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DoDAF Viewpoints and Models

Operational Viewpoint

OV-2: Operational Resource Flow Description

The OV-2 DoDAF-described Model applies the context of the operational capability to a community of anticipated users. The primary purpose of the OV-2 is to define capability requirements within an operational context. The OV-2 may also be used to express a capability boundary.

New to DoDAF V2.0, the OV-2 can be used to show flows of funding, personnel and materiel in addition to information. A specific application of the OV-2 is to describe a logical pattern of resource (information, funding, personnel, or materiel) flows. The logical pattern need not correspond to specific organizations, systems or locations, allowing Resource Flows to be established without prescribing the way that the Resource Flows are handled and without prescribing solutions.

The intended usage of the OV-2 includes:

  • Definition of operational concepts.
  • Elaboration of capability requirements.
  • Definition of collaboration needs.
  • Applying a local context to a capability.
  • Problem space definition.
  • Operational planning.
  • Supply chain analysis.
  • Allocation of activities to resources.

Detailed Description:

The OV-2 depicts Operational Needlines that indicate a need to exchange resources. New to DoDAF V2.0, the OV-2 show flows of funding, personnel and materiel in addition to information. The OV-2 may also show the location of Operational facilities or locations, and may optionally be annotated to show flows of information, funding, people or materiel between Operational Activities. The Operational Activities shown in an OV-2 may be internal to the architecture, or may be external activities that communicate with those internal activities.

Use of OV-2 is intended to be logical. It is to describe who or what, not how. This model provides a focus for the operational requirements which may reflect any capability requirements that have been articulated but within the range of operational settings that are being used for operational architecture. In an "As-Is" architecture, an OV-2 may be used as an abstract (i.e., simplified) representation of the Resource Flows taking place in the Enterprise. An OV-2 can be a powerful way of expressing the differences between an "As-Is" Architectural Description and a proposed "To-Be" Architectural Description to non-technical stakeholders, as it simply shows how Resource Flows (or does not flow). The aim of the OV-2 is to record the operational characteristics for the community of anticipated users relevant to the Architectural Description and their collaboration needs, as expressed in Needlines and Resource Flows.

A specific application of the OV-2 is to describe a logical pattern of resource (information, funding, personnel, or materiel) flows. The purpose of an OV-2 model is to describe a logical pattern of Resource Flows. The logical pattern need not correspond to specific organizations, systems or locations, allowing Resource Flows to be established without prescribing the way that the Resource Flows are handled and without prescribing solutions. The OV-2 is intended to track the need for Resource Flows between specific Operational Activities and Locations that play a key role in the Architectural Description. OV-2 does not depict the physical connectivity between the Activities and Locations. The logical pattern established in an OV-2 model may act as the backbone onto which architectural elements may be overlaid - e.g., a SV-1 Systems Interface Description model can show which systems are providing the necessary capability.

The main features of this model are the Operational Resource Flows, and the location (or type of location/environment) where the resources need to be or are deployed, and the Needlines that indicate a need to exchange or share resources. An OV-2 indicates the key players and the interactions necessary to conduct the corresponding operational activities of OV-5a Operational Activity Decomposition Tree or OV-5b Operational Activity Model.

A Needline documents the required or actual exchanges of resources. A Needline is a conduit for one or more resource exchanges - i.e., it represents a logical bundle of Resource Flows. The Needline does not indicate how the transfer is implemented. For example, if information (or funding, personnel, or materiel) is produced at location A, routed through location B, and is used at location C, then location B would not be shown on the OV-2 - the Needline would go from Location A to Location C. The OV-2 is not a communications link or communications network diagram but a high-level definition of the logical requirement for resource exchange.

A OV-2 can also define a need to exchange items between Operational Activities and locations and external resources (i.e., Operational Activities, Locations, or Organizations that are not strictly within the scope of the subject Architectural Description but which interface to it either as important sources of items required within the Architectural Description or important destinations for items provided within the Architectural Description).

