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Our Guide to Tech Readiness

Posted on January 07, 2020

The development of cutting-edge technologies is critical to many of the government’s most costly acquisition projects, including new weapons, satellites, nuclear facilities, and homeland security systems. The federal government spends billions of dollars acquiring these technologies. However, these technologies can cause program delays and cost increases if the government decides to use them in new systems before they are ready. 

Our new Technology Readiness Assessment Guide can help system engineers, program managers, technology developers, and auditors evaluate whether technologies are mature enough to be integrated in a new product or system.


Technology Readiness Assessment Guide cover

This guide outlines 5 steps and associated best practices for developing and producing high-quality technology readiness assessments that include: 

  1. Preparing the assessment plan and selecting the team
  2. Identifying critical technologies
  3. Assessing critical technologies
  4. Preparing the assessment report
  5. Using the report’s findings

The methodology we’ve developed can be applied across large and small acquisition projects. We have also outlined a roadmap for preparing technology maturation plans, evaluating software, and enhancing technology assessments. 

Hundreds of public comments have been incorporated into our guide since 2016.

Our Technology Readiness Assessment Guide is a companion to GAO’s cost estimating and assessment guide and the schedule assessment guide

For more information, check out the guide

GAO Contacts

Timothy M. Persons
Chief Scientist
Michele Mackin
Michele Mackin
Managing Director
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