A part of one of our Army stakeholder organizations is requesting that we test something that is not a requirement, and looking to require us to include that testing in the TEMP. Looking through the DAU materials, it appears that unless the test is a requirement, we are not actually required to test. Is there a DoD5000 or similar resource we can point to for the answer?
DoD just published a new T&E Regulation, DODI 5000.89 available here: https://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodi/500089p.PDF?ver=Plc85E0-NVNide91K3XQLA%3d%3d
That instruction says in part: The fundamental purpose of T&E is to enable the DoD to acquire systems that support the warfighter in accomplishing their mission. To that end, T&E provides engineers and decision makers with knowledge to assist in managing risks; to measure technical progress; and to characterize operational effectiveness, operational suitability, interoperability, survivability (including cybersecurity), and lethality. This is done by planning and executing a robust and rigorous T&E program.
The instruction further states that the PM identifies DT, OT, and LF data requirements necessary to support decisions, in consultation with the chief developmental tester (CDT), the chief engineer, and the OTA representative, and combines them into an Integrated Decision Support Key (IDSK).
The idea of an IDSK is an outgrowth of the Developmental and Operational Evaluation Frameworks which have been around for a while. Here is a graphic from the instruction:
(graphic was sent via email)
The idea is that T&E provides information to “inform” the decisions in the program. In my experience, the T&E community is more often pushing the PM toward doing things he feels he cannot afford or have time for instead of arguing why a particular test event or data element is not necessary.