Date of Original Version



Technical Report

Abstract or Description

Many Department of Defense (DoD) development programs, such as aircraft development programs, are typically complex and long-lived. Often, these programs are structured to demonstrate significant capability in the form of prototypes, which may be additionally intended to provide lingering operational capability. As such, technology development activities frequently include design reviews known as the Initial Design Review (IDR) and the Final Design Review (FDR) that are not present in most other systems acquisitions.

IDR and FDR content is not explicitly defined in regulations or policies; rather, it is defined by the program office. However, since IDR and FDR are the Technology Development phase's equivalent to Preliminary Design Review and Critical Design Review, this technical note proposes that they should have similar criteria, scaled for Technology Development work.

This technical note presents definitions of IDR and FDR, their context in the acquisition life cycle, a comparison of engineering emphasis during IDR and FDR, IDR and FDR pre- and post-conditions, and IDR and FDR criteria and how to apply it. The audiences for this technical note are managers and developers of medium to large DoD systems that employ technology that is not mature enough to transition directly to systems development.