Implementing Integrated Testing
OFFICE OF THE UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE WASHINGTON DC TEST RESOURCE MANAGEMENT CENTER
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Current Department of Defense DoD acquisition policy mandates the use of integrated testing. The policy not only makes economic sense but also has the potential to reduce risk, as early, integrated testing often involves more realistic operational scenarios than traditional developmental testing and therefore allows earlier discovery of operational failure modes. As more programs have attempted to implement the policy, however, they have encountered obstacles that have prevented them from fully realizing the benefits of integrated testing. Issues that present difficulty in integrated testing fall into three principal areas sharing and access to data shared control of test events and overreaction by some observers to the test results. I believe the real obstacles to fully implementing integrated testing are mostly cultural and can be overcome with appropriate action by acquisition leaders. DoD policy memos and guidance documents define what we mean by integrated testing. The Defense Acquisition Guidebook, Test and Evaluation TE chapter chapter 9 provides the formal definition and additional detail. The definition focuses on collaborative planning and execution of tests to provide a shared or common data set for independent evaluations and reporting. It is important to note that the definition is not integrated test and evaluation but integrated testing. Although the testing is planned and executed collaboratively by the contractor, government Developmental Test DT and Operational Test OT communities, the evaluations are performed independently to fulfill respective roles and missions.
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