Major Capability Acquisition (MCA)

AAF  >   MCA  >  Technical Reviews  >  System Functional Review

System Functional Review

How To Use This Site

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 3-3.3.3 System Functional Review

The System Functional Review (SFR) is held to evaluate whether the functional baseline satisfies the end-user requirements and capability needs and whether functional requirements and verification methods support achievement of performance requirements. At completion of the SFR, the functional baseline is normally taken under configuration control.

The functional baseline describes the system’s performance (functional, interoperability and interface characteristics) and the verification required to demonstrate the achievement of those specified characteristics. The functional baseline is directly traceable to the operational requirements contained in the Initial Capabilities Document (ICD) and draft Capability Development Document (CDD). The Program Manager (PM) establishes Government control of the functional baseline at the SFR and verifies it through Functional Configuration Audits (FCA) leading up to the system level FCA or the System Verification Review (SVR). For additional information, see CH 3–4.1.6. Configuration Management Process.

A successful SFR, which typically occurs during the Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction (TMRR) phase, reduces the risk of continuing the technical effort toward the Preliminary Design Review (PDR). The SFR is used to:

  • Assess whether a balanced definition of the system’s major elements has been developed, including their functionality and performance requirements
  • Assess whether the functional baseline is technically achievable with regard to cost, schedule and performance
  • Confirm that the system performance specification (typically put on contract) is realistic and provides a sound technical foundation for preliminary design
  • Establish functional baseline and verification criteria to be used during FCA


Roles and Responsibilities

Reference Source: DAG CH 3-3.3.3 System Functional Review

The unique PM responsibilities associated with an SFR include:

  • Approving, funding, and staffing the SFR as planned in the Systems Engineering Plan (SEP) developed by the Systems Engineer.
  • Managing and approving changes to the system performance specification.
  • Establishing the plan to PDR in applicable contract documents, including the SE Management Plan (SEMP), Integrated Master Schedule (IMS) and Integrated Master Plan (IMP).
  • Ensuring the plan includes subject matter experts to participate in each review.
  • Controlling the configuration of the Government-controlled subset of the functional baseline.
  • Chairing the configuration control board (CCB) for the system performance specification and other documentation used to control the functional baseline.

The unique Systems Engineer responsibilities associated with an SFR include:

  • Ensuring adequate plans are in place to complete the necessary technical activities to proceed from SFR to PDR.
  • Ensuring plans to proceed to PDR allow for contingencies.
  • Ensuring all performance requirements, both explicit and derived, are defined and traceable (both directions) between requirements in the draft CDD to include Key Performance Parameters (KPPs), Key System Attributes (KSAs) other system attributes, and the system performance specification (see CJCSI 3170.01 JCIDS – now CJCSI 5123.01H).
  • Ensuring verification methods are identified for all requirements.
  • Ensuring risk items associated with functional requirements are identified and analyzed, and mitigation plans are in place.


Inputs and Review

Reference Source: DAG CH 3-3.3.3 System Functional Review

The SFR criteria are developed to best support the program’s technical scope and risk and are documented in the program’s SEP at Milestone A. Figure 23 provides the end-to-end perspective and the integration of SE technical reviews and audits across the acquisition life cycle.

Table 30 identifies the products and associated review criteria normally seen as part of the SFR. The Chief Engineer should review this table and tailor the criteria for the program. The system-level SFR review should not begin until the criteria, identified by the Chief Engineer and documented in the SEP, are met and any prior technical reviews are complete and their action items closed. If the program’s Acquisition Strategy (AS) includes competing contractual efforts, an SFR should be held with each participating developer. A resource for SFR preparation is IEEE 15288.2 “Standard for Technical Reviews and Audits on Defense Programs.” This is a best practice review.


Table 30: SFR Products and Criteria


SFR Criteria

Functional Baseline Documentation
  • Understood and assessed to be achievable within cost and schedule constraints
  • Established functional baseline by mapping system requirements in the system performance specification to lower level elements and their segment and major subsystem performance specifications
  • Documented performance requirements traced to (draft) CDD requirements and reflecting clear linkage to the system of system (SoS) context(s) (including use in multiple operational environments)
  • Documented performance requirements reflect design considerations
  • Documented verification requirements, including testing, for FCA/SVR
Major System Element Definition
  • Documented allocated requirements optimized through analyses (including functional analysis and sensitivity analysis), trade studies and risk assessments
Risk Assessment
  • Identified and documented risks, including ESOH mitigation measure requirements, at levels that warrant continued engineering development
Technical Plans
  • Established detailed plan/schedule, sufficiently resourced to continue design and development


Outputs and Products

Reference Source: DAG CH 3-3.3.3 System Functional Review

The Technical Review Chair determines when the review is complete. Once the products have been reviewed and approved in SFR, they provide a sound technical basis for proceeding into preliminary design.