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The Validation process provides the objective evidence that the capability provided by the system complies with stakeholder performance requirements, achieving its use in its intended operational environment. Validation answers the question, "Is it the right solution to the problem?" Validation consists of evaluating the operational effectiveness, operational suitability, sustainability and survivability (including cybersecurity) or lethality of the system or system elements under operationally realistic conditions.


The Program Manager (PM) and Systems Engineer support the Validation process. The Chief Developmental Tester is responsible for the execution of the Validation process, which is typically conducted by independent testers as documented in the Test and Evaluation Master Plan (TEMP) (See DAG CH 8–3.6.). System end users and other stakeholders are typically involved in validation activities. Guidance for managing and coordinating integrated testing activities can be found in DAG CH 8–3.3. and DoDI 5000.02, Enc 5, sec. 11.a. Using and engaging integrated test teams, composed of knowledgeable and experienced Government and industry developmental and operational testers bring different perspectives and allow for an efficient use of resources.


Validation activities can be conducted in the intended operational environment or on an approved simulated environment. Early program-validation activities assist in the production of validated Concept of Operations/Operational Mode Summary/Mission Profile (CONOPS/OMS/MP), system performance specifications, use cases, functional and physical system architectures and test cases.

Validation is applied to the product baseline to ensure the emerging design meets the end-user needs. Models, simulations, mockups and prototypes may be used in these early activities. They are often combined with the verification activities (see DAG CH 3–4.2.6. Verification Process).

Aggressive early validation significantly mitigates the risk to the program by identifying operational issues up front when they are easier and less costly to fix. This ultimately improves system performance during the final validation activity (e.g., operational test and evaluation (OT&E)) (See DAG CH 8–3.2.)


Final validation involves operational testing on a production-representative system in an operationally realistic environment (See CH 8–3.2.1.) The product of the Validation process is a validated system and enabling system elements, leading to approval for Full-Rate Production (FRP) and/or a Full Deployment (FD) Decision Review (DR).


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Source: DAU Glossary

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Product Tasks
AWQI 8-1-1: Evaluate system as suitable and effective in an operationally-representative environment
  1. Identify system operational performance requirements.
  2. Identify functional and physical architectures describing the preferred materiel solution.
  3. Identify validation approaches suitable for determining operational requirements compliance.
  4. Analyze operational test and evaluation (OT&E) documents as applicable.
  5. Evaluate observed system suitability and effectiveness and compare against operational requirements.
  6. Identify any deficiencies between functional and physical architectures and the validated system.
  7. Correct deficiencies and document system suitability and effectiveness.

Source: AWQI eWorkbook