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Capability Development Document (CDD)


A CDD (includes the Information System (IS) CDD variant) specifies capability requirements in terms of developmental Key Performance Parameters (KPPs), Key System Attributes (KSAs), Additional Performance Attributes (APAs), and other related information necessary to support development of one or more increments of a materiel capability solution. A sponsor approved draft CDD is necessary for a Milestone A acquisition decision and each RFP release in support of the Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction (TMRR) phase of the Defense Acquisition System. A validated CDD is also necessary for each Development Request for Proposal (RFP) Release Decision Point and Milestone B acquisition decision. The CDD format is in the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS) Manual, which is available online.

Alternate Definition

The Capability Development Document (CDD), including the IS-CDD and SW-CDD variants, proposes development of a specific materiel capability solution intended to wholly or partially satisfy validated capability requirements and close or mitigate associated capability gaps. The CDD is system-specific and applies to a single increment of capability in an evolutionary acquisition program. Each increment of a program will either have its own CDD or a separate CDD Annex. Key Performance Parameters (KPPs) are introduced in the CDD. The CDD includes cost either as life-cycle cost. 

General Information

The sponsoring Service or Agency prepares the CDD during the Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction (TMRR)  acquisition phase and defines measurable and testable capabilities to guide the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) acquisition phase.

The CDD provides traceability to predecessor documents such as the Initial Capabilities Document (ICD) and previously-validated capability requirements, provides supporting data for certifications and endorsements, identifies related DOTmLPF-P (non-materiel) impacts of the proposed capability solution, and outlines projected life-cycle costs of te solution.  The CDD provides performance attributes such as KPPs, Key System Attributes (KSAs), and Additional Performance Attributes (APAs) to guide the development of one or more increments of a specific system.

Prior to validation, the draft CDD gives the validation authority and other stakeholders the opportunity to assess how the proposed capability solution, andy associated development performance attributes, and other supporting data address the validated capability requirements need and to close or mitigate associated capability gaps. During staffing, the validation authority and other stakeholders can recommend modifications to the CDD including the development performance attributes and their associated threshold and objective values

A sponsor-approved draft CDD is an entrance criterion for the Request for Proposal (RFP) release in support of the TMRR phase and Milestone A decision. A validated CDD is an entrance criterion for the Development RFP Release and Milestone B decisions. In cases where Milestone B is not required and an Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase is anticipated, the validation authority must validate the CDD before either the release of the EMD RFP or the start of the EMD phase, whichever comes first.

The information systems (IS) and software (SW) variants of the CDD streamline the requirements process.  This provides IS and SW programs greater flexibility to incorporate evolving technologies and achieve faster responses from requirements validation processes than is typical for other kinds of capability solutions. The IS and SW variants describe the need for an Information Technology (IT) and SW materiel approachs using cost, schedule, performance, and oversight parameters.  These parameters enable delegating detailed capability delivery to an oversight body or organization. The IT approach is further limited to development of software without development of unique hardware. An ICD or CDD can implment the IT Box  concept.