MRAP program is that its production cycle will end before the PQDR process can provide useful feedback. In this way, DCMA provides the only timely quality assurance feedback for the MRAP program.
Another notable trade-off made in order to maximize industry participation in the program and speed production was the initial acceptance of immature quality systems among the manufacturers. The MRAP contracts contained essentially the same quality system requirements as any program to include compliance with ISO 9001 standards or an equivalent system. The difference for the MRAP program was recognition that rapid capacity expansion for some of the manufacturers would result in quality issues that would not be addressed as fast as the desired production rate. This held true for manufacturers with immature processes and quality systems such as FPII. This decision led to the full inspection of every vehicle, rather than spot inspection and lot acceptance. In the case of FPII, it also allowed a small manufacturer to participate in a program where the quality system requirement may normally have prevented it. Although this increased risk in the process, the DCMA involvement mitigated this risk throughout the value stream, ensuring quality through end item inspection and on-site quality control monitoring (D. Hansen, personal communication, November 6, 2008).
This brief overview covers only a portion of the DCMA effort involved in the program, but it shows the level of involvement by an agency already stretched thin on personnel. Given the MRAP program priority, DCMA shifted personnel from other oversight projects such as at FN Manufacturing, where M-240 machine guns, M-249 squad automatic weapons, and M-16 rifles are produced (Manna, 2008, August 5). This again points to the trend of risk acceptance throughout the MRAP program. In this case, not only were personnel removed from oversight positions supporting other programs, these personnel were re-assigned to oversee work outside their areas of expertise.
KEY FACTORS AND TRADE-OFFS
This in-depth look at the production value stream provides insight to the factors that made the MRAP program successful from a production and integration perspective. The program priority, as communicated by the Secretary of Defense and executed by the