Establish and maintain operational concepts and associated scenarios.


Operational concepts or concepts of operation are overall descriptions of the problems to be solved in operational terms and the ways in which the products to be acquired are intended to be used or operated, deployed, supported (including maintenance and sustainment), and disposed. The acquirer explicitly accounts for design constraints.


For example, the operational concept for a satellite based communications product is quite different from one based on landlines.

In contrast, a scenario is a description of a sequence of events that might occur in the use, transition, or sustainment of the product to be acquired and makes explicit some stakeholder functionality and quality attribute needs. Typically, scenarios are derived from business process descriptions and operational concepts.

Operational concepts and scenarios can assist in the elicitation of needs and the analysis and refinement of requirements. Operational concepts and scenarios can be further refined as solution decisions are made and more detailed requirements are developed. They are evolved to facilitate the validation of technical solutions delivered by the supplier.

Example Work Products

  1. Operational, maintenance, support, and disposal concepts
  2. Use cases, user stories
  3. New requirements


1. Develop operational concepts and scenarios that include operations, installation, maintenance, support, and disposal as appropriate.

Augment scenarios with quality attribute considerations for the functions (or other logical entities) described in the scenario.

2. Define the environment in which the product will operate, including boundaries and constraints.

3. Review operational concepts and scenarios to refine and discover requirements.

Operational concept and scenario development is an iterative process. Reviews should be held periodically to ensure that the operational concepts and scenarios agree with the requirements. The review can be in the form of a walkthrough.

4. Develop a detailed operational concept, as candidate solutions are identified and product and product component solutions are selected by the supplier, that defines the interaction of the product, the end user, and the environment, and that satisfies operational, maintenance, support, and disposal needs.