The OV-2 is intended to track the need to exchange items between key Operational Activities and Locations within the Architectural Description. The OV-2 does not depict the physical connectivity between the Operational Activities and Locations. The Needlines established in an OV-2 can be realized by resources and their interactions in a SV-1 Systems Interface Description model or SvcV-1 Services Context Description model. There may not be a one-to-one correspondence between an operational activity and a location in OV-2 and a resource in SV-1 Systems Interface Description model or SvcV-1 Services Context Description model. For example, an Operational Activity and location may be realized by two systems, where one provides backup for the other, or it may be that the functionality of an Operational Activity has to be split between two locations for practical reasons.

Needlines can be represented by arrows (indicating the direction of flow) and are annotated with a diagram-unique identifier and a phrase that is descriptive of the principal type of exchange - it may be convenient to present these phrases (or numerical labels) in a key to the diagram to prevent cluttering. It is important to note that the arrows (with identifiers) on the diagram represent Needlines only. This means that each arrow indicates only that there is a need for the transfer of some resource between the two connected Activities or locations. A Needline can be uni-directional. Because Needline identifiers are often needed to provide a trace reference for Resource Flow requirements (see OV-3 Operational Resource Flow Matrix), a combined approach, with numerical and text labels, can be used.

There may be several Needlines (in the same direction) from one resource to another. This may occur because some Needlines are only relevant to certain scenarios, missions or mission phases. In this case, when producing the OV-2 for the specific case, a subset of all of the Needlines should be displayed. There can be a one-to-many relationship from Needlines to Resource Flow (e.g., a single Needline in OV-2 represents multiple individual Resource Flows). The mapping of the Resource Flows to the Needlines of OV-2 occurs in the Operational Resource Flow Matrix (OV-3). For example, OV-2 may list Situation Report as a descriptive name for a Needline between two Operational resources. In this case, the Needline represents a number of resource flow (information in this case) exchanges, consisting of various types of reports (information elements), and their attributes (such as periodicity and timeliness) that are associated with the Situation Report Needline. The identity of the individual elements and their attributes are documented in OV-3 Operational Resource Flow Matrix model.

For complex Architectural Descriptions, OV-2 may consist of multiple graphics. There are several different ways to decompose OV-2. One method involves using multiple levels of abstraction and decomposing the Resource Flows. Another method involves restricting the Resource Flows and Needlines on any given graphic to those associated with a subset of operational activities. Finally it is possible to organize OV-2 in terms of scenarios, missions or mission phases. All of these methods are valid and can be used together.

Flows of Funding, Personnel and Material:

In addition to Needlines, Resource Flow Connectors can be used to overlay contextual information about how the Operational Activities and Locations interact via physical flows. This information helps to provide context for the business roles. Examples of Resource Flow Connector usage would be:

  • Representing a logistics capability may have an interaction which involves supplying (physically delivering) personnel.
  • Representing an air-to-air refueling capability may have an interaction with airborne platform capabilities which involves transfer of fuel.
  • Representing a sensor capability may have an interaction with a target through a flow of physical energy that is sensed; this is not an information flow.

This is achieved by overlaying the Resource Flow Connectors on the diagram using a notation that is clearly distinct from Needlines (which only represent the requirement to flow resources).

Operational Activities:

The operational activities (from the OV-5b Operational Activity Model) performed may be listed on the graphic, if space permits. OV-2 and the OV-5b Operational Activity Model are complementary descriptions. OV-2 focuses on the Operational Resource Flows, with the activities being a secondary adornment. The OV-5b, on the other hand, places first-order attention on operational activities and only second-order attention on Resource Flows, which can be shown as annotations or swim lanes on the activities. In developing an Architectural Description, OV-2 and OV-5b Operational Activity Model are often the starting points and these may be developed iteratively.

OV-1: High-Level Operational Concept Graphic

OV-2: Operational Resource Flow Description

OV-3: Operational Resource Flow Matrix

OV-4: Organizational Relationships Chart

OV-5a: Operational Activity Decomposition Tree

OV-5b: Operational Activity Model

OV-6a, 6b, 6c: Introduction

OV-6a: Operational Rules Model

OV-6b: State Transition Description

OV-6c: Event-Trace Description