Reference document

Develop Courses of Action
Determine what resources the organization currently has that can help reach the defined goals and objectives of the mission. Identify any areas of which the organization must seek external resources. The issues facing the organization should be prioritized by their importance to mission success. Once prioritized, begin formulating courses of action. The process of COA Development includes planners working backwards through the system. They start from the goals and objectives (expected outcomes and outputs) and work backwards through the system to identify the actions needed to produce the results. Then they identify what inputs (or resources) are needed to carry out the actions. Because situations are fluid, it is critical in this stage to determine available alternative ways of achieving objectives and to develop alternative approaches that target each step of the plan. The number of alternatives should be reduced to the most promising and fruitful ones by preliminary look. To help the prioritization, the opposing Centers of Gravity (COG) that should be defeated to satisfy the mission objectives and thosefriendly COGs to defend. COGs are those characteristics, capabilities, or localities from which a military force, nation, or alliance derives its freedom of action, physical strength, or will to fight.
Plan Operations