U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Interoperability and Dependencies

Interoperability and Dependencies 

Almost all DoD systems operate in a system of systems (SoS) context relying upon other systems to provide desired user capabilities, making it vital that interoperability needs and external dependencies are identified early and incorporated into system requirements. When identifying system requirements, it is critical to consider the operational and systems of systems context. These include, but are not limited to, physical requirements (e.g., size, power limits, etc.), electronic requirements (e.g., signature, interference, etc.) and information exchange/management (e.g., network, bandwidth, information needs, etc.). These also include interdependencies with other systems.  

Interoperability is the requirement that the program’s system interact with other systems through transport of information, energy, or matter. Dependencies are relationships between different programs that cause one program to rely on another program’s actions or products to successfully meet its requirements. The common element linking interoperability and dependencies is the need for cooperation and coordination between separate programs. Two common ways to meet this need are Memorandum of Agreements (MOA)s and invited attendance at program technical reviews and other technical meetings. MOAs are agreements between programs that specify expectations as to performance, resources, management and schedules. Interchange between engineers and managers at technical meetings opens lines of communication, which permits risk identification and early mitigation. 

For more information on Interoperability and Dependency as a design consideration, see the Systems Engineering Guidebook, Sections 5.12. For more information on systems of systems, see the Systems Engineering Guidebook, Section 2.1. Also see DoDI 8330.01 for interoperability of information technology.