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    Other than the three mandatory metrics (Availability KPP, Reliability KSA, and Operations & Support Cost KSA) are there any other mandatory metrics that need to be included in the different acquisition documents? Is there any supporting documentation for those "other" mandatory KPP or KSA metrics? If there are no others, what are the most common metrics that programs use to evaluate the program or system?


    Answer

    I'll have to resort to the DAU answer of "It depends." It depends on the program. Metrics are used to track and focus attention on the most important aspects of the program. A program does well those things it tracks. From a top level program perspective, metrics fall into three areas: budget, schedule and technical. Earned Value Management (EVM) correlates metrics for all three areas. The metrics are reviewed at periodic technical reviews called Integrated Baseline Reviews (IBR). The metrics addressed in IBRs are well documented. Risk Management is an important part of EVM. Risk Management is a metric driven process in that we need to identify the metrics that indicate the success of mitigation actions. DAU offers workshops on how to prepare for and conduct IBRs and Risk Management.

     

    Requirements give us the Technical metrics we must track. Requirements are documented in the customer's Initial Capabilities Document (ICD) and Capability Development Document (CDD) and in specifications developed by the Program Office and it's contractors from analysis of the ICD an CDD. Test and Evaluation is our way of identifying the important technical metrics and determining how well we are doing in meeting those requirements.. Test Objectives address important technical metrics. Testing tells us how well we are doing in meeting those technical goals.

     

    The myriad of plans that we must produce in order to successfully conduct a program provide many of the metrics we must track. These plans will vary from program to program. Among them are the System Engineering Plan, Test and Evaluation Master Plan, Program Protection Plan, Life-cycle Sustainment Plan, Technical Performance Measures, budgets, schedules, et. cetera.

     

    Other areas that have a profound impact on the program are the Contract, and within the contract the Statement of Work and the Contract Data Requirements List (CDRL). The Program Manager must track the performance of their contractor(s) in order to properly manage and control the program.

     

    While this response does not give you a specific list of metrics that must be tracked, it gives you an idea of where to look for those metrics that will provide the most visibility into the health of the program. Another old adage that comes to mind is, "If you track everything, then nothing is tracked." Be judicious in choosing what is tracked. It takes time, money, data, and effort to adequately track the progress relative to each metric you choose to track.

     

     

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