Major Capability Acquisition (MCA)

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Acquisition Plan

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Each page in this pathway presents a wealth of curated knowledge from acquisition policies, guides, templates, training, reports, websites, case studies, and other resources. It also provides a framework for functional experts and practitioners across DoD to contribute to the collective knowledge base. This site aggregates official DoD policies, guides, references, and more.

DoD and Service policy is indicated by a BLUE vertical line.

Directly quoted material is preceeded with a link to the Reference Source.



Reference Source: DAG CH 1-4.1.1 Acquisition Plan

In addition to the Acquisition Strategy, the PM is also responsible for developing another document—the Acquisition Plan. According to the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS 207.103(g), “the PM or other official responsible for the program has overall responsibility for acquisition planning.”  FAR 7.104(c)) states that, “The planner [read as PM] shall coordinate with and secure the concurrence of the Contracting Officer in all acquisition planning.”

From a regulatory perspective, FAR 34.004 – Acquisition Strategy, states, “The strategy shall be in writing and prepared in accordance with the requirements of FAR Subpart 7.1, except where inconsistent with this part, and shall qualify as the acquisition plan for the major system acquisition, as required by that subpart.” Those requirements are divided into two main Sections (i.e., Acquisition Background and Objectives, and Plan of Action) as depicted in FAR 7.105. A summary is provided below:

Acquisition Background and Objectives

Statement of Need and applicable conditions, including:

  • Cost (life-cycle cost; design-to-cost; and application of should-cost)

  • Capability or performance

  • Delivery or performance-period requirements

  • Tradeoffs; risks; acquisition streamlining

Plan of Action

  • Sources
  • Competition
  • Contract type selection
  • Source-selection procedures
  • Acquisition considerations
  • Budgeting and funding
  • Product or service descriptions
  • Priorities, allocations, and allotments
  • Contractor versus government performance
  • Inherently governmental functions
  • Management information requirements
  • Make or buy
  • Test and evaluation
  • Logistics considerations
  • Government-furnished property
  • Government-furnished information
  • Environmental and energy conservation objective
  • Security considerations
  • Contract administration
  • Other considerations
  • Milestones for the acquisition cycle
  • Identification of participants in acquisition plan preparation
  • Considerations in Developing a Program Strategy


As part of that joint Program Manager and Contracting Officer work it is essential there be a clear discussion regarding “selecting a source” based on the desired capability be it product or service.