87. The NATO Defence Planning Process (NDPP) is the primary means to identify required capabilities and promote their timely, coherent development and acquisition by Allies and the NATO Enterprise. It is operationally driven and delivers various products which could support the development and evolution of more detailed C3 architecture and interoperability requirements. The development of NDPP products also benefits from input by the architecture and interoperability communities, especially the NISP, leading to a more coherent development of CIS capabilities for the Alliance.
88. Ideally technical interoperability requirements align with the NDPP to ensure coherence in the development of capabilities within the Alliance. NDPP Mission Types and Planning Situations provide the essential foundation for the development of the Minimum Capability Requirements (MCR) and the derivation of high level information exchange and interoperability requirements. MCRs are expressed via a common set of definitions for capabilities (including CIS) called Capability Codes and Statements (CC&S), including explicit reference to STANAGs in some cases. Interoperability aspects are primarily captured in free text form within the Capability Statements and in the subsequent NDPP Targets. The NDPP products could be leveraged by the architecture and interoperability community, to define the operational context for required Architecture Building Blocks and interoperability profiles.
89. The Defence Planning Capability Survey (DPCS) is the tool to collect information on national capabilities, the architecture and interoperability communities should provide input on questions related to C3 related capabilities. The architecture and interoperability communities could also bring valuable insight and expertise to the formulation and tailoring of C3 capabilities-related targets to nations, groups of nations or the NATO enterprise.
90. In practice, there is not always an opportunity (time or money) for such a "clean" approach and compromises must be made - from requirements identification to implementation. In recognition of this fact, NATO has developed a parallel track approach, which allows some degree of freedom in the systems development. Although variations in sequence and speed of the different steps are possible, some elements need to be present. Architecture, including the selection of appropriate standards and technologies, is a mandatory step.
91. In a top-down execution of the systems development approach, architecture will provide guidance and overview to the required functionality and the solution patterns, based on longstanding and visionary operational requirements. In a bottom-up execution of the approach, which may be required when addressing urgent requirements and operational imperatives, architecture will be used to assess and validate chosen solution in order to align with the longer term vision.
92. The NISP is a major tool supporting NATO architecture work and must be suitable for use in the different variations of the systems development approach. The NISP will be aligned with the Architectural efforts of the C3 Board led by the ACaT.
93. The relationship of the NISP, the Architecture Building Blocks activities of the ACaT, and Allied Command Transformation Architecture efforts is of a mutual and reciprocal nature. Architecture products provide inputs to the NISP by identifying the technology areas that in the future will require standards. These architecture products also provide guidance on the coherence of standards by indicating in which timeframe certain standards and profiles are required. NATO Architectures benefit from the NISP by selecting coherent sets of standards from profiles.