Acquisition programs may be started by studies and analysis defin-ing a warfighting need, by identifying mature technology already available in the federal government or commercial industry, or by a combination of those processes. This chapter focuses on the pre-systems acquisition activity called "user need activities" in DoD Instruction 5000.2. This process includes the study and analysis of mission areas, a mission need analysis to determine if a non-materiel solution is best, an assessment of alternative solutions to meet warfighting deficiencies, and the development of system specific performance requirements. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) is responsible for policies and procedures for determining requirements. CJCS Instruction (CJCSI) 3170.01A provides this policy.
Three documents are used in the Department of Defense (DoD) to describe requirements: the Mission Need Statement (MNS), the Capstone Requirements Document (CRD), and the Operational Requirements Document (ORD). The MNS is generated first. It describes a warfighting deficiency, or an opportunity to provide new capabilities, in broad operational, not system specific, terms. The CRD documents overarching system requirements for a broad mission need, such as surveillance or missile Defense, from which may emerge a "system of systems." The ORD translates the MNS and CRD (if applicable) requirements into more detailed and refined performance capabilities and characteristics of the proposed system concept. The ORD also contains Key Performance Parameters (KPPs).
KPPs are performance parameters deemed so critical to
the success of the system that failure to attain their minimal values (called
the "threshold values") would cast doubt on the desirability/ viability of the
program. Multiple ORDs may emerge from a single MNS or a