Streamlining Defense Contract Bid Document Deliverables with Jama Connect®
In the defense sector, whether it is a large prime, a subcontractor, or one of the thousands of other organizations under the defense umbrella, winning a contract bid for the United States Government comes with as astronomical amount of document deliverables that can be daunting and cumbersome. These documents are listed from the get-go in the Contract Data Requirements List (CDRL) which links directly to the Statement of Work (SOW). When designing and building these complex programs, as part of the CDRL, the contractor delivers countless Data Item Descriptions (DIDs).
These DIDs are formatted with very particular structures and arrangements as defined by MIL-HDBK-245 so that each unique deliverable defines the necessary data. Examples of these documents are Interface Design Description (IDD), System/Subsystem Design Description (SSDD), and Operation Concept Description (OCD) just to name a few of the variations. Below you can see a list of DIDs that are offered with Jama Connect®. The Software Requirements Specification (SRS) DID contains the formatted document below in the explorer tree so the export is pre-built and only the pertinent information can be filled in.
Prior to entering the world of Jama Connect, my experience at the largest government contractor as a Systems Engineer exposed me to countless hours of document writing, specifically Interface Design Descriptions (IDD’s). The team had to create 80 documents from scratch for two different programs. Mind you, these 80 documents were solely for the navigation data that our systems sent to the rest of the ship. These documents are just a small segment of all the other similar documents that numerous teams worked on. These IDD’s were kept on the Local Area Network (LAN) where revision management was adding a most recently edited date to the end of the file name and completion was tracked in a excel workbook. Upon completing a document, the team would sit in room together to review a few IDD’s, try to remember if any system changes that were made, cross reference Cable Block Diagrams and Cable Run Sheets to see if all connector types and port numbers were correct, and struggle to make sure all interfaces for the connected systems were captured.
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There was no relationship capability, no way to ensure up to date references, and minimal visibility into change incorporation. This led to unnecessary hours spent reviewing these items ultimately leading to late delivery of documents and the possibility of incorrect or out of date documents which the customer was not appreciative of. With the navigation system being the core of all ship operability, the risk of incorrect documentation had the potential to lead to countless issues on ship in an environment where the stakes are already so high. The premise of being able use Jama Connect to build these DID’s with the information already created in the software that establishes traceability and ease of review in the review center is lightyears easier and faster than the process we had in place.
Now that the stage is set for the effort that goes into delivering all the CDRL items, by utilizing Jama Connect, customers no longer must burn thousands of hours meticulously revisioning items in Word documents. The DID structure can be built into a Jama Connect project so that the DID can be broken down into individual components to be versioned on. Utilization of the REUSE capability allows for requirements and other text items from the project to be simply implemented in the DID structure so that the content is the same and the exported deliverable meets the criteria. Alongside the simplicity of creating DID’s within Jama Connect, the overall authoring process is reduced tenfold since numerous users can work in conjunction on their own elements of the DID, the out of the box templates offered give users the ability to immediate start creating the content, and overall deliverable time is cut down.
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The daunting task of delivering countless documents to the government is much less alarming when streamlined with the use of Jama Connect. With Jama Software’s DID’s Library, customers are able to dive into their deliverable creation while simultaneously working in an environment that provides perfect versioning and change management for the items that make up the DID. The ability to deliver documentation to the customer in a faster, more concise manner yields companies the ability to stop wasting time of writing documents from scratch and to instead complete other tasks leading to overall acceleration of a program.