New Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) Deskbook
According to the new guide, “manufacturing status and risk evaluations have been performed as part of defense acquisition programs for years in a variety of forms. These evaluations, while often highly structured and well managed, did not use a uniform metric to measure and communicate manufacturing risk and readiness. Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) 5000.88, Engineering of Defense Systems, states, “The production, quality, and manufacturing (PQM) lead, working for the [Program Manager (PM)], will ensure manufacturing, producibility, and quality risks are identified and managed throughout the program’s life cycle.” This instruction establishes general maturity criteria for each life-cycle phase leading to the production decision. Assessments of manufacturing maturity using the Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) criteria have been designed to identify and manage manufacturing risk in acquisition, decreasing the risk of technology transition for new technology to weapon system applications…. This document provides best practices for conducting assessments of manufacturing maturity and risk using the MRL criteria. It is intended for those tasked with conducting MRL Assessments, as well as acquisition PMs, systems engineers, manufacturing managers, and managers of technology development and pre-systems acquisition technology demonstration projects.”
Akin to Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) and Sustainment Maturity Levels (SMLs), Manufacturing Readiness Levels (MRLs) serve an important role in ensuring DoD weapon systems are designed, developed, manufactured, fielded, and supported efficiently and effectively throughout their system life cycles. For additional insights, see also the "Available Tools and Training" section of the Manufacturing Readiness Levels website including a ten-slide “Executive-Level Overview of MRLs” and a one-page “MRL Executive Overview”.