The proper root of all system requirements is the Concept of Operations (CONOPS) and its close relative the Operational Requirements Document (ORD). It forms the foundation for all other requirements and design documents. It is the only system engineering artifact that directly ties the system requirements to the business in terms understandable by the business community that the system is intended to serve. This tutorial goes far beyond document templates by describing how to perform and refine a conceptual design and how to document the results of the conceptual design in either the CONOPS or the ORD. The orientation of the tutorial is the practical construction of a CONOPS including many examples and checklists. It will provide a sound foundation for people new to the subject, and it will provide refinement, improvement and knowledge consolidation to those experienced in writing either a CONOPS or an ORD.
This tutorial consists of eight 50 minute sessions (the remaining 10 minutes of each hour are break time). Each 50 minute session will consist of approximately 40 minutes of lecture followed by approximately 10 minutes of facilitated discussion questions. Bring your CONOPS questions to the tutorial for discussion.
Two of the tutorial sessions present the general principles of conceptual design, and 6 of the sessions present specific instructions on how to create a CONOPS. The sessions and their main topics include:
- What is a conceptual design and who cares?
- The Military CONOPS (acquisition plan)
- Principles and fallacies of conceptual design
- Step 1 of the CONOPS process: discover / develop the basic concepts
- Step 2: Perform the initial conceptual design
- Step 3: Perform the conceptual analysis and refine the design
- Steps 4 & 5: Verify and Validate; Document the CONOPS
- Detailed Business Example (A toy example is also provided)