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Technology Readiness Assessment

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Definitions Edit

A Technology Readiness Assessment (TRA) is

a systematic, metrics-based process that assesses the maturity of, and risk associated with, critical technologies to be used by a program.[1]
a systematic, evidence-based process that evaluates the maturity of hardware and software technologies critical to the performance of a larger system or the fulfillment of the key objectives of an acquisition program.[2]
an evaluation of the maturity of critical elements of a product's technologies, often called critical technologies. It is a normal outgrowth of the system engineering process and relies on data generated during the course of technology or system development.[3]

Overview

"TRAs, which measure the technical maturity of a technology or system at a specific point in time, do not eliminate technology risk, but when done well, can illuminate concerns and serve as the basis for realistic discussions on how to mitigate potential risks as programs move from the early stages of technology development, where resource requirements are relatively modest, to system development and beyond, where resource requirements are often substantial. In addition, TRAs help legislators, government officials, and the public hold government program managers accountable for achieving their technology performance goals."[4]

"TRAs do not assess the risk associated with the technical maturity of a technology or system. Rather they identify specific risks (e.g., performance data gaps) associated with the specific technologies, which provides a basis for quantifying those risks through formal risk assessments."[5]

"Technical assessments vary in their purpose and scope and how they are identified. TRAs used for governance purposes are prescriptive in their purpose and scope for evaluating the maturity of specific critical technologies at a point in time, whereas technical assessments may be broader in scope and purpose and commonly focus on the larger system, subsystems, and other elements. While TRAs for governance are often conducted by independent teams of subject matter experts, the knowledge-building TRAs are tailored self-assessments for determining the progress of technology maturation."[6]

References Edit

  1. Defense Acquisition University, ACQuipedia (full-text).
  2. GAO Technology Readiness Assessment Guide: Best Practices for Evaluating the Readiness of Technology for Use in Acquisition Programs and Projects, at 8.
  3. Id. at 15.
  4. Id.
  5. Id. at 11 n.3.
  6. GAO Technology Readiness Assessment Guide: Best Practices for Evaluating the Readiness of Technology for Use in Acquisition Programs and Projects, at 44 n.14.

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