The JCIDS Manual defines Key Performance Parameters (KPP) as:
“Those attributes of a system considered critical to the development of an effective military capability. The number of KPPs should be kept to a minimum to maintain program flexibility. Failure of a system to meet a validated KPP threshold/initial minimum rescinds the validation, brings the military utility of the associated system(s) into question, and may result in a reevaluation of the program or modification to production increments”
In the past, if a program failed to meet a KPP’s threshold, the program itself would come under intense scrutiny. In fact, failing to meet a KPP (in the past) was tantamount to total program failure and potential cancellation. With that said, in Jan 2013, the Vice Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (ADM Winnefeld) released a Joint Requirements Oversight Council Memorandum (JROCM 015-13, 23 Jan 2013) emphasizing the importance of tradeoffs between cost, schedule, and performance when validating warfighter requirements. With today’s budget constraints, ADM Winnefeld wants to provide the Program Managers, Program Executive Officers and Component Acquisition Executives, with maximum flexibility with regard to KPP tradeoffs. The Joint Staff(J-8), in order to maximize cost savings, wants program leadership to consider KPP relief “when significant cost savings may be achieved when with marginal impact to operational capability” i.e. spending 20% of a program’s budget to attain the final 5% of KPP performance..
Requirements Managers (RM) must stay engaged in a program’s developmental life-cycle in order to provide the ‘warfighter perspective’ by which each/every requirement originates. If KPP relief is indeed required, it is the RM’s responsibility to fully understand the risk involved in changing a KPP.