RECOVERY

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Understand the Specification. Read it and dissect it if necessary. Use a checklist

to evaluate the Specification. If you don’t have a checklist, use the following:

Scope of the Document

Applicable documents

Requirements

Item Definition

Performance Characteristics

• The performance requirements related to manning, operating, maintaining,

and logistically supporting the prime item to the extent these

requirements define or constrain design of the prime item and include

response time, throughput rates, and exclusion times

Physical Characteristics

• The design constraints and standards necessary to assure compatibility

of prime item components

Interfaces between the principal item being specified and other items with

which it must be compatible

The major components of the principal item and the primary interfaces

between such major components

Qualification Requirements (for software) or Quality Assurance Provisions

(for hardware)

If a particular issue is not addressed in the Specification, it needs to be discussed.

Minutes must be taken, and both parties need to agree to and sign the

minutes. You may be able to get some events to be considered out-of-scope and

get them funded. Even if you don’t get this concession, at least you’ll know

‘‘how big the bear is.’’ You may well need to replan your program around this

new understanding.

If you are dealing with a government Specification, there is an application

developed by NASA that can help with the Requirements Traceability chore.

That product is called SpecsIntact, meaning ‘‘Specifications kept intact.’’ The

product was developed and is used primarily for facility projects but can be

used for others as well. Information can be requested from:

SpecsIntact

Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899

Technical Support line – 321-867-8800

Fax: 321-867-1444

E-mail: specsintact@ksc.nasa.gov

Web site: http://si.ksc.nasa.gov/specsintact/index.asp

Additional Resources:

MIL-STD-490

2b (NO) The Specification is not within our capabilities.

If the Specification is not within your capabilities, you must either determine

what will bring it within your capabilities or walk away from it. If you have not

bid the task or if the contract has not been awarded, you have the alternative of

simply no-bidding or stopping your proposal effort. If you have already been

awarded the program, it’s a different story.