||IDAM: Intro to Defense Acquisition Management
Milestone A: Entry into Concept and Technology Development Phase (Pre-Systems Acquisition)
Pre-systems acquisition is composed of ongoing activities in development of user needs, in science and technology, and in concept development work specific to the development of a materiel solution to an identified, validated need. If there are no existing U.S. systems, or other on-hand materiel, to include technology demonstration efforts, that can satisfy the mission need, studies and analysis of selected concepts are undertaken in a concept exploration work effort,
based on the following hierarchy of materiel alternatives:
- Procurement (including modification) of commercially available systems
or equipment, the additional production (including modification) of
already-developed U.S. military systems or equipment, or Allied systems or
- Cooperative development program with one or more Allied
- New joint service development program, or
- New Service-unique development program.
During Concept Exploration, a study called an analysis of alternatives is conducted to gauge the cost and operational effectiveness of possible alternatives to satisfy the mission need as part of the overall cost as an independent variable approach. The selection of a preferred alternative
based on the analysis of alternatives allows the user to finalize the initial
ORD describing operational performance in terms of objectives and minimum
acceptable requirements (thresholds) for presentation at the next milestone,
B. The ORD will continue to evolve as the initial broad objectives and
minimum acceptable requirements become more detailed (in number and
specificity) as a result of cost-schedule-performance trade-offs during each
subsequent phase of the acquisition life cycle (see Chapter
In the process of refining requirements, the user must
adhere to the following key concepts as directed by CJCSI 3170.01A:
- Keep all reasonable options open and facilitate cost, schedule, and
performance trades throughout the acquisition process.
- Avoid early commitments to system-specific solutions, including those
that inhibit future insertion of new technology and commercial or
- Define requirements in broad operational capability terms.
- Develop time-phased requirements with associated objectives and
thresholds (as appropriate).
- Evaluate how the desired performance requirements could reasonably be
modified to facilitate the potential use of commercial or non-developmental
items and components.
- Evaluate whether system will be able to survive and operate through the
anticipated threat environment.
- Consider critical information needs and intelligence support
- Address cost in the ORD, in terms of a threshold and
- Include requirements for security, information assuredness, and critical
- Consider supportability, data sharing, and interoperability needs of the
family of systems in the operational environment.
- Mandate interoperability as a key performance parameter to be
doc-umented in all ORDs and CRDs and included in the Acquisition Program