Requirements, OCD & CONOPS in Military Capability Development

A course presented over 5 days by Robert Halligan or Alwyn Smit.

  • Summary
  • Schedule / Register
  • Course Overview
  • Course Outline

This course is a five-day immersion in the development of military capability, with a focus on problem definition, Operational Concept Description (OCD - how the capability and each element of its solution will be used) and concept of operations (CONOPS - how the capability outcome is to be achieved), and specification of technology items and related services that will form a part of the capability solution. For reasons explained in the course, a CONOPS may also be referred to as an Operational Solution Description (OSD). The course requires no background or previous experience in OCD, CONOPS or requirements specification development.

The course content is easily transferable in application to any substantial business system, public infrastructure system, or other large undertaking involving people and technology as a part of the solution.

The training is consistent with a systems approach to problem-solving, as advocated by defense and other administrations worldwide. This is an interdisciplinary, collaborative approach to the engineering of system solutions (of any type). The approach aims to capture stakeholder needs and objectives and to transform these into a description of a holistic, life cycle balanced system solution. This solution will both satisfy the minimum requirements of the stakeholders and optimize overall solution effectiveness according to the values of the stakeholders.

Stakeholder measures of effectiveness could include, for example, measures of military capability, ease of use, operational availability ... and programmatic measures such as investment cost, sustainment cost, National Industry Content … as applicable. Within the concept of overall effectiveness, Operational Effectiveness, of primary concern to the Commander or the other leader, is isolated.

This course is recognized by Engineers Australia for CPD purposes (40 hours). This course is recognized by Engineering New Zealand for 40 CPD hours (click here for details). This course may be credited toward the maintenance of the INCOSE Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP) accreditation for 40 Professional Development Units. This course is recognized by ECSA South Africa (ref. INCOSE 20/003) for CPD 5 points.

Upcoming Courses

Register and pay 30 days prior to the course commencement date to receive a 10% early bird discount. Or register a group of 3+ for a 10% group discount. Available for corporate training worldwide.

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Melbourne, Australia
20 Apr - 24 Apr 2015
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Ṣo Jos̩ dos Campos, Brazil
10 Aug - 14 Aug 2015
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Chantilly (VA), United States of America
19 Oct - 23 Oct 2015
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Munich, Germany
30 Nov - 04 Dec 2015
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Ankara, Turkey
11 Jan - 15 Jan 2016
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Pretoria, South Africa
09 May - 13 May 2016
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Amsterdam, the Netherlands
23 May - 27 May 2016
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London, United Kingdom
23 Jan - 27 Jan 2017
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Amsterdam, the Netherlands
01 May - 05 May 2017
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Melbourne, Australia
22 May - 26 May 2017
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Pretoria, South Africa
19 Jun - 23 Jun 2017
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Auckland, New Zealand
10 Jul - 14 Jul 2017
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Melbourne, Australia
07 May - 11 May 2018
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Pretoria, South Africa
18 Jun - 22 Jun 2018
ZAR27251
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Amsterdam, the Netherlands
03 Dec - 07 Dec 2018
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Melbourne, Australia
04 Mar - 08 Mar 2019
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Melbourne, Australia
16 Mar - 20 Mar 2020
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Oceania UTC +10:00 (AEST 8:30) PPI Live-Online
04 May - 08 May 2020
AUD3825
P958-63
Europe UTC +2:00 (CEST 9:00) PPI Live-Online
25 May - 29 May 2020
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United Kingdom UTC +1:00 (BST 8:00) PPI Live-Online
25 May - 29 May 2020
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South Africa UTC +2:00 (SAST 9:00) PPI Live-Online
25 May - 29 May 2020
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Europe UTC +1:00 (CET 9:00) PPI Live-Online
09 Nov - 13 Nov 2020
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United Kingdom UTC +0:00 (GMT 8:00) PPI Live-Online
09 Nov - 13 Nov 2020
GBP2710
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South Africa UTC +2:00 (SAST 10:00) PPI Live-Online
09 Nov - 13 Nov 2020
ZAR26840
P958-72-1
Asia UTC +8:00 (SGT 6:00) PPI Live-Online
22 Mar - 26 Mar 2021
SGD4080
P958-72-2
Oceania UTC +11:00 (AEDT 8:00) PPI Live-Online
22 Mar - 26 Mar 2021
AUD4290
P958-73-1
Europe UTC +2:00 (CEST 9:00) PPI Live-Online
24 May - 28 May 2021
EUR3350
P958-73-2
United Kingdom UTC +1 (BST 8:00) PPI Live-Online
24 May - 28 May 2021
EUR2720
P958-73-3
South Africa UTC +02:00 (SAST 9:00) PPI Live-Online
24 May - 28 May 2021
ZAR28050

Key Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, delegates are expected to have learned:

  • the types of information that collectively define a military (or any other) problem;
  • how to capture and validate the information which defines the problem;
  • the distinctly different information content and purpose of an OCD (Operational Concept Description) and a CONOPS (concept of operations);
  • the importance of each of these documents in development of military capability, as well as their relationship to requirements documents, various forms of solution description, architectural frameworks such as DODAF, and to acquisition;
  • how to capture and validate requirements, etc. at a capability system level;
  • how to prepare an OCD; and
  • how to develop the information content and prepare a CONOPS.

