness of a high-quality assessment. Appendix II lists the key questions to evaluate how well programs have followed the steps and best practices in this Guide.
- Administration and Management
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
- Computer Systems
- Computer Programming and Software