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Initial Capabilities Documents: A 10-Year Retrospective of Tools, Methodologies, and Best Practices

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Journal article

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The Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System JCIDS is 10 years old and ripe for review. A central output document of the JCIDS process is an Initial Capabilities Document ICD used by the Department of Defense to define gaps in a functional capability area and define new capabilities required. The research team analyzed 10 years of ICDs to identify methods and trends. The team found that several methodologies were favored and a convergence emerged in format and necessary content. Additionally, potential shortfalls in current best practices of interest to implementers and decision makers are identified. Guidelines and best practices are presented to create more effective, concise, and complete ICDs. It may come as a surprise to many acquisition practitioners that the historically unstable, formal written procedures and processes that embody the Defense Acquisition System and Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System JCIDS are now over 10 years old. During this time, the Department of Defense DoD has published significant revisions and updates to the JCIDS-related documents, including Department of Defense Instruction DoDI 5000.02 entitled, Operation of the Defense Acquisition System and the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System Manual DoD, 2013 Joint Requirements Oversight Council JROC, 2012. The current system s longevity may be partially attributable to its utilization of modern management approaches, further enabled by a slow convergence of the Joint Strategic Planning System set in motion by the Goldwater-Nichols Act Goldwater-Nichols, 1986. With its focus on Joint development and deconfliction of capabilities, JCIDS uses a portfolio management approach and streamlined documentation to elevate user requirements relatively quickly and vet them against current capabilities.

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  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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