Training Method and Materials

A mixture of stand-up instruction, with numerous examples, and substantial workshop activity, is used to deliver a very practically-oriented learning experience. A single capability problem with evolving life-cycle-based solution is the focus for the course.

You will be provided with:

  • comprehensive course notes containing presentation material;
  • a Workbook containing workshop exercises, with extensive worked examples tracking the whole process; numerous supplementary descriptions, checklists, forms and charts which you can put to use immediately;
  • a reference set of military capability development documents, as follows:
    • Example Capability System Concept of Employment – CONEMP
    • Example Capability System Concept of Use – CONUSE. Note: also known as OCD
    • Example Capability System Requirements Specification – CapSyRS
    • Example Capability System Operational Solution Description – OSD. Note: also known as CONOPS
    • Example Materiel Item Concept of Use – CONUSE. Note: also known as OCD
    • Example Materiel Item System Requirements Specification – SyRS
    • Example Materiel Item Verification Requirements Specification – VRS
    • Example Statement of Work – SOW – for materiel item Operator Training; and
  • complimentary access to PPI's evolving Systems Engineering Goldmine.

Some Key Questions:

  • What is the difference between an OCD and a CONOPS?
  • How should each be developed?
  • How does each relate to requirements?
  • Why should an OCD not be the primary driver to development of requirements for a technology item?
  • What are agile development methods and techniques and why are they relevant?
  • What are the best public domain standards for OCD and CONOPS?

Who Should Attend this Course?

This course is intended for Military Capability Developers, Systems Engineers working on military capability development and sustainment programs, Requirements Managers for capability systems, Program and Project Managers for development of capability and parts thereof. Whilst oriented in examples to the development of military capability, the course can be easily transferred in application to any substantial business system, public infrastructure system, or other large undertaking involving people and technology as a part of the solution.

1. Concepts and Definitions

  • defining the problem, and developing a complete solution
  • life cycle basis of problem definition & solution
  • example requirements and MOEs relating to a capability
  • example physical levels of solution definition relating to a capability
  • definition: problem
  • problem description definitions
    • definition: requirement/threshold
    • definition: measure of effectiveness
    • definition: measure of performance
    • definition: target/goal/objective
    • definition: value (effectiveness) model
    • definition: operational effectiveness
    • definition: requirement importance
  • definition: requirements specification
  • concepts related to problem description
    • definition: need
    • definition: want
    • definition: desire
    • definition: intent
    • definition: expectation
    • definition: constraint
  • definition: OCD – Operational Concept Description/CONUSE – Concept of Use
  • definition: solution
  • definition: solution description
  • definition: architecture
  • definition: architectural design description
  • definition: architectural framework
  • definition: CONOPS – Concept of Operation(s)/OSD – Operational Solution Description
  • definition: detailed design
  • definition: stakeholder
  • definition: verification
  • definition: verification requirement
  • definition: verification requirements specification
  • definition: validation

2. General Concepts of Problem Solving

  • problem definition
  • emergence
  • divergence
  • convergence
  • systems thinking

3. Relationships Between Requirements Document, OCD, Architectural Design Description, CONOPS

  • a system solution
  • systems of systems

4. Types of Requirements

  • eight basic types
  • workshop 1 - categorizing requirements for a capability by type

5. The Quality of Requirements

  • requirements quality attributes

6. Requirements Analysis for the Capability: OCD and SyRs Content

  • purpose of requirements analysis and its relationship to OCD
  • relationship to CONOPS
  • requirements analysis (capture & validation) methodology
  • context analysis, and relationship to OCD
  • workshop 2 - context analysis for a capability system
  • states & modes analysis, and relationship to OCD
  • workshop 3 - states and modes for a capability system
  • parsing analysis, and relationship to OCD
  • workshop 4 - parsing analysis
  • functional analysis, and relationship to OCD
  • workshop 5 - functional analysis for a capability system
  • rest of scenario analysis, and relationship to OCD
  • ERA analysis, and relationship to OCD
  • out-of-range analysis, and relationship to OCD
  • value analysis, and relationship to OCD
  • workshop 6 - building a capability system value (system effectiveness) model
  • operational effectiveness
  • operational effectiveness versus overall effectiveness
  • extracting information for an OCD and requirements document from users (and others)

