Urgent Capability Acquisition (UCA)

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Pre-Development

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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.

Purpose

Reference Source: DoDI 5000.81 Section 4.2.a.

The purpose of pre-development is to assess and select a course or courses of action (COA or COAs) to field a quick reaction capability and to develop an acquisition approach.

Initiation

Reference Source: DoDI 5000.81 Section 4.2.b.

 

Pre-development begins upon receipt of either a validated UON, approval of a critical warfighter issue statement by the co-chairs of the Warfighter SIG per DODD 5000.71, or a SecDef or DepSecDef RAA determination document, where the associated documentation serves as justification to continue the action until such time as the disposition action discussed in Paragraph 4.5.e.

Pre-Development Activities

Reference Source: DoDI 5000.81 Section 4.2.c.

 

Upon pre-development initiation, the Component Acquisition Executive (CAE) will immediately appoint a Program Manager (PM) and an MDA for JUONs and JEONs assigned to the Component by the Executive Director, JRAC.  If DAE has retained MDA authority, he or she will either appoint a PM or task a CAE to do so. Approval authorities for DoD Component-specific UONs, to include designation of the PM and MDA, will be at the DoD Component level.

 

The PM, in collaboration with the intended user  community and requirements validation authority:

    • Assesses the required capability and any recommended non-materiel options and, if not adequately stated, determines performance thresholds so that they can be testable for assessment of the minimal set of performance parameters required to adequately reduce the capability gap.
    • Performs an analysis of potential courses of action, if not already performed, that considers:
        • The range of feasible capabilities, near, mid, and long term, to include consideration of an existing domestic or foreign-made capability.
        • The acquisition risk (cost, schedule, and performance) and the operational risk of each solution.
        • The operational risk to the requesting commander if an effective solution is not deployed in the time specified by the commander.
    • Assesses and documents the safety and supportability risks of the potential course of action.
    • Presents recommended COA to MDA and requirement validation authority
    • Notifies the MDA if he or she is unable to identify an effective solution that could be executed under the Urgent Capability Acquisition pathway. The MDA will in turn notify the requirements validation authority.  If it is a JUON or JEON, a critical warfighter issue identified by the Warfighter SIG, or a SecDef or DepSecDef RAA determination, the MDA will notify the DAE and the requirements validation authority through the Executive Director, JRAC and the Deputy Director for Requirements and Capability Development  in the Joint Staff Force Structure, Resources, and Assessment Directorate (J-8).

If, as part of the acquisition strategy, the PM anticipates transition to another pathway or pathways, the acquisition team will need to review the requirements of the other pathway(s) and consider preparing documentation, reviews, etc., for that pathway, even if those requirements are not currently necessary for the UCA pathway.

Acquisition Strategy

Reference Source: DoDI 5000.81 Section 4.2

 

The PM will present the recommended course(s) of action to the MDA and the requirements validation authority.   The selected course of action will be documented in an ADM. More than one course of action may be selected to provide the phased or incremental fielding of capabilities.

 

For each approved course of action, the PM will develop a draft acquisition strategy and an abbreviated program baseline (APB) based on readily available information.  In the context of the issuance, the documentation requirement is for the minimal amount necessary to define and execute the program and obtain MDA approval.

 

This documentation may take any appropriate, written form, will typically be coordinated only with directly affected stakeholders; and will evolve in parallel with urgent capability acquisition activities as additional information becomes available as a result of those activities.

 

The acquisition strategy will comply with the information requirements applicable to ACAT II and ACAT III programs available online at https://www.dau.edu/mdid/Pages/Default.aspx:

    • Table 2. “Milestone and Phase Information Requirements.”
    • Table 6. “Exceptions, Waivers, and Alternative Management and Reporting Requirements.”
    • Table 10. “Information Requirements Unique to the Urgent Capability Acquisition Process” (also shown in Table 1 of DoDI 5000.81).

 

A streamlined, highly-tailored strategy consistent with the urgency of the need will be employed. Regulatory requirements will be tailored or waived, as appropriate.

 

The tailored acquisition strategy should be brief and contain only essential information, such as resourcing needs and sources; key deliverables; performance parameters; key risks and mitigation approaches; a production schedule; a fielding schedule; contracting methodology and key terms; and preliminary plans for performance assessment of the capability and its supportability, to include software.

 

When designing the acquisition strategy, the PM, in collaboration with the requesting operational commander or sponsoring user community representative will determine whether an operational prototype is necessary to reduce operational risk and, if so, include this determination and a notional assessment approach in the acquisition strategy.

