Product Support - Contract Data Requirements List (CDRL) and Data Item Descriptions (DID)
DAU GLOSSARY DEFINITION
The standard format for identifying potential data requirements in a solicitation and deliverable data requirements in a contract.
In order to procure product support via commercial sources, life cycle logisticians need to use CDRLs and DIDs. Definitions for each is as follows:
CDRL - is an authorized list of data requirements for a specific procurement that forms part of a contract in conjunction with applicable DIDs. The CDRL provides a contractual method to direct the contractor to prepare and deliver data that meets specific approval and acceptance criteria. DD Form 1423, Contract Data Requirement List, is used for identifying potential data requirements in a solicitation, and becomes an exhibit with data deliverable requirements in a contract. Per DFARS Subpart 215.470, the use of the CDRL in solicitations is required when the contract will require delivery of data.
DID - a standardization document that defines the data required of a contractor. The document specifically defines the data content, format, and intended use and is included in CDRLs.
Articulating Product Support Requirements in a Contract
A CDRL groups all of the data requirements within both a solicitation and resulting contract and provides an understanding of the contractor’s obligations on delivery with respect to data content and format. Therefore, the Product Support Manager (PSM) and members of the life cycle logistics team must have at least a general understanding of both CDRLs and the DIDs in order to assist in developing product support contracts, of which there may be one or a multitude on any particular program. A good rapport with the program Procuring Contracting Officer (PCO) or an official role as a Contracting Officer's Representative (COR) wouldn't hurt either!
CDRLs and DIDs may be required in early stages of a program when crafting the appropriate sustainment approach, in mid-stages when developing detailed engineering estimates, or in the Operating and Support (O&S) Phase after an item has been successfully deployed. The understanding of these contractual tools will help ensure there is a standardized method that clearly and unambiguously delineates the Government’s minimum essential supportability needs in order to meet the warfighters’ requirements.
The PSM and team should be able to understand and define what CDRL/DID information is listed on existing contracts, as well as what CDRL/DID information will be required on future solicitations. The information will aid in understanding if the delivery requirements are being met, in the correct format, on time, and if the content and information provided are acceptable, and will allow for structured conversations and a clear understanding of how the program will be supported to meet the warfighters requirements based on the SOW.
An example of how this can be helpful is related to the a Level of Repair Analysis (LORA) report, which is used to document the results of the LORA program. The LORA DID contains the format and content preparation instructions. Without the specifics contained in the existing DID, there may be a lack of understanding regarding the report requirements, including the format, content and and delivery method - which is extremely important in today's world of digital information. Without the DID - and without clearly understanding what the contractor is responsible for - there is a risk that the program wouldn't receive the report in the format expected, or, in a worse-case scenario, in a format that the government could not access. Other product support DIDs can be reached by searching the Defense Logistics Agency's (DLA) Assist Database.
Another product support example regarding CDRL is from the the Navy and their procurement of an Integrated Master Schedule (IMS). (All the Services use CDRLs and DIDs; this example is just one of many.) In this case, here is the specific CDRL they used. This deliverable link is provided to demonstrated standing of what is expected of the contractor with regards to the logistics data needed as into the IMS.
The Importance of Tailoring
It should be noted that many DIDs need to be tailored to each progam's specific support requirements. DIDs are very exacting, but may not be articulating YOUR program needs. Many will require tailoring to ensure the correct format, content and delivery of the data is what the program office will require and will be able to access.
Some of the key DIDs that require tailoring are those relating to Logistics Product Data (LPD) as described in the SAE International Standard GEIA-STD-0007, particularly these commonly used DIDs: DI SESS 81758 (LPD) and DI SESS 81759 (LPD Summaries). If you do not tailor these two DIDs you will either get no data or too much data - depending on your program's requirements. The best methodology in approaching the tailoring of these DIDs is to "Begin with the end in mind". By understanding what Reports, Documents, Data that you need to develop the products you will need and use, will assist greatly in determining the what data you should include or exclude during the tailoring process.
Thinking through your program's needs with the logistics team - and perhaps from other competency areas in your program office - is a critical step to getting the data needed for your indiviual program requirements. Otherwise, you may be buying a truckload of unhelpful or even inaccessable data - either in digital or hard copy format - that the contractor will dump on the program office in exchange for negotiated contract payments. Like the old saying goes - caveat emptor!
Among the many references and resources on the subject of product support CDRLs and DIDs are:
- Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) “Product Support Contract Requirements Tool (PSCRT)”
- DAU “High-Level Contract Data Requirements List Planning Tool”
- The Integrated Product Support Element Guidebook (provides a representative listing of DIDs for each of the IPS Elements)
- MIL-HDBK-502A Product Support Analysis (Appendix A contains Product Support Analysis CDRL and DID suggestions)
- "Digital Product Support Artifacts" list of CDRLs/DIDs
- Video - Deliverable Basics, Formal Delivery, Deferred Ordering, CDRLs and DIDs
- SD-26 Diminishing Manufacturing Sources & Material Shortages (DMSMS) Contract Language Guidebook
- DMSMS Contract Language Reference Repository
Other related DID and CDRL resources include:
- Navy CDRL Examples Website
- OSD Cost Assessment Data Enterprise (CADE) CDRL Examples
- OUSD(R&E) "Guidance for the Tailoring of Reliability & Maintainability (R&M) Engineering Data"
- DoD 5010.12-M Procedures for the Acquisition and Management of Technical Data
- Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) Digital Campaign "Acquisition and Sustainment Data Package (ASDP) - Digital Transformation Contract Language" Includes contract language and some CDRL/DID info. Available to USAF and All Partners Access Network (APAN) site users. Additional information available from [email protected]
- Configuration Management DIDs (search on term Configuration Management)
- Guidelines on Contract Data Requirements List (CDRL)
- Data Item Descriptions (DID) Overview
- ASSIST Quick Search
- “Contract Data Requirements List (CDRL) Best Practices” DAU Senior Service College Fellowship (SSCF) Research Paper (May 2020)
- CM-Stat “Contract Data Requirements List CDRL Best Practices” Article (note: inclusion here does not constitute endorsement of any organization, author, or perspective)
- Incorporating Software Assurance into Department of Defense Acquisition Contracts (Nov 2017)
- ASD(A) Integrated Program Management Frequently Asked Questions
It is crucial to clearly articulate product support requirements in a contract by the use of appropriate CDRLs and DIDs. Doing so will help ensure the program office is buying what is expected and valid and useful in terms of supportability. Without this understanding of the contract mechanics, the product support community will be at a disadvantage with respect to product support data, and this could severly limit the ability to assist in proactive supportability planning and execution activities.