Acquisition Process

Analysis of Alternative Study Guidance

The Analysis of Alternative (AoA) Study Guidance is developed and approved by the Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (DCAPE) with the input of other DoD officials. Prior to the Materiel Development Decision (MDD) review, the DCAPE provides the AoA study guide to the DoD Component designated by the Milestone Decision Authority (MDA). Following receipt of the AoA study guidance, the DoD Component prepares an AoA study plan that describes the intended methodology for the management and execution of the AoA. The AoA study plan is coordinated with the MDA and approved by DCAPE prior to the MDD review. [1]

The study guidance shall require, at minimum, full consideration of possible trade-offs among cost, schedule, and performance objectives for each alternative considered. The study guidance shall also require an assessment of whether or not the joint military requirement can be met in a manner that is consistent with the cost and schedule objectives recommended by the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC). The AoA study guidance and resulting AoA plan should build upon the prior analyses conducted as part of the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS). The AoA study guide should be crafted to provide a fair balance between focusing on the AoA and ensuring that the AoA considers a robust set of novel and imaginative alternatives. [1]

Analysis of Alternative (AoA) Study Guidance Regulatory Requirement

The AoA Study Guidance must be provided to DoD Component(s) for the development of the AoA Study Plan prior to the Material Development Decision (MDD). Consistent with the AoA Study Guidance, the lead DoD Component will prepare the AoA Study Plan and present it at the MDD. [2]

Analysis of Alternative (AoA) Study Guidance Outline

A recommended outline for the AoA plan in the Defense Acquisition Guide (DAG) Chapter is the following: [1]

  • Introduction
    • Background
    • Purpose
    • Scope
  • Ground Rules
    • Scenarios
    • Threats
    • Environment
    • Constraints and Assumptions
    • Timeframe
    • Excursions
  • Alternatives
    • Description of Alternatives
    • Nonviable Alternatives
    • Operations Concepts
    • Sustainment Concepts
  • Determination of Effectiveness Measures
    • Mission Tasks
    • Measures of Effectiveness
    • Measures of Performance
  • Effectiveness Analysis
    • Effectiveness Methodology
    • Models, Simulations, and Data
    • Effectiveness Sensitivity Analysis
  • Cost Analysis
    • Life-Cycle Cost Methodology
    • Additional Total Ownership Cost Considerations (if applicable)
    • Fully Burdened Cost of Delivered Energy (if applicable)
    • Models and Data
    • Cost Sensitivity and/or Risk Analysis
  • Cost-Effectiveness Comparisons
    • Cost-Effectiveness Methodology
    • Displays or Presentation Formats
    • Criteria for Screening Alternatives
  • Organization and Management
    • Study Team/Organization
    • AoA Review Process
    • Schedule

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Updated: 8/01/2021

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