Comments on OCD Guidance

Keywords Operational Concept Description (OCD) Operational Concept Document (OCD)
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This note addresses the documents 'Guidance for the Preparation of an OCD, FPS and TCD' of 14 April 2002, and DID DID-ENG-DEF-OCD-VF, 'Operational Concept Document' (undated). These documents (referred to here as the OCD Guide and the OCD Template) provide guidance, content and format for operational concept documents (OCDs) for the ADO.

I am currently developing the OCDs for the Maritime Command Support System (MCSS) and the Mine Warfare Command Support System (MWCSS). I am a requirements engineer and systems engineer, both practitioner and researcher, a long standing member of both INCOSE (The International Council on Systems Engineering) and SESA (The Systems Engineering Society of Australia). I have been a member of SESA's Management Committee for over 5 years. I am a member of INCOSE's Requirements Working Group where I have been a project leader and served as International Co-chair.

While the views in this note are my own, I have discussed these issues with many consultants and Defence personnel who have been involved in developing OCDs within Defence in recent times, and I am aware that most of these share my concerns.

In writing this note, I am particularly concerned that skilled practitioners are being criticised for inadequate performance or products when developing OCDs, when the problems in fact lie elsewhere. These practitioners come from a number of different consultant companies, and it is not realistic to believe that they could all be wrong, given the wide and varied experience of many of them.

There has been concern regarding the inadequacy and inconsistency of OCDs developed for a number of capabilities within the ADO. As someone with considerable and acknowledged experience in requirements engineering, both as a practitioner and researcher, I consider that the problems are inevitable.


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