7. Operational Concept Description (OCD) as a Document

7.1     Content and Purpose of an OCD

  • users and uses of an OCD, in detail
  • types of OCD
  • principles regarding content
  • use cases, mission profiles, scenarios and the OCD
  • how does support relate to an OCD?
  • relationship of the OCD to the requirements document
  • OCD standards and guides
    • Operational Concept Documents, DID DI-MCCR-80023, SDD Documentation Set – Data Item Descriptions for DoD-STD-2167, U.S.A. Department of Defense, 1985
    • Concept Data Item Description, SMA-DID-P100, NASA Product Specification Document Standard, Release 4.3, 1989
    • ANSI/AIAA G-043-1992, Guide for the Preparation of Operational Concept Documents, 1992
    • Operational Concept Description (OCD), DID DI-IPSC-81430, Data Item Descriptions for MIL-STD-498, U.S.A. Department of Defense, 1994
    • IEEE Standard 1362, IEEE Guide for Information Technology – System Definition – Concept of Operations Document, 1998
    • ACC Instruction 10-650, Development and Use of Concepts of Operations, U.S. Department of the Air Force, 1998
    • Guide for the Preparation of Operational Concept Documents, ANSI/INCOSE/AIAA, G-043:2012
    • PPI’s OCD/CONUSE DID
  • who should prepare an OCD
  • timing of preparation of an OCD versus requirements document

7.2     Preparing an OCD

  • characteristics of a good OCD
  • workshop 7 - review of sample OCDs
  • pitfalls in OCD preparation
  • workshop 8 - review of an OCD for a military aircraft system
  • workshop 9 - preparing a basic OCD
  • use of graphics in OCDs
  • level of detail in the OCD
  • design content – when, and when not?
  • makeup of an OCD development team
  • the role of users
  • beyond the basic OCD
  • extending OCDs to other stakeholders
  • pitfalls in preparing OCDs

8. CONOPS/OPERATIONAL SOLUTION DESCRIPTION

8.1       Content and Purpose of a CONOPS

8.2       Relationship of CONOPS to Overall Solution

8.3       Styles of Solution Development

  • the solution domain: key concepts, relationships, and work products
  • workshop 10 - principles of CONOPS development
  • waterfall, incremental, evolutionary and spiral capability development approaches
  • workshop 11 - capability solution development strategies

8.4      Concepts of Architecture – Physical and Logical, in CONOPS Development

  • physical architecture (structural view) – basic concepts
  • the role of technology and innovation
  • techniques for stimulating innovation in solution development
  • use of design driver requirements
  • perspiration engineering: configuration items
  • criteria for selecting configuration items
  • relationship of CI definition to future system integration
  • workshop 12 - physical conceptualization of capability system solution
  • logical architecture – basic concepts of model-based architecting
  • logical architecture related to physical architecture
  • useful forms of logical representation – functional, state-based, mathematical, …
  • model-based design in practice 

8.5       Functional Modeling in CONOPS Development

  • functional modeling in CONOPS development – how to do it
    • functional analysis/architecture process
    • item flow and control flow
    • coupling, cohesion, connectivity
    • unallocatable and allocatable functions
    • pitfalls in defining functions
    • workshop 13 - a simple functional solution
    • workshop 14 - physical and functional solution
    • FMECA in functional solution
    • performance thread analysis
    • SysML, and alternative languages incorporating behavior modeling
    • other functional modeling languages
    • software tools supporting functional and physical solution
    • pitfalls in functional solution development

8.6       Return to Physical Solution Development in CONOPS Development

  • facilities, procedures, people, and other types of solution element
  • some common pitfalls in developing CONOPS
  • adding the detail to the solution
  • solution creates requirements – the duality of requirements and solution
  • interface engineering
  • evolution of interfaces in solutions having levels of structure
  • interface requirements specifications versus interface design descriptions
  • some common pitfalls in interface engineering

8.7       Decision-Making in CONOPS Development

  • solution development for feasibility
  • solution development for effectiveness: approach to solution optimization
    • the role of MOEs and goals
    • using a value (system effectiveness) model
    • taking account of risk relating to goals
    • taking account of risk relating to satisfaction of requirements
    • event-based uncertainty
    • risk aversion
    • workshop 15 - using a value (system effectiveness) model in developing solution for a capability problem
    • cost/capability, return on investment and like concepts
    • iterative optimization of solution – an effective methodology
    • software tools supporting CONOPS decision-making
    • common pitfalls in CONOPS development

8.8       CONOPS Document

  • CONOPS Template
  • Example CONOPS 

9. Development of Requirements and Requirements Specifications for Elements of  Solution

10. Summary and Key Points

  • action plan

11. References and Recommended Reading

Course Presenter

Mr. Robert Halligan is an executive project manager, engineering manager and engineering practitioner, known internationally for his role in the practice and improvement of technology-based projects. LEARN MORE

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