Reference document

Concept Development

Concept development is the application of scientific structure and methods to the challenge of developing future military capability. Concept development is a forward-looking process for developing and evaluating new concepts, before committing extensive resources. The objectives of Concept Development are to identify recommended solutions to capability shortfalls or gaps. The Concept Development Process is a means by which ideas are refined, accepted or rejected through the postulation of increasingly detailed hypothesis statements. This process permits the exploration of any concept to determine its merit and feasibility. Concept development is not an orderly, sequential process resulting in a fully developed solution where the final result is fully blueprinted at the beginning of the process. Instead, military concepts tend to form iteratively and incrementally over time, and military concept development is a process of exploration and validation tending to unfold as a hypothesis- antithesis-synthesis dialogue. A successful concept must undergo a validation process by which it is tested and eventually accepted or rejected by the institution. Any important military concept under consideration should be the subject of an open and honest debate within the institution. The validation process provides a sort of crucible through which the concept must pass strengthening the concept in the process if it survives. In this way validation and development are closely linked. Like development, validation often tends to be disorderly. It occurs both formally and informally. Both are necessary in validating a concept. A concept may have been officially approved, but is not truly validated until it has been accepted by the stakeholders of the institution. Formal validation takes place through workshops, war games, experiments or other activities held by proper authority for the express purpose of evaluating the concept. Informal validation occurs in the operating forces, professional schools and the institution at large in the form of field and map exercises and articles in professional journals. All are important in validating the concept.

Research and Innovation