I'm working two programs where Earned Value Management, through FAR 34.2 and DFARS 234.2 are applicable. These programs are also Software Intensive Systems applying Agile development processes. Capabilities Based Planning is defined as ...
A method involving the functional analysis of operational requirements. Capabilities are identified based on the tasks required… Once the required capability inventory is defined, the most cost effective and efficient options to satisfy the requirements are sought. Capabilities Based Planning is planning, under uncertainty, to provide capabilities suitable for a wide range of modern-day challenges and circumstances while working within an economic framework that necessitates choice.
In tradition Agile (I know agilest will be wincing) the development of requirements is emergent. On Sofware Intensive System of Systems in the domain where FAR / DFARS are applicable, we have deadlines and mandatory Capabilities for the outcomes of the work effort. The system must perform in specific ways on specific dates for specific costs.
This specificity of capabilities, cost, and delivery dates is no different than on Enterprise IT projects
When applying Agile Development has to address how do we bound the program in a contract vehicle? The Agile Manifesto of Customer Collaboration Over Contract Negotiation is fine except when dealing with a sovereign. So here's how its done.
Capabilities Based Planning
The needed Capabilities are on contract. The technical and operational requirements needed to provide those capabilities can be emergent and are suitable to agile development methods.
Here's some posts from the past about Capabilities Based Planning
- Capabilities Based Planning First Then Requirements
- The Basis of Capabilities Based Planning
- Capabilities Based Planning
- Capabilities Based Planning - Part 2
- Capabilities Based Planning (RAND)
And of course ...
To make decisions about the analysis of alternatives using Capabilities Based Planning, estimates must be made of the outcomes for each choice in the list of alternatives. Without estimates, there can be no Analysis of Alternatives to determine which capabilities are best suited to meet the mission need or fulfill the business case. There can be no credible decisions in the presence of uncertainty without estimates.