Officials at the Department of Homeland Security and Defense DepartmentÂ want to bring technology tests to an earlier stage in the acquisitionÂ process before any production contracts are signed, Federal News Radio reported Wednesday.
Jared Serbu reports that the “Shift Left” initiative aims to facilitateÂ testing of technology systems and components at the developmental phase instead of at the Milestone C phase to mitigate the potential of added costs and delays.
David Brown,Â deputyÂ assistant defense secretaryÂ forÂ developmentalÂ testÂ andÂ evaluation, and his DHS counterpart StevenÂ Hutchison will lead efforts to change the test and evaluation infrastructure at the two agencies, the report said.
Brown said that these early-stage tests shouldÂ simulate real-world conditions and includeÂ interoperability and cybersecurity during systems engineering as pre-production requirements.
“ThisÂ stuffÂ needsÂ toÂ beÂ usedÂ inÂ anÂ operationalÂ context,Â andÂ ifÂ itÂ can’t,Â that’sÂ not something you can wait to discover after you’ve already committed to a design and a manufacturing process,”Â Brown told the station.
“IfÂ youÂ don’tÂ haveÂ thingsÂ rightÂ atÂ thatÂ pointÂ inÂ time,Â thoseÂ deficienciesÂ inÂ theÂ system are either going to be too costly to fix or they’re going to be addressed in some future increment,” addedÂ Hutchison.
Serbu writes that Congress has taken action to promote developmental testing by taskingÂ DoD to appoint a director and allot resources for DT&E but has not mandated the corresponding change to the acquisition process.