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Test & Evaluation

Live-Fire Test and Evaluation (LFT&E)


Live-Fire Test and Evaluation (LFT&E) is an assessment of the vulnerability and lethality of a system as it progresses through Developmental Test & Evaluation (DT&E) prior to Full-Rate Production (FRP). LFT&E typically includes testing at the component, subassembly, and subsystem level, and may also draw upon design analyses, modeling and simulation, combat data, and related sources such as analyses of safety and mishap data.


Guide: DoD Test and Evaluation Management Guide – Dec 2012


LFT&E is guided by a statutory requirement for “realistic survivability testing” or “realistic lethality testing” as defined in (10 USC 2366). A system can go thru Early and Full Up LFT&E.  One of the purposes of conducting LFT&E early in the program life cycle is to allow time to correct any design deficiency demonstrated by the test and evaluation.


LFT&E should accomplish the following:

  • Provide information to decision-makers on potential user casualties, vulnerabilities, and lethality, taking into equal consideration susceptibility to attack and combat performance of the system;
  • Ensure that knowledge of user casualties and system vulnerabilities or lethality is based on testing of the system under realistic combat conditions;
  • Allow any design deficiency identified by the testing and evaluation to be corrected in design or employment before proceeding beyond Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP); and
  • Assess recoverability from battle damage and battle damage repair capabilities and issues.

Test & Evaluation Strategy
The LFT&E Strategy for a given system should be structured and scheduled so that any design changes resulting from the testing and analysis, described in the LFT&E Strategy, may be incorporated before proceeding beyond LRIP.


There are three (3) specific types of DT&E are:

  1. Production Acceptance Test & Evaluation (PAT&E)
  2. Live-Fire Test & Evaluation (LFT&E)
  3. Product Qualification Testing (PGT)



  • LFT&E has a statutory requirement to emphasize personnel survivability for covered systems occupied by U.S. personnel (10 USC 2366).
  • Covered system” is the DoD term that is intended to include all categories of systems or programs requiring LFT&E. – A “covered system” means a system that Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E), acting for the Secretary of Defense, has designated for LFT&E oversight.
  • For a program deemed not o need LFT&E, a waiver package must be sent to the Congressional defense committees prior to Milestone B


AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 6/5/2018

Proposal Development

Performance Work Statement (PWS)


The Performance Work Statement (PWS) is a Statement of Work (SOW) for Performance-Based Acquisitions that clearly describes the performance objectives and standards that are expected of the contractor. When a contract is awarded, the PWS is legally binding upon the contractor and the U.S. Government. There is no standard template or outline for a PWS.


Template: Performance Work Statement (PWS)

Handbook: Developing a Performance Work Statement Handbook – Sept 2009


The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR 37.602) only requires that agencies, to the maximum extent practicable:

  • Describe work in terms of required results rather than “how” the work is to be accomplished or the number of hours to be provided
  • Enable assessment of work performance against measurable performance standards
  • Rely on measurable performance standards and financial incentives in a competitive environment to encourage innovation and cost-effective methods of performing the work


Notional Format:

  1. Introduction
  2. Background information
  3. Performance Objectives and Standards
  4. Applicable documents
  5. Special Requirements/Constraints (such as security)
  6. Deliverables


The PWS should state requirements in general terms of what (result) is to be done, rather than how (method) it is done. The PWS gives the contractor maximum flexibility to devise the best method to accomplish the required result. The PWS must be written to ensure that all offerors compete equally. The U.S. Government must remove any features that could restrict a potential offeror. However, the PWS must also be descriptive and specific enough to protect the interests of the U.S. Government and to promote competition. The clarity and explicitness of the requirements in the PWS will invariably enhance the quality of the proposals submitted. A definitive PWS is likely to produce definitive proposals, thus reducing the time needed for proposal evaluation.


Preparing a PWS begins with an analytical process, often referred to as a “job analysis.” It involves a close examination of the agency’s requirements and tends to be a “bottom-up” assessment with “re-engineering” potential. This analysis is the basis for establishing performance requirements, developing performance standards, writing the performance work statement, and producing the quality assurance plan. Those responsible for the mission or program are essential to the performance of the job analysis. [1]

Statement of Objective (SOO)
The SOO is a Government prepared document that provides the basic, high-level objectives of the acquisition. It is provided in the solicitation in lieu of a government written Performance Work Statement. In this approach, the contractors’ proposals contain their statements of work and performance metrics and measures (which are based on their proposed solutions).  The use of a SOO opens the acquisition up to a wider range of potential solutions.


AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 4/9/2020

Business & Marketing

Free-rein Leadership Style


Free-rein leadership, also called Laissez-Faire, is a type of leadership style in which leaders are hands-off and allow group members to make the decisions. Mangers set objectives and employees are free to do whatever is appropriate to accomplish those objectives. The traits managers need in such an organization include warmth, friendliness, and understanding.  Free-rein is often the most successful style concerning the organization in which managers supervise doctors, engineers, professors, and other professionals.

Leadership Styles

Figure: Leadership Styles [1]

Some of the primary characteristics of Free-rein leadership include: [2]

  • Very little guidance from leaders
  • Complete freedom for followers to make decisions
  • Leaders provide the tools and resources needed
  • Group members are expected to solve problems on their own


The downside of Free-rein leadership includes: [2]

  • Not ideal in situations where group members lack the knowledge or experience they need to complete tasks and make decisions.
  • Some people are not good at setting their own deadlines, managing their own projects and solving problems on their own.
  • Lack of feedback
  • Miscommunication among managers and group members

Other types of leadership styles:


AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 9/1/2017

Intelligence & Security

DD Form 254


The Department of Defense (DD) Form 254 “Contract Security Classification Specification” provides a contractor (or a subcontractor) the security requirements, classification guidance, and handling procedures for classified material received and/or generated on a classified contract. The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) requires that a DD Form 254 be incorporated in each classified contract, and the National Industrial Security Operating Manual (NISPOM) (4-103a) requires that a DD 254 be issued by the government with each Invitation for Bid, Request for Proposal (RFP), or Request for Quote (ROQ). See the guide below for preparing the DD Form 254 for more information.


Form: DD Form 254 “Contract Security Classification Specification” – April 2018


Instructions: DD 254 Instructions – April 2018


Submission: DD Form 254 “NCCS Implementation Guidance”


The DD Form 254 is required to be reviewed every two years. The program should conduct this review in coordination with the program manager of the requiring activity and contracting office to ensure that existing security requirements are consistent with the contract requirements.


If the review is performed and no changes are required, the program will provide the Contracting Officer with a copy of the review. The Contracting Officer will then send to the contractor, in writing, notification that the DD Form 254 remains valid until the next review or a change occurs in the program.


If the review is performed and changes have required the program and ISS must provide the Contracting Officer with a revised copy. The Contracting Officer will then prepare a bilateral modification to the contract incorporating the new DD Form 254.


Revisions to the DD Form 254 will be completed whenever the security guidance or pertinent information changes, or when a change in mission occurs impacting the contract, to ensure security requirements remain current and relevant throughout the contract lifecycle. This includes contractor address changes if they are performing classified work at their facility.


Electronic DD 254 Submission

The National Industrial Security Program Contracts Classification System (NCCS) module of the Procurement Integrated Enterprise Environment (PIEE) is used for the electronic submission of the DD Form 254.

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 1/27/2021

Systems Engineering

Initial Capabilities Document (ICD)


The Initial Capabilities Document (ICD) documents the need for a materiel approach or an approach that is a combination of materiel and non-materiel, to a specific capability gap.  A capability gap derived from an initial analysis of materiel approaches executed by the operational user and, as required, an independent analysis of materiel alternatives. It defines the capability gap in terms of the functional area, the relevant range of military operations, desired effects, and time. The ICD summarizes the results of the Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership and education, Personnel, and Facilities (DOTMLPF) analysis and describes why non-material changes alone have been judged inadequate in fully providing the capability.  See Requirements Development




JCIDS Process Picture

Figure: ICD in the Acquisition/JCIDS Process


The ICD guides the Concept Refinement and Technology Maturation & Risk Reduction (TD) Phase of the Defense Acquisition System and supports Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) and the Milestone A decision. Once approved, the ICD is not updated.
The ICD defines the gap in terms of the functional area; the relevant range of military operations; desired effects; time and DOTMLPF; and policy implications and constraints. The outcome of an ICD could be one or more DOTMLPF Change Recommendations (DCRs) or Capability Development Documents (CDD).


Guide: Initial Capabilities Document (ICD) Writers Guide


JCIDS Manual Required ICD Format:

The Capability Development Tracking and Management (CDTM) tool is provided as a means to generate and submit ICDs, Capabilities Development Documents (CDD), Capability Production Documents (CPD), and Joint DOTMLPF-P Change Recommendation to the Knowledge Management/Decision Support (KM/DS) system.


