The purpose of Acquisition Requirements Development (ARD) (CMMI-ACQ) is to elicit, develop, and analyze customer and contractual requirements.


This process area describes two types of requirements: customer requirements, which address the needs of relevant stakeholders for which one or more products and services will be acquired, and contractual requirements, which are the requirements to be addressed through the acquirer’s relationship with suppliers and other appropriate organizations. Both sets of requirements should address needs relevant to later product lifecycle phases (e.g., operation, maintenance, support, disposal) and key quality attributes (e.g., safety, reliability, maintainability).

In some acquisitions, the acquirer assumes the role of overall systems engineer, architect, or integrator for the product. In these acquisitions, the Requirements Development process area of CMMI-DEV should be used. Requirements Development in CMMI-DEV includes additional information helpful in these situations, including deriving and analyzing requirements at successively lower levels of product definition (e.g., establishing and maintaining product component requirements).

Requirements are the basis for the selection and design or configuration of the acquired product. The development of requirements includes the following activities:

  • Elicitation, analysis, and validation of stakeholder needs, expectations, constraints, and interfaces to establish customer requirements that constitute an understanding of what will satisfy stakeholders
  • Development of the lifecycle requirements of the product (e.g., development, maintenance, transition to operations, decommissioning)
  • Establishment of contractual requirements consistent with customer requirements to a level of detail that is sufficient to be included in the solicitation package and supplier agreement
  • Development of the operational concept
  • Analysis of needs and requirements (for each product lifecycle phase), the operational environment, and factors that reflect overall customer and end-user needs and expectations for quality attributes
  • Identification of quality attributes, which are non-functional properties of a product or service (e.g., responsiveness, availability, security) and are critical to customer satisfaction and to meeting the needs of relevant stakeholders (See the definition of “quality attributes” in the glossary.)

The requirements included in the solicitation package form the basis for evaluating proposals by suppliers and for further negotiations with suppliers and communication with the customer. The contractual requirements for the supplier are baselined in the supplier agreement.

Requirements are refined throughout the project lifecycle. Design decisions, subsequent corrective actions, and feedback during each phase of the project’s lifecycle are analyzed for their impact on contractual requirements.

Requirements analyses aid understanding, defining, and selecting requirements at all levels from competing alternatives. Analyses occur recursively at successively more detailed levels until sufficient detail is available to produce contractual requirements and to further refine these requirements, if necessary, while the supplier builds or configures the product.

Involvement of relevant stakeholders in both requirements development and analyses gives them visibility into the evolution of requirements. Participation continually assures stakeholders that requirements are being properly defined.

The Acquisition Requirements Development process area includes three specific goals. The Develop Customer Requirements specific goal addresses eliciting and defining a set of customer requirements. The Develop Contractual Requirements specific goal addresses defining contractual requirements that are based on customer requirements and are included in the solicitation package and supplier agreement. The specific practices of the Analyze and Validate Requirements specific goal support the development of the requirements in the first two specific goals. The specific practices associated with this specific goal cover analyzing and validating requirements with respect to the acquirer’s intended environment.


Refer to the Acquisition Technical Management (ATM) (CMMI-ACQ) process area for more information about evaluating technical solutions.

Refer to the Acquisition Validation (AVAL) (CMMI-ACQ) process area for more information about validating selected products and product components.

Refer to the Solicitation and Supplier Agreement Development (SSAD) (CMMI-ACQ) process area for more information about establishing a solicitation package and establishing supplier agreements.

Refer to the Requirements Management (REQM) (CMMI-ACQ) process area for more information about managing requirements.

Refer to the Risk Management (RSKM) (CMMI-ACQ) process area for more information about identifying and analyzing risks.


ARD.SG 1 Develop Customer Requirements
Stakeholder needs, expectations, constraints, and interfaces are collected and translated into customer requirements.
ARD.SG 2 Develop Contractual Requirements
Customer requirements are refined and elaborated into contractual requirements.
ARD.SG 3 Analyze and Validate Requirements
Requirements are analyzed and validated.