Technical Review Manual (TRM)

Keywords technical manual technical review manual technical reviews

Programs develop systems based on plans that describe their overall development life cycle (including the build plan), the processes to be used for development, the activities and the tasks to be performed, the techniques to be applied to accomplishing these tasks, and the schedule for when these are performed and for when key events occur. Key technical plans include the program office’s SEP as well as the developer’s System Engineering Management Plan (SEMP) and Software Development Plans (SDP). These plans should follow the frameworks defined in IEEE/EIA Std. 12207 (Software Life Cycle Processes) and ISO/IEC 15288 (Systems Engineering – System Life Cycle Processes). The Program Management Office (PMO) lead or Chief Systems Engineer will have the primary role in developing the SEP. SYSCOM Technical Authorities and PEO Programmatic Authorities must be engaged to ensure quality, completeness and acceptable level of risk.

Developers are expected to exercise discipline in following their project plan. Failure to adhere to such plans generally results in significantly increased risks to the success of the program. Applicable TAs, the program or project managers (PMs), the developers, and other stakeholders are responsible for closely monitoring adherence to the plan to ensure that all activities and events take place as scheduled, that the intermediate products and artifacts comply with their requirements, and that the processes defined are closely followed. It may be necessary, based on changing circumstances, to modify and update the development plan, but such changes must be performed using approved change mechanisms described in the SEP.

One key mechanism used to monitor adherence to plan and to assess the maturation of the system as it undergoes development is the review process. Reviews are held during the acquisition of a system for the purpose of evaluating the state of the development effort, assessing existing and emergent risk, and applying redirection as appropriate (changes to the work plan). Reviews are sponsored, conducted, and monitored by the program office, and are supported by appropriate TAs or their delegates. Based on the results of such reviews, the program and acquisition managers may identify areas of risk, areas that need attention, areas that require a change of direction, and other items that need to be further addressed. There are two general types of reviews: management and technical, which differ based on their purpose and focus. Often programs conduct technical and management reviews at the same time for efficiency. This document addresses technical reviews.

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