REGULATORY: The ICD is required for the Material Development Decision (MDD).[2]




AcqLinks and Resources:

Updated: 7/17/2017

Requirements Development

Capability Development Document (CDD)


The Capability Development Document (CDD) specifies the operational requirements for the system that will deliver the capability that meets operational performance criteria specified in the Initial Capabilities Document (ICD). It outlines a militarily useful increment of capability with its own set of attributes and performance values (i.e., thresholds and objectives). The CDD is prepared during the Technology Maturation & Risk Reduction (TD) Phase to guide the Engineering,  Manufacturing & Development (EMD) Phase by defining measurable and testable capabilities.  The CDD supports and must be validated and approved before the Milestone B (MS B) decision at the Development RFP Release Decision Point.




JCIDS Process - CDD

Figure: CDD in the Acquisition/JCIDS Process


The CDD identifies the operational performance attributes of the proposed system. The CDD is system-specific and applies to a single increment of capability in an Evolutionary Acquisition program. Each increment of a program will either have its own CDD or a separate annex on a master CDD. Key Performance Parameters (KPP) are introduced in the CDD. The cost will be included in the CDD as Life-Cycle Cost (LCC) or, if available, Total Ownership Costs (TOC).


Guide: Capability Development Document (CDD) Writers Guide

Format: JCIDS Manual (Enclosure D)


As the CDD is going through the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) approval process prior to Milestone B, the Test & Evaluation (T&E) Working-level Integrated Product Team (T&E WIPT) updates the T&E Strategy using the system-specific details in the CDD. The CDD provides the KPP and Key System Attributes (KSA) that provide a focus for the T&E program. The T&E strategy gains details (specific, desired, operational capabilities; T&E events (Developmental Test and Evaluation, Operational Test and Evaluation, and Live-Fire Test and Evaluation) adding to the broad, initial T&E Strategy; Critical Operational Issues (COI); refining the management structure and composition of the T&E WIPT; identifying resource requirements more precisely; etc.) that refines the scope and size of the planned T&E program, and permits a better estimate of the T&E resources and costs.


CDD Required Sections Per JCIDS Manual: [3]

  1. Operational Context
  2. Threat Summary
  3. Capability Discussion
  4. Program Summary
  5. Development KPPs, KSAs, and APAs
  6. Other System Attributes
  7. Spectrum Requirements
  8. Intelligence Supportability
  9. Weapon Safety Assurance
  10. Technology Readiness Assessment
  11. DOTmLPF-P Considerations
  12. Program Affordability


The Capability Development Tracking and Management (CDTM) tool is provided as a means to generate and submit ICDs, CDDs, CPDs, and Joint DCRs to the Knowledge Management/Decision Support (KM/DS) system.


REGULATORY: A draft CDD is required at Milestone A; a validated CDD is required at the Development RFP Release Decision Point and informs Milestone B. If there are no changes, a revalidated CDD may be submitted for the Capability Production Document (CPD) required at Milestone C. [2]



  • The CDD replaced the Operational Requirements Document (ORD) that was used under the old Requirements Generation System.
  • The format for the CDD is found in Appendix A to Enclosure H of the Manual for the Operation of the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System, updated July 2012
  • Because the CDD normally is not approved until around the time of Milestone B, the T&E WIPT will most likely have to work from a draft version, to prepare the Test and Evaluation Master Plan (TEMP) prior to the Milestone B decision. (See the JCIDS Manual)


AcqLinks and Resources:


Updated: 8/14/2018

Proposal Development

Request for Proposal (RFP)


A Request for Proposal (RFP) is a solicitation used in negotiated acquisition to communicate government requirements to the prospective contractors and to solicit proposals. At a minimum, solicitations shall describe the Government’s requirement, anticipated terms and conditions that will apply to the contract, information required in the offeror’s proposal, and (for competitive acquisitions) the criteria that will be used to evaluate the proposal and their relative importance. FAR Subpart 15.2 “Solicitation and Receipt of Proposals and Information” is the main guidance for government solicitations and RFP’s.


An RFP should contain the following sections:

Other items that are included in an RFP include:

The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) requires that a Department of Defense (DD) Form 254 be incorporated in each classified contract, and the National Industrial Security Operating Manual (NISPOM) (4-103a) requires that a DD 254 be issued by the government with each Invitation for Bid, Request for Proposal (RFP), or Request for Quote (ROQ). The DD Form 254 provides to the contractor (or a subcontractor) the security requirements and the classification guidance that would be necessary to perform on a classified contract.

