MDA Responsibilities: Validate the rationale for the material development need, and approve the draft capability description and the draft CONOPS for the capability. If appropriate, resolve any issues not mutually agreed on across the members of the portfolio management team (PMT). Provide guidance to apply during the Business Case Development Phase, as appropriate.


The Business Case Development Phase enables leadership to make an informed, rational initial decision to invest in a program. It should further evolve the draft capability description and draft CONOPS and develop alternative approaches or system concepts for the proposed program. It should formalize the approach to quantify costs that will be incurred in the program and benefits expected to be achieved by the program, and conduct an analysis of the trade-offs among the alternatives to assess the anticipated costs and benefits of each in order to recommend a preferred approach or system concept. It should also identify major risk factors that could jeopardize success and propose mitigation strategies for each major risk factor. In so doing, it should develop a proposed schedule and budget for the capability increments from the initial capability increment through to the final capability increment and anticipated life-cycle costs, and propose an allocation of the top-level requirements identified in the draft capability description to the capability increments. This proposed plan should be a “living document” intended to be refined in subsequent planning and analysis phases as learning and communications continue throughout the multiple capability increments of the program.

The Business Case Development Phase is carried out under the leadership and direction of the PMT for the proposed program.


Purpose: The purpose of the Milestone A: Planning, Analysis, and Concept Demonstration Decision is to validate the business case and analysis of alternatives, and to authorize entry into the initial Planning, Analysis, and Concept Demonstration Phase.

PM Responsibilities: Not applicable; no program exists at this point.

PMT Responsibilities: Develop and agree to the business case and recommended alternative.

MDA Responsibilities: Approve the business case and recommended

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