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Assessing Manufacturing Risk

Note:  DAU can provide a tailored 2-day workshop on how to assess manufacturing risk using the MRL criteria and assessment process.

Assessing Manufacturing Risk: A Best Practice

The use of Technology Readiness Levels has become a "Best Practice (tool)" that has added clarity to technical assessments and the discussion of technoloyg maturity and risk. Manufacturing Readiness Levels (MRLs) were developed to provide a similar understanding of manufacturing risk and maturity. The use of MRLs to assess manufacturing readiness can foster better decision making, program planning and program execution through improved understanding and management of manufacturing risk.

Note: This is DRAFT information. DoDI 5000.02 requires programs to assess manufacturing risk as early as Milestone A in the Analysis of Alternatives, as well as at Milestones B and C and at the Full Rate Production decision. There is no specific guidance in 5000.02 on how these assessments should be conducted. However, many companies and DoD organizations are using MRLs as a Best Practice and are incorporating MRL assessments into existing technical reviews and audits.

Notes: The TRLs shown below reflect Normal Practices and at TRL 7 have a slight disconnect with MRLs. Also, the links on the new Acquisition Framework Chart link to the old definitions and will remain that way until the DAG is updated.

Note:  Go to for the latest information on the MRL Deskbook, MRL Matrix, and MRL Users Guide

Milestone A Milestone B Milestone C Pre-Concept Materiel Solution Analysis Phase Technology Development Phase Engineering and Manufacturing Development Phase Production and Deployment Phase Operations and Support Phase Initial Technical Review (ITR) Alternative Systems Review (ASR) System Requirements Review (SRR) and a Technology Readiness Assessment (TRA) System Verification Review (SVR aka Functional Configuration Audit) Physical Configuration Audit (PCA) Critical Design Review (CDR) and a TRA Preliminary Design Review (PDR) System Functional Review (SFR) Integrated Baseline Review (IBR; program review not a technical review) Operational Test Readiness Review (OTRR; program review not a technical review) Production Readiness Review (PRR) and a TRA Test Readiness Review (TRR) TRL-1 TRL-2 TRL-3 TRL-4 TRL-5 TRL-6 TRL-7 TRL-8 TRL-9 MRL-1 MRL-2 MRL-3 MRL-4: Material Solution Analysis MRL-5: Component Technology Development MRL-6: System Technology Development MRL-7: Engineering and Manufacturing Development (pre-DRR) MRL-8: Engineering and Manufacturing Development (post-DRR) MRL-9: Production (pre-FDR) MRL-10: Deployment and Sustainment

MRLs as they relate to the Acquisition Framework Chart

Select a program below to view a lesson learned. Army programs Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) Advanced Threat Infrared Countermeasure/Common Missile Warning System (ATIRCM/CMWS) CH-47F Improved Cargo Helicopter Excalibur Precision Guided Extended Range Artillery Projectile Future Combat Systems (FCS) Land Warrior Navy programs V-22 Joint Services Advanced Vertical Lift Aircraft (V-22 Osprey) Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Extended Range Guided Munition (ERGM) DD(X) Destroyer Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS) Air Force programs Advanced Extremely High Frequency Satellites (AEHF) C-5 Avionics Modernization Program (C-5 AMP) Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) - Atlas V F/A-22 Raptor Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Space Based Infrared System High (SBIRS) United States Marine Corps programs Heavy Lift Replacement (HLR) Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) Missile Defense Agency programs Airborne Laser (ABL) Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (Aegis BMD) Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) Kinetic Energy Interceptors (KEI) Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS) Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Joint programs Joint Common Missile (JCM) Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) Joint Tactical Radio System Cluster 1 (JTRS Cluster 1) Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems  (J-UCAS) Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) Source: GAO-05-301 Report: Defense Acquisitions, Assessments of Selected Major Weapon Programs.

MRL Deskbook V2.2 July 2012.pdf
Reference4/4/2017 9:05 PM
System and Technology Assessments.aspx
Reference1/22/2016 9:38 PM
TRA Deskbook - April 2011.aspx
Reference6/8/2015 1:17 PM
AFIT MRL Course.aspx
Learning Material10/17/2013 10:52 AM
MRL Lessons Learned Briefing Oct 2012.ppt
Lessons Learned12/6/2012 7:11 PM
Matrix v11.3 dated 19 June 2012 v2.xls
Reference7/30/2012 12:12 PM
GAO Assessments of Selected Acquisition Programs.aspx
Lessons Learned4/13/2011 10:37 AM
GAO Report on Standardizing the Way Manufacturing Risks are Managed.aspx
Lessons Learned1/5/2011 2:43 PM
EMRL TRL MRL Contract Language Sep2010.docx
Example10/7/2010 10:48 AM
MRL Definitions 2010.pdf
Reference4/30/2010 7:16 PM
MR Guide.pdf
Reference2/20/2009 7:07 PM
GAO Study 02 701.pdf
Lessons Learned1/23/2009 8:08 PM
EMRL Presentation 23 Jan 2008.pdf
Presentation1/9/2009 2:28 PM
FAQs v2 Dec2008.doc
Lessons Learned12/17/2008 7:03 PM
GAO Report on Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs 2008.aspx
Lessons Learned4/2/2008 11:37 AM
Generic Contract Language.doc
Example4/11/2007 12:31 PM
Example3/16/2007 4:42 PM
MR Levels DAG.aspx
Reference3/16/2007 1:50 PM
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