Every acquisition program should include language in its RFP that addresses Information Assurance (IA) requirements for a contractor. These requirements should be clearly and unambiguously articulated to potential offeror’s and what is expected from them in terms of compliance and performance.


REGULATORY:  “Should Cost” is a regulatory tool designed to proactively target cost reduction and drive productivity improvement into programs. [1]


AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 3/29/2019

Requirements Development

Measures of Effectiveness (MOE)


Measures of Effectiveness (MOE) are measures designed to correspond to the accomplishment of mission objectives and the achievement of desired results. They quantify the results to be obtained by a system and may be expressed as probabilities that the system will perform as required. The Capability Based Assessment (CBA) defines the MOE’s and articulates them in the Initial Capabilities Document (ICD) and Capabilities Development Document (CDD). MOEs may be further decomposed into Measures of Performance and Measures of Suitability.


Characteristics of Measure of Effectiveness: [1]

  • Relates to performance
  • Simple to state
  • Testable
  • Complete
  • States any time dependency
  • States any environmental conditions
  • Can be measured quantitatively (if required, may be measured statistically or as a probability)
  • Easy to measure


The Acquisition Program Baseline (APB) should reflect broadly defined, operational-level measures of effectiveness or measures of performance to describe needed capabilities. [2]


Measure of Performance (MOP)
A measure of a system’s performance expressed as speed, payload, range, time-on-station, frequency, or other distinctly quantifiable performance features. Several MOPs and/or Measures of Suitability (MOSs) may be related to the achievement of a particular Measure of Effectiveness (MOE).


Measure of Suitability (MOS)
Measure of an item’s ability to be supported in its intended operational environment. MOSs typically relate to readiness or operational availability and, hence, reliability, maintainability, and the item’s support structure. Several MOSs and/or Measures of Performance (MOPs) may be related to the achievement of a particular Measure of Effectiveness (MOE).


AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 6/20/2018

Financial Management

Affordability Analysis


Affordability Analysis is a tool that DoD Components use to determine their priorities and what they can and what they can’t afford on their program(s). It’s based upon the Life-Cycle Cost (LCC) for current or future program(s).  The purpose of the analysis is to avoid starting or continuing programs that cannot be produced and supported within reasonable expectations for future budgets. The Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) approves the Affordability Analysis at the milestones below.  (See Affordability)


Regulatory: The Affordability Analysis is due: [2]


Affordability Analysis is the cornerstone process for the Component leadership to set priorities and determine what it can afford for each acquisition. Each DoD Component develops life-cycle affordability constraints for all its Acquisition Category (ACAT) programs for procurement unit cost and sustainment costs by conducting portfolio affordability analyses that contain a product life-cycle funding projection and supporting analysis, all presented in base year (constant) dollars. The basic procurement unit cost calculation is the annual estimated procurement budget divided by the number of items that should be procured each year to sustain the desired inventory. [1]


Component leadership—not the acquisition community or program management—conducts affordability analysis with support and inputs from their programming, resource planning, requirements, intelligence, and acquisition communities. Each Component determines the processes and analytic techniques they use for affordability analysis within the basic parameters described in the following paragraphs. As noted above, affordability analysis is a top-down process that starts with all fiscal demands on the Component. [1] 


A future total budget projection for each Component for affordability analysis provides the first-order economic reality and for allocation of estimated future resources to each portfolio. This projection establishes a nominal rather than optimistic foundation for the future and covers all fiscal demands that compete for resources in the Component, including those outside acquisition and sustainment. [1]


The affordability analysis examines all programs and portfolios together, extending over enough years to reveal the life-cycle cost and inventory implications of the longest program for the Component. The same analysis is used as individual programs come up for review. Nominally, affordability analysis covers at least 30 to 40 years into the future (especially for the Military Departments) but may be approximately 15 years for Components whose acquisitions all have planned life cycles of, and reach steady-state inventory in, 15 years or less (e.g., Components with only MAIS programs whose life cycles are estimated to be acquisition time plus 10 years after Full Deployment declaration). [1] 


The aggregation of portfolio cost estimates for each year, when combined with all other fiscal demands on the Component, may not exceed the Component’s reasonably anticipated future budget levels. Absent specific Component-level guidance by Director, Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (DCAPE) or USD(AT&L), each Component projects its topline budget beyond the FYDP using the average of the last two years of the current FYDP and the OSD inflator provided by Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) (USD(C)), resulting in zero real growth. [1]


AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 6/8/2018