New Technology Readiness Assessment Guidebook
For those who may not have already seen it, the OUSD(R&E) recently issued a new Technology Readiness Assessment (TRA) Guidebook. Issued by the Office of the Executive Director for Systems Engineering and Architecture, “…this guidebook is intended to assist Department of Defense (DoD) programs to initiate, organize, and conduct high-quality Technology Readiness Assessments (TRAs) on acquisition programs. It supersedes DoD TRA guidance published in 2009 and 2011 and incorporates recommendations from the 2020 Government Accountability Office (GAO) “Technology Readiness Assessment Guide: Best Practices for Evaluating the Readiness of Technology for Use in Acquisition Programs and Projects”.
The introduction to the new document goes on to advise that “…this guide draws on relevant sources and focuses on guidance applicable to DoD acquisition programs. Whereas DoD policy is mandatory, this guidance is not mandatory but offers recommendations and best practices. The guidebook may refer to mandatory statute and policy for information. The following introductory paragraphs provide background on the benefit of TRAs, the development of the GAO 2020 guide, and other sources of education, policy, and guidance. Section 2 discusses the concepts of Critical Technology Elements (CTE) and Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) essential to TRAs. Sections 3 and 4 highlight detailed recommendations from GAO 2020. Section 5 discusses TRAs in relation to the DoD acquisition pathways and phases outlined in DoD Instruction (DoDI) 5000.02, “Operation of the Adaptive Acquisition Framework (AAF).” Section 6 discusses additional measures applicable to DoD Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAPs). The appendices include practices for identifying CTEs, a suggested TRA outline, and other supplementary information.”