Operational Research Tools Supporting the Force Development Process for the Canadian Forces

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Information & Security: An International Journal, Volume 23, Issue 1, p.81-98 (2009)


capabilities-based planning, Capability Assessment Methodology, Capability Discussion Matrix, Force Development, Operational Research, Strategic Costing Model.


In June 2005, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of the Canadian Forces (CF) mandated that Capability Based Planning (CBP) be institutionalized as a part of a centrally driven, top-down approach to Force Development (FD) within the Department of National Defence. For the last two years, Operational Research ana­lysts have been instrumental in the development of tools and processes to support all aspects of CBP. In this paper three CBP tools will be described: The CDS Ac­tion Team 3 Capability Assessment Methodology (CATCAM), the Capability Dis­cussion Matrix (CapDiM), and the Strategic Costing Model. CATCAM was devel­oped to compare the value of disparate CF capabilities. Presently, the tool deter­mines a priority list of activities (the sub-components of capabilities) by employing a top-down risk assessment of activities against the desired mission effects of a spe­cific FD scenario. CapDiM was developed to prioritize force options by evaluating their contributions against a set of criteria. To display the resultant priority list of force options, CapDiM creates a “Bang for Buck” graph that plots the value of each force option against its corresponding cost. The Strategic Costing Model was cre­ated to cost all aspects of the CF force structure. The model costs the total capabil­ity demand for the CF including, for example, the capability cost of: personnel; capital; research and development; operations and maintenance; and national pro­curement. The Strategic Costing Model permitted the first 30-year view of CF de­mand versus supply.