Solution Center – August 2012August 15, 2012
Question: “Why do Reports take three weeks to deliver?”
– NTS valued client, Mike M.
Answer: Your testing is done! The next step is the all important Test Report. So let’s take a few minutes to understand the process and flow of how your report is created, what goes into it, and how it is generated.
The first step of this process actually begins with the last step of the testing process. As the testing comes to a close, your technician will begin to accumulate and organize the data that was generated during the testing effort. This may include items such as temperature charts, vibration bundles, waveforms, technician log sheets, plots of the data analysis, and of course, the list of equipment we utilized to generate a successful operation.
These items are then moved to a specified electronic storage area by your technician, created explicitly for your job. He then will fill out the job summaries, fact sheets, and various lists needed by our technical writers. This data package can range anywhere from 6 to 2000 pages!
Our Lab Managers then review this for completeness, correctness, and when this is satisfied, the signal is sent to Publications to begin.
Depending on a client’s specific requirements a variety of templates may be used to generate this report. Some will supply the report template they prefer (especially if they wrote the procedure) while others will prefer a standard format such as Mil-Std 810, or Mil-Std 461. Regardless of the template, this is where the technical writer will begin the process of integrating the data, the results, summaries, logs, pictures, and charts into the body of the report. Along the way, they may seek engineering clarification if they feel a point isn’t clear, and sometimes a have a client call initiated to receive instruction on how a specific parameter of their equipment should be referred to in the report.
When an initial draft is ready, the file is then sent to the appropriate project engineer to review. Engineering performs then a complete technical review of the report, and all of the data contained therein. They will check waveforms, examine charts, and evaluate the results of each test to insure a proper representation of the testing is included in the report. The review also includes time spent to double check that each test was run properly, and the data represented is precise. If changes need to be made, our engineers will work with the technical writers to modify and clarify these points.
After technical review the file goes to our Quality Department for a last “once over”. The focus of this review is to make sure that any non technical issues have been addressed. Are the appropriate logos in place ? Do we have the correct client purchase order information included ? Once the check has been completed, and the package is approved, the technical writer will finalize the original, usually as a .pdf and load the document to our LabInsight page where is it ready for our client to accept.
In a standard month National Technical Systems Boxborough will produce anywhere between 125 and 150 of these reports! Enjoy yours!