can we replace our CDD/CPD with an ONS to field to users quickly? if so how would we do this? thanks
Interestingly, your question rests more with the capability determination process, operational urgency, and risk factors more than just a simple consideration if one document can replace the other.
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For example, the Initial Capability Document, Capability Development Document (CDD), and Capability Production Document (CPD) all fall under the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS), the formal United States Department of Defense (DoD) procedure which defines acquisition requirements and evaluation criteria for future defense programs. Essentially, these are the requirements documents that are used in the deliberate acquisition process, i.e., the traditional route for capabilities that require significant technical development and/or are not urgent or compelling in nature. They are described by CJCSI 3170.01I, Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS), 23 Jan 2015; the JCIDS Manual, 12 Feb 2015, and the DoDI 5000.02, Operation of the Defense Acquisition System, 7 Jan 2015.
DoD Components, in their own terminology, may use a different name for an urgent operational needs statement (UONS). For instance, Army Regulation (AR) 71-9, Warfighting Capabilities Determination, 29 Dec 2009, suggests that Army operational commanders use an Operational Needs Statement or ONS to document the urgent need for a nonstandard and or unprogrammed capability to correct a deficiency or improve a capability that enhances mission accomplishment. In this case, the ONS provides an opportunity for the operational commander, outside the acquisition, combat development, and training development communities, to initiate the capability determination process (which includes capability gap definition, reason for urgency, etc.). As such, the ONS is not a JCIDS capability document, but a request for need validation and sourcing of a perceived requirement. UONs typically lead to a joint urgent operational need (JUON) or DoD Component UON document. Emergent operational needs typically lead to a joint emergent operational need (JEON) or DoD Component UON document. It is important to note that not all UONS or ONS become actual acquisition programs of record (requiring requirements documents such as the CDD or CPD you mentioned).
It may be prudent to consider all the above references to help shape your acquisition strategy. DoDI 5000.02, Enclosure 13 (Rapid Fielding of Capabilities) provides policy and procedures for acquisition programs that provide capabilities to fulfill urgent operational needs and other quick reaction capabilities. Tailoring is always appropriate when it will produce a more efficient and effective acquisition approach for the specific product, so please consider the numerous acquisition program models in the new DoDI 5000.02 that allow the DoD acquisition managers and staff to tailor and streamline the acquisition approach that best suits the needs of the program.
Lastly, while it was not part of your initial question, you mentioned “requirements that don't seem realistic or achievable.” If any of the documented capability requirements in the CDD or CPD are so novel or high risk that they are not achievable, testable, or attainable from a cost, schedule or performance perspective, you certainly should work with your respective requirements validation authority via the JCIDS process to consider moving those requirements to a later program increment. This is an integral outcome of the systems engineering trade-off analysis completed by the Program Manager or the DoD Component. For ACAT I and ACAT IA programs, a Configuration Steering Board (CSB) is required to meet at least annually, and more frequently as capability requirements or content trades are needed.