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

DM2 Data Groups


Performer is a class of entities that are central to the description of architecture. It is the Who in the Architectural Development Process. The How, tasks, activities, and processes (composite of activities), are assigned to Performers to accomplish the desired outcome. Performers are further subdivided and allocated to organizations, personnel and mechanization. Rules, locations and measures are then applied to organizations, personnel and mechanization. Within this assignment and allocation process there are many major tradeoff opportunities. Automation (mechanization versus people) tradeoffs, analysis for items such as performance and cost/benefit are involved in the process. When these tradeoffs and associated decisions are sufficiently mature, an allocated baseline can be declared and initial work breakdown structures refined.

Data Group Description

The DoDAF Meta Model for the data comprising Performers, is shown in the figure below.

  1. The first thing to note about Performer is that it can represent:
    1. A Person Type such as described by the Amy’s Military Occupational Specialties (MOS). MOS describe Skills and their measurement (not shown in this diagram).  Includes Materiel assigned and necessary for the performance of activities, e.g., as per Army CTA-50.  Note that Person Types have temporal whole-parts (states) such as in-garrison or deployed that may have different Materiel compositions and other associations such as applicable Rules.
    2. An Organization (type or actual Individual Organization) meaning a mission chartered organization, not limited to just collections of people or locations, e.g., the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has a chartered mission and it chooses the locations, people, etc., to accomplish such.
    3. A System in the general sense of an assemblage of components – machine, human – that accomplish a function, i.e., anything from small pieces of equipment to FoS and SoS. Note that Systems are made up of Materiel (e.g., equipment, aircraft, and vessels) and Personnel Types, and organizational elements.
    4. A Service, from a software service to a business service such as Search and Rescue.
    5. Any combination of the above.

  2. The performance of an Activity by a Performer occurs in physical space and time. That is, at some place and time, the Activity is conducted. This is referred to as a spatial-temporal overlap, simply meaning that the Activity and Performer overlap in space and time. There are two ways in which a Performer spatial-temporally overlaps an Activity:
    1. In the act of performing the Activity. This relationship is sometimes called assigned to for the purposes of traceability.
    2. The other way is as part of a larger process (aggregated Activity). This is sometimes called allocated to and forms the initial stages of system or process decomposition. Allocated Performer elements (parts of Performers) are assigned Activities (or processes, tasks) in the initial stages of Performer definition.

  3. A standard (Rule) constrains an Activity in general. Some of those constraints might also apply to the performance of the Activity by a Performer.

  4. A Performer may have Measures associated with the performance of an Activity (e.g., target tracking accuracy.) It may also have Measures associated with the Performer overall (e.g., operational condition.)

  5. Performers perform at Locations that can be specific positions or areas, regions, or installations, sites, or facilities. Location type requirements/capabilities of a Performer are captured/expressed via the Activities that are performed under certain Conditions (e.g., must be able to perform Maneuver under Desert Conditions.)

  6. Activities performed by a System can be called system or service functions (i.e., activities and/or processes performed by a system). System or service functions (activities) are allocated to hardware, software, firmware or personnel (when the person is considered integral to the system).

  7. In typical uses, the Activities are represented by verbs and Performers are represented by nouns. This distinguishes the how from the who. In a typical specification process allocation to performers can take place at varying levels of detail depending on the design maturity or the intended degree of design constraint.

  8. Performers are represented in many places and stages in the detailed architecture. It should be noted that a pure Requirements Architectural Description may not show allocations or performer. This may be left to later stages of the design process. Further, not all architecture modeling standards explicitly provide for allocation. For example, the Systems Modeling Language (SysML) extensions to the UML modeling standard have added this feature.

DoDAF Meta Model for Performers
(Click to enlarge)


Usage in Core Processes

Data for Performer are used in the following ways:


  1. Person Type processes are typically termed Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTP) in DoD. Procedures are allocated sets of activities and/or processes, where Tactics and Techniques, typically, are made up of the procedures as influenced by rules, doctrine, paradigms, etc. acquired through skill development during the education and training process.
  2. A pure Requirements Architectural Description may not show allocations or performer. This may be left to later stages of the design process.


  1. Programs of Record (PoR) are Projects that can contain both material and non-material Performers (See FYDP Program Structure Handbook (DoD 7045.7-H).
  2. Program of Record are linked to the PPBE through the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) (see DAS) depicting Performers related to cost.
  3. The Planning and Programming*[1] process typically conducts analysis through the evaluation of Capabilities, Performers and the attributes associated with Performers (e.g. Measures). (e.g. "Gap and Overlap analysis", Capability evolution, etc.).


  1. MIL-HDBK-881A*[2] and DoD 5000.1, in providing fundamental guidance for specifications, WBS, Statement of Works (SOWs) of the DAS, all require the identification of the Performers and their component parts and types as fundamental elements.
  2. The acquisition process generally involves Performers either through the material acquisition of systems or the acquisition of processes associated with performers.
  3. The acquisition process can also involve the Acquisition of Services.


  1. Activities are assigned to Performers (organizational, human, materiel, or some combination thereof). Capabilities or lower-level derived capabilities, measures,conditions, constraints and other expressions of requirements are assigned to the various levels of Performer reification. Allocation occurs from level-to-level as part of structural design decomposition or design refinement.
  2. Allocation is the term used by architects and engineers to denote the organized cross-association (mapping) of elements within the various structures or hierarchies of a user view regardless of modeling convention or standard. The concept of allocation requires flexibility suitable for abstract system specification, rather than a particular constrained method of system or software design. System modelers often associate various elements in abstract, preliminary, and sometimes tentative ways. Allocations can be used early in the design as a precursor to more detailed rigorous specifications and implementations. As the requirements definition stage gives way to the design stage and actual components become visible, it becomes important to distinguish between allocated to and assigned to.
  3. Some types of performers under configuration control called system Configuration Items (CIs). Software Configuration items are termed Computer Software Configuration Items (CSCIs) or Software Configuration items (SCIs) in MIL-HDBK-881A. Hardware Configuration items may follow the Mil-STD-196E taxonomy (Central, Center, System, Subsystem, Set, Group, Unit.) MIL-HDBK-881A , which guides DoD Work Breakdown Structures (WBS), defines software only by levels (e.g., 1, 2, 3, etc.)

Ops Planning:

  1. Determines who is going to accomplish the required tasks (activities), where, under what conditions, and to what measures


  1. Performers are the major items in the portfolio to be managed and optimized