DODAF - DOD Architecture Framework Version 2.02 - DOD Deputy Chief Information Officer

DoDAF Viewpoints and Models

Operational Viewpoint

DoDAF-described Models in the Operational Viewpoint describe the tasks and activities, operational elements, and resource flow exchanges required to conduct operations. A pure operational model is materiel independent. However, operations and their relationships may be influenced by new technologies, such as collaboration technology, where process improvements are in practice before policy can reflect the new procedures. There may be some cases, as well, in which it is necessary to document the way activities are performed, given the restrictions of current systems, to examine ways in which new systems could facilitate streamlining the activities. In such cases, operational models may have materiel constraints and requirements that need to be addressed. For this reason, it may be necessary to include some high-level system architectural data to augment information onto the operational models.

Uses of Operational Viewpoint DoDAF-described Models. The OV DoDAF-described Models may be used to describe a requirement for a “To-Be” architecture in logical terms, or as a simplified description of the key behavioral and information aspects of an “As-Is” architecture. The OV DoDAF-described Models re-use the capabilities defined in the Capability Viewpoint and put them in the context of an operation or scenario. The OV DoDAF-described Models can be used in a number of ways, including the development of user requirements, capturing future concepts, and supporting operational planning processes.

One important way that architectural modeling supports the definition of requirements is in terms of boundary definition. Boundary definition is a process that often requires a significant degree of stakeholder engagement; the described models provided by DoDAF provide ideal support for this interactive process. The DoDAF provides support to the concept of functional scope and organizational span. When performing analysis of requirements relative to a particular capability or capabilities, it is important to know the specific functionality intended to be delivered by the capability. It is also important to know the limits of that functionality, to be able to determine necessary interfaces to other capabilities and organizations. The use of OV DoDAF-described Models (e.g., Operational Resource Flow Description and Operational Activity Model) supports identification of the boundaries of capabilities, thus rendering the functional scope and organizational span.

Definition of user-level interoperability requirements is another use for which there is applicability of the Operational Viewpoint DoDAF-described Models. Within the Operational Viewpoint DoDAF-described Models, DoDAF supports interoperability analysis in a number of ways.

Operational models can be used to help answering questions such as:

  • What are the lines of business supported by this enterprise?
  • What activities are in place to support the different lines of business?
  • What is the functional scope of the capability or capabilities for which I am responsible? This can be answered by a combination of information from the activity model and CV DoDAF-described Models.
  • What is the organizational span of influence of this capability or capabilities?
  • What information must be passed between capabilities?
  • What strategic drivers require that certain data are passed or tracked? This can be answered by a combination of data within the logical data model, information exchanges, activities, and CV DoDAF-described Models.
  • What activities are being supported or automated by a capability or capabilities?
  • What role does organization X play within a capability or capabilities?
  • What are the functional requirements driving a particular capability?
  • What rules are applied within a capability, and how are they applied?

Use of Operational Viewpoint DoDAF-described Models should improve the quality of requirements definitions by:

  • Explicitly tying user requirements to strategic-level capability needs, enabling early agreement to be reached on the capability boundary.
  • Providing a validated reference model of the business/operations against which the completeness of a requirements definition can be assessed (visualization aids validation).
  • Explicitly linking functional requirements to a validated model of the business or operations activities.
  • Capturing information-related requirements (not just Information Exchange Requirements [IERs]) in a coherent manner and in a way that really reflects the user collaboration needs.
  • Providing a basis for test scenarios linked to user requirements.
  • Capturing the activities for Process Engineering or Process Re-engineering.

Operational Model Descriptions

Model Description
OV-1: High-Level Operational Concept Graphic The high-level graphical/textual description of the operational concept.
OV-2: Operational Resource Flow Description A description of the Resource Flows exchanged between operational activities.
OV-3: Operational Resource Flow Matrix A description of the resources exchanged and the relevant attributes of the exchanges.
OV-4: Organizational Relationships Chart The organizational context, role or other relationships among organizations.
OV-5a: Operational Activity Decomposition Tree The capabilities and activities (operational activities) organized in a hierarchal structure.
OV-5b: Operational Activity Model The context of capabilities and activities (operational activities) and their relationships among activities, inputs, and outputs; Additional data can show cost, performers or other pertinent information.
OV-6a: Operational Rules Model One of three models used to describe activity (operational activity). It identifies business rules that constrain operations.
OV-6b: State Transition Description One of three models used to describe operational activity (activity). It identifies business process (activity) responses to events (usually, very short activities).
OV-6c: Event-Trace Description One of three models used to describe activity (operational activity). It traces actions in a scenario or sequence of events.


Mappings of the Data and Information Viewpoint DoDAF-described Models to the DM2 Concepts, Associations, and Attributes are in DM2 Concepts, Associations, and Attributes Mapping to DoDAF-described Models. The DM2 Concepts, Associations, and Attributes are described in the DoDAF Meta-model Data Dictionary.