At the beginning of a project tasked with the acquisition of a complex system, it is important to conduct an analysis of the purported mission of the System to be acquired to make sure we are responding to a valid operational need. The Mission Needs Analysis ends up being a phase in the LCAP dedicated to proving that the need is valid, and that there is a feasible design approach.
In this module we also describe how operational objectives of the system are associated with system-level functions that can be visualized so they can be allocated to lower level configuration items in support of a functional and architectural decomposition effort. At this point, SEs put on their creativity caps and try to visualize the type of system that can successfully carry out the functional capabilities being designed into the system. When developing new innovative systems, we try to leverage existing knowledge about existing systems to the extent that we can. By taking existing knowledge and repackaging it in some new way, we are essentially affecting a translation process that transforms research knowledge related to system objectives into established products and services.