Intellectual Property (IP) Planning

Reference Source: DODI 5010.44 IP Acquisition and Licensing Section 1.2

 

Integrate Intellectual Property (IP) planning fully into acquisition strategies and product support strategies to protect core DoD interests over the entire life cycle. Seek to acquire only those IP deliverables and license rights necessary to accomplish these strategies, bearing in mind the long-term effect on cost,competition, and affordability.

 

Weapon and information systems acquired by DoD in support of the warfighter are, and will be, increasingly dependent on technology for its operation, maintenance, modernization, and sustainment. Acquiring and licensing the appropriate IP is vital for ensuring the systems will remain functional, sustainable, upgradable and affordable. Because balancing the interests of the U.S. Government and industry in IP can be diffcult, early and effective understanding, planning, and communications between the U.S. Government and industry is critical, as is ensuring delivery, acceptance, and management of the necessary IP deliverables (e.g., technical data and computer software), with appropriate license rights. The DoD requires fair treatment of IP owners, and seeks to create conditions that encourage technologically advanced solutions to meet DoD needs.

T&E in Acquisition Strategy

Reference Source: DoDI 5000.89, Section 4.1.a.

Pursuant to DoDD 5000.01 and DoDI 5000.02T, the PM will develop an acquisition strategy for MDA approval that matches the acquisition pathway [see AAF graphic] processes, reviews, documents, and metrics to the character and risk of the capability being acquired.

Information Technology

Reference Source: DoDI 5000.81 Section 4.2.c.

 

Information technology, including National Security Systems, provided in response to an urgent operational need requires an authorization to operate in accordance with DoDI 8510.01.

Disposition Decision

Reference Source: DoDI 5000.81 Section 4.2.c.

 

A disposition decision should be made as early as feasible and decided upon at appropriate milestones or other decision points.

Funding

Reference Source: DoDI 5000.81 Section 4.2.c.

 

Funding for the acquisition program may be in increments over the program life cycle. The program life cycle begins upon pre-development initiation and ends upon completing the final disposition of the capability as described in Paragraph 4.5.e.

 

Generally, funds will have to be reprioritized and reprogrammed to expedite the acquisition process. If a capability can be fielded within an acceptable timeline through the normal Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution system, it would not be considered appropriate to utilize urgent capability acquisition procedures.

What's Changed?

New/revised text from DoDI 5000.02, Enclosure 13, January 2015, is highlighted in red; deletions are shown as strikethrough text.

 

  • CAE appoints PM and designates an MDA. If DAE retains MDA authority, the DAE will appoint a PM or ask a CAE to do so.
  • PM, in collaboration with user and requirements validation authority:
    • Assesses the required capability and non-materiel options
    • Determines performance thresholds; ensure they are testable
    • Performs an analysis of potential courses of action, if not already performed, that considers:
      • The range of feasible capabilities, near, mid, and long term, to include consideration of an existing domestic or foreign-made capability.
      • The acquisition risk (cost, schedule, and performance) and the operational risk of each solution.
      • The operational risk to the requesting commander if an effective solution is not deployed in the time specified by the commander.
    • Assesses and documents safety and supportability risks
  • Presents recommended COA to MDA and requirement validation authority
  • MDA selected COA documented in ADM (more than one COA may be selected to provide phase or incremental fielding of capabilities
  • PM develops draft acquisition strategy (must include planning for O&S) and APB for each COA
  • The acquisition strategy will comply with the requirements in Table 11 of this enclosure and the items in Table 2 of Enclosure 1 that are required for ACAT II and III programs (unless modified by Table 11);  information requirements applicable to ACAT II and ACAT III programs available online at https://www.dau.edu/mdid/Pages/Default.aspx: 
    • Table 2. “Milestone and Phase Information Requirements.”
    • Table 6. “Exceptions, Waivers, and Alternative Management and Reporting Requirements.”
    • Table 10. “Information Requirements Unique to the Urgent Capability Acquisition Process” (also shown in Table 1 of DoDI 5000.80).
  • A streamlined, highly-tailored strategy consistent with the urgency of the need will be employed. Regulatory requirements will be tailored or waived, as appropriate.
  • The tailored acquisition strategy should be relatively brief and contain only essential information, such as resourcing needs and sources; key deliverables; performance parameters; key risks and mitigation approaches; a production schedule; a fielding schedule; contracting methodology and key terms; and preliminary plans for performance assessment (which may or may not include test and evaluation ), deployment, training and sustainment. of the capability and its supportability, to include software.
  • When designing the acquisition strategy, the PM, in collaboration with the requesting operational commander or sponsoring user community representative will determine whether an operational prototype is necessary to reduce operational risk and, if so, include this determination and a notional assessment approach in the acquisition strategy.