Establish and maintain a technical data package.


A technical data package provides the developer with a comprehensive description of the product or product component as it is developed. Such a package also provides procurement flexibility in a variety of circumstances such as performance based contracting or build-to-print. (See the definition of “technical data package” in the glossary.)

The design is recorded in a technical data package that is created during preliminary design to document the architecture definition. This technical data package is maintained throughout the life of the product to record essential details of the product design. The technical data package provides the description of a product or product component (including product related lifecycle processes if not handled as separate product components) that supports an acquisition strategy, or the implementation, production, engineering, and logistics support phases of the product lifecycle. The description includes the definition of the required design configuration and procedures to ensure adequacy of product or product component performance. It includes all applicable technical data such as drawings, associated lists, specifications, design descriptions, design databases, standards, quality attribute requirements, quality assurance provisions, and packaging details. The technical data package includes a description of the selected alternative solution that was chosen for implementation. Because design descriptions can involve a large amount of data and can be crucial to successful product component development, it is advisable to establish criteria for organizing the data and for selecting the data content. It is particularly useful to use the product architecture as a means of organizing this data and abstracting views that are clear and relevant to an issue or feature of interest. These views include the following:

  • Customers
  • Requirements
  • The environment
  • Functional
  • Logical
  • Security
  • Data
  • States/modes
  • Construction
  • Management

These views are documented in the technical data package.

Example Work Products

  1. Technical data package


1. Determine the number of levels of design and the appropriate level of documentation for each design level.

Determining the number of levels of product components (e.g., subsystem, hardware configuration item, circuit board, computer software configuration item [CSCI], computer software product component, computer software unit) that require documentation and requirements traceability is important to manage documentation costs and to support integration and verification plans.

2. Determine the views to be used to document the architecture.

Views are selected to document the structures inherent in the product and to address particular stakeholder concerns.

3. Base detailed design descriptions on the allocated product component requirements, architecture, and higher level designs.

4. Document the design in the technical data package.

5. Document the key (i.e., significant effect on cost, schedule, or technical performance) decisions made or defined, including their rationale.

6. Revise the technical data package as necessary.