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ASK OCE — June 21, 2007 — Vol. 2, Issue 4


The need for unified technical and manufacturing standards goes far beyond economic efficiency, ease of use, and interoperability. At the Department of Defense (DoD), standards can also be a matter of survival. At the center of the effort to develop more effective standards at DOD is the Defense Standardization Program (DSP).

The DSP is a comprehensive, integrated standardization program linking DoD’s acquisition, operational, sustainability, and related military and civil communities. Its purpose is to champion standardization throughout DoD to reduce costs and improve operational effectiveness. Defense standards ensure compatibility of tools and quality during production of military equipment and systems.

According to its mission statement, the DSP seeks to “identify, influence, develop, manage, and provide access to standardization processes, products, and services for warfighters, the acquisition community, and the logistics community to promote interoperability, reduce total ownership costs, and sustain readiness.”

The DSP acknowledges that more is not necessarily better when it comes to standards. If not conceived and deployed effectively, an explosion of standards can lead to unnecessary restrictions, increased contractor and agency cost, and a reduced ability to incorporate the latest cutting-edge technologies.

In 1990, for example, DoD had over 30,000 standards agency-wide. In response, many defense standards were eliminated and in their place, the DSP encouraged the use of industry standards.

The DSP seeks to achieve eight goals by establishing a robust standardization architecture within DoD:

  1. Achieve improved interoperability of joint and coalition forces.
  2. Develop standardized parts that have lowered costs, reduced inventories, shortened logistics chains, improved readiness, and furthered civil-military integration.
  3. Make the DSP a single source for information exchange and coordinator for all defense standardization efforts.
  4. Ensure DoD-wide development and use of performance and non-government standards.
  5. Have the DSP actively participate in military, civil, and international standardization activities.
  6. Create a prioritized set of standardization domains and a core cadre of experts in those domains.
  7. Develop system requirements documents that reflect standardization requirements.
  8. Encourage senior managers and program managers to view standardization as an essential element of acquisition program development.

In This Issue

Message from the Chief Engineer

Archimedes Archive: The History of U.S. Engineering Standards

This Week in NASA History: Seasat-A

The NASA Technical Standards Program: An Enterprise Approach

Enhancing Standards at DOD: The Defense Standardization Program

The United States Standards Strategy

Ames Partnership To Develop Machine-to-Machine Intelligence System

A View from the Outside: South Korea Nears Completion of First Space Center

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