A Physical Configuration Audit (PCA) is a formal technical review that determines if the configuration of a system or item has met its documented requirements to establish a product baseline. The Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) receives proof from a successful PCA that the product design is stable, the capability satisfies end-user needs, and the production risks are tolerably low.
Purpose of a Physical Configuration Audit (PCA)
The purpose of a PCA is to resolve any discrepancies between the production-representative item that has successfully passed Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) and the associated documentation currently under configuration control.
A successful PCA provides the Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) with evidence that the product design is stable, the capability meets end-user needs, and production risks are acceptably low.
Physical Configuration Audit (PCA) Objective
When to Conduct a Physical Configuration Audit (PCA)
The PCA is conducted prior to the Full-Rate Production Decision Review (FRP DR) during the Production and Deployment (P&D) phase. Smaller elements within the design may have a PCA audit prior to the full system PCA.
A PCA performed during FRP can lose the chance to prevent expensive manufacturing flaws. Even though the system-level PCA usually comes before the FRP DR, other system-element PCAs may be performed at different times before the system-level PCA.
Physical Configuration Audit (PCA) Results
The information that is gathered from a PCA helps in the Full-Rate Production Decision Review (FRP DR) to determine if the system should go into full production. The key information that the PCA provides is:
- Verify all test deficiencies been resolved.
- The product baseline is stable and all changes after the PCA have been approved and incorporated.
- All production-related activities can produce an accurate design.
- Software and hardware have an established product baseline
- The manufacturing, quality, test & evaluation, training processes are in place.
- The product baseline information appropriately represents all hardware and software CIs.
- The manufacturing procedures, the quality assurance system, the testing and measuring tools, and the training are all properly designed, monitored, and regulated.
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