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Department of Defense INSTRUCTION


DoDI 5000.02, January 7,

DoDI 5000.02, January 7, 2015 (b) Generic Acquisition Milestones and Decision Points 1. Need Identification, called the Materiel Development Decision by DoD, is the decision that a new product is needed and that activities to analyze alternative solutions will occur. 2. Risk Reduction Decision, called Milestone A by DoD, is an investment decision to pursue specific product or design concepts, and to commit the resources required to mature technology and/or reduce any risks that must be mitigated prior to decisions committing the resources needed for development leading to production and fielding. 3. The decision to commit resources to the development of a product for manufacturing and fielding, called Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) by DoD, follows completion of any needed technology maturation and risk reduction. DoD breaks this commitment into three related decisions: (1) a requirements decision point (called the CDD Validation Decision by DoD); (2) a decision to release a solicitation for development to industry, called the Development Request for Proposals (RFP) Release Decision Point; and (3) a decision to award the contract(s) for development, called Milestone B by DoD. Formally, the development contract award authorized at DoD’s Milestone B is the critical decision point in an acquisition program because it commits the organization’s resources to a specific product, budget profile, choice of suppliers, contract terms, schedule, and sequence of events leading to production and fielding. In practice however, almost all of these decisions have to be made prior to the release of the RFP to industry in order to inform the bidders’ proposals. For DoD, the Development RFP Release Decision Point is the point at which plans for the program must be most carefully reviewed to ensure all risks are understood and under control, the program plan is sound, and that the program will be affordable and executable. a. Requirements Decision Point (CDD Validation Decision for DoD). The point at which the major cost and performance trades have been completed and enough risk reduction has been completed to support a decision to commit to the set of requirements that will be used for preliminary design activities, development, and production (subject to reconsideration and refinement as knowledge increases). b. Development RFP Release Decision. The point at which planning for development is complete and a decision can be made to release an RFP for development (and possibly initial production) to industry. c. Development Decision, called Milestone B by DoD. The development decision commits the resources (authorizes proceeding to award of the contract(s)) needed to conduct development leading to production and fielding of the product. 4. The decision to enter production follows development and testing. For DoD, the production decision is normally broken into two DoD decisions: (1) Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP), called Milestone C by DoD, or Limited Deployment; and (2) the Full-Rate Production or Full Deployment Decision. Change 2, 02/02/2017 8

DoDI 5000.02, January 7, 2015 a. The Initial Production Decision. The production decision, based primarily on developmental testing results and usually also informed by an operational assessment, commits the resources (i.e., authorizes proceeding to award the contract(s)) required to enter production and begin deployment of the product. Evidence from testing that the product design is stable is the critical consideration for this decision. The commitment to enter production is very expensive and difficult to reverse. b. Full Rate Production or Full Deployment Decision. The decision, following completion of operational testing of representative initial production products, to scale up production and/or deployment. 5. While these generic decision points and milestones are standard, MDAs have full latitude to tailor programs in the most effective and efficient structure possible, to include eliminating phases and combining or eliminating milestones and decision points, unless constrained by statute. Paragraph 5d provides more detail about the standard structure, milestones, and decision points as they apply to most defense acquisition programs. Enclosure 1 includes tables of specific requirements for the various statutory and regulatory categories of programs. Enclosures 11 through and 13 provide additional information about Information Technology programs (described in Enclosure 11), Defense Business Systems (described in Enclosure 12), and Urgent Needs Capability Acquisitions (described in Enclosure 13); cybersecurity is described in Enclosure 14. Defense Business Systems are described in Reference (cw). (3) Defense Acquisition Program Models (a) Paragraphs 5c(3)(b) through 5c(3)(e) describe four basic models that serve as examples of defense program structures tailored to the type of product being acquired or to the need for accelerated acquisition. Two additional hybrid models combine the features of multiple basic models. Each basic model is tailored to the dominant characteristics of the product being acquired (e.g., hardware intensive products such as most weapons systems). The hybrids are described because many products will require combining models, such as a weapons systems development that includes significant software development. Acquisition programs should use these models as a starting point in structuring a program to acquire a specific product. 1. The models provide baseline approaches. A specific program should be tailored to the unique character of the product being acquired. 2. All of the models contain requirements and product definition analysis, risk reduction, development, testing, production, deployment, and sustainment phases punctuated by major investment decisions at logical programmatic and contractual decision points. Progress through the acquisition management system as depicted in any of these models or in a tailored variation depends on obtaining sufficient knowledge about the capability to be provided and risks and costs remaining in the program to support a sound business decision to proceed to the next phase. Change 2, 02/02/2017 9

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