Working Group 25: Analysis of Alternatives (AoA)


(Updated October 2014)

Purpose:  The Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) Working Group (WG) provides a forum for the exchange of information about key aspects of the AoA process and methods of analysis.  Our primary goal is to exchange lessons learned and share best practices and analytic insights in areas which have traditionally been “too hard to analyze.”  Our secondary goal is to determine study challenges (scope, depth, breadth, etc.) and identify methodologies to overcome them. WG-25 will focus on the AoA as an educational forum for complex and unique issues that demand communication and understanding amongst decision makers, stakeholders, and study members at all levels.  This WG fosters a heightened appreciation of improving process implementation in relation to the Joint Environment.  WG-25 strives to examine the intricacies of the AoA process, to analyze both materiel and non-materiel approaches to filling gaps and shortfalls, and to accurately identify capability gaps for producing decision quality analysis.  WG-25 is also focused on AoA preparatory work to include Capability Based Assessments (CBA) and pre-Materiel Development Decisions (MDD) analyses.

Discussion:  An Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) is the analytic bridge between the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS) and the DoD acquisition process.  The primary focus of an AoA is to provide decision-quality analysis and results to inform the next milestone or decision point and provides the analytic basis for performance parameters documentation.  The AoA results enable decision-makers to have the appropriate cost, schedule, performance, and/or risk tradeoff discussions. An AoA is expected to illuminate capability advantages and disadvantages of each alternative; examine sufficient feasible alternatives; document and analyze key assumptions, variables and sensitivities; consider joint operational plans; as well as assess technology risk and maturity.  During execution, AoAs serve as an educational forum for complex issues as they demand communication and understanding amongst decision makers, stakeholders, and study staff members at all levels.

Other Working Groups:  Candidates for joint discussions with WG 25 include:

·      Experimentation (WG 22)

·      Measures of Merit (WG 23)

·      Cost Analysis (WG 26)

·      Decision Analysis (WG 27)

·      Operational Environments (WG 31)

·      Social Science Methods and Applications (WG 33)