Information Management

Information Management, also referred to as "Data Management," is a program management tool which is used to acquire and transmit vital program information. Information products would be such things as software user's manuals, hardware repair manuals, blueprints, and cost & schedule information. Information products, sometimes referred to as "data deliverables," are essential to both program management and the operation & maintenance of weapon systems.

Usually, to acquire data products on a government contract, you will need to use the DD Form 1423 to write the requirement and compile the DD Forms 1423 into a "Contract Data Requirements List" or "CDRL." You will need to cite a "DID" or Data Item Description on the DD Form 1423. DIDs are basically government specifications that describe the format and content requirements of a data product. I have included some practical tools on this page to help you acquire data products. You can find them by clicking here Handy Data Management Tools

A Short History of Data Products and their Evolution

In the past, data products were acquired in paper format and were usually transmitted by regular U.S. mail. This method was slow and cumbersome. It made people wait a considerable period of time for the required information. It also resulted in situations where data products were so volumnious that they actually outweighed the related product. However, in the early 1990s with the phenomenal growth of the Internet and the World Wide Web (WWW or "web" for short), a revolutionary change occurred in the way information products were acquired and transmitted. Paper has been largely phased out as an information medium, and has been replaced by PC-based digital media.

Currently, the preferred choice in data management is to acquire information products by use of personal computer based networks. Data is usually prepared in an application that is compatible with a version of the Microsoft Operating System (MS Windows 95/98/2000/NT). Frequently used applications include MS Word, MS Excel, MS Access, Adobe Acrobat, Rich Text Format, Text Format, etc. Data are frequently posted in a manner compatible with a version of the SGML (Standardized General Markup Language) format (E.G. HTML, XHTML, XML) and are posted to the Web ( the WWW or "web" is part of the Internet, and its standards and protocols are governed by the World Wide Web Consortium) Data are also posted to other type of WANs (Wide Area Network) or LANs (Local Area Network). Data products can also provided on 3.5 inch computer disks, 100 or 250 MB Zip Disks, or on CD ROMS.

The net affect of this change in information management has been to greatly facilitate and expedite access to data, and to greatly reduce the physical size of information products. For example, literally hundreds of pounds of paper have been replaced by a lightweight disk that fits in your hand. Today, product team members must be comfortable with personal computers, their associated application programs, and end products.


Some Practical Tools & Advice for You

Many ask what data management is and why it is required. Data Management can be defined in ten words or less: The bottom line of data management is to buy the required information and get it to the people who need it on time. A frequently asked data management question concerns the DD form 1423. Many ask if it is mandatory to use the DD form 1423 when ordering data/data products on a contract. As the alert states, the DFARS does mandate the use of the DD form 1423.

Here is a hyperlink to some frequently used Data Item Descriptions (DIDs). (This hyperlink will open in this frame. Hit the back button on your browser to return to this information management frame. These DIDs are used in many defense contracts, and usually meet the "minimum esssential" criterion.

The DD Form 1423: Building Block of a CDRL

The DD form 1423 is the essential element of a CDRL. Here is an example of a completed DD Form 1423. This particular example is of a cost report that is frequently ordered by the government. Another frequently ordered data product is the Engineering Change Proposal (ECP). Here is an example of an Engineering Change Proposal. This example has embedded comments that explain the various blocks of the 1423 form. You need only mouseover the yellow highlighted portions of the form to view the embedded comments (provided you have MS Word 2000 or later). If you plan on creating your own CDRL, then please feel free to use this Blank 1423 Template. You can download it and use it to create your CDRL exhibit. (Typically CDRL exhibits are use for either requests for quote (RFQ) or request for proposal (RFP) solicitations. If you don't want to use MS Word, then here is a blank 1423 template in writeable Adobe PDF Format

Here is the link to the The AMSDL, which is the document that lists all the available, current DIDs.
Some folks have said they need a list of all DIDs, AMSDL or no AMSDL!

Here is the document that describes how to prepare DD Forms 1423, CDRLS, and even unique, one-time DIDs: DoD Data Manual This DOD manual provides comprehensive instructions on performing data management tasks.


DoD Directive 5230.24, "Distribution Statements on Technical Documents" provides guidance on distribution statements for CDRL-related deliverables. Information products required by a CDRL may have to be delivered with a distribution statement on the cover. This "statement" determines who may or may not be given access to the document. For example:

"DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A: Approved for public release. Distribution is unlimited."

The statement above, distribution statement A, allows any member of the public to see the document.There are several other authorized statements, which more strictly limit who may have access to a document, and they are described in detail in DoD directive 5230.24.


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