Operational Node Connectivity Description (OV-2)

by Bruce Brown | 1 Comment

Operational Node Connectivity Description
OV-2 Example

Product Definition. The Operational Node Connectivity Description graphically depicts the operational nodes (or organizations) with needlines between those nodes that indicate a need to exchange information. The graphic includes internal operational nodes (internal to the architecture) as well as external nodes.

Product Purpose. OV-2 is intended to track the need to exchange information from specific operational nodes (that play a key role in the architecture) to others. OV-2 does not depict the connectivity between the nodes.

Product Detailed Description. The main features of this product are the operational nodes and the needlines between them that indicate a need to exchange information. The product indicates the key players and the interactions necessary to conduct the corresponding operational activities of OV-5.

Operational Nodes. An operational node is an element of the operational architecture that produces, consumes, or processes information. What constitutes an operational node can vary among architectures, including, but not limited to, representing an operational/human role (e.g., Air Operations Commander), an organization (e.g., Office of the Secretary of Defense) or organization type, i.e., a logical or functional grouping (e.g., Logistics Node, Intelligence Node), and so on. The notion of operational node will also vary depending on the level of detail addressed by the architecture effort.

Needlines and Information Exchanges. A needline documents the requirement to exchange information between nodes. The needline does not indicate how the information transfer is implemented. For example, if information is produced at node A, is simply routed through node B, and is used at node C, then node B would not be shown on the OV-2 diagram – the needline would go from node A to node C. OV-2 is not a communications link or communications network diagram. The system implementation (or what systems nodes or systems are used to execute the transfer) is shown in the Systems Interface Description (SV-1). Furthermore, the needline systems equivalent is the interface line depicted in SV-1. The actual implementation of an interface may take more than one form and is documented in a Systems Communications Description (SV-2). Therefore, a single needline shown in the OV may translate into multiple interfaces in SV-1 and multiple physical links in SV-2.

Needlines are represented by arrows (indicating the direction of information flow) and are annotated with a diagram- unique identifier and a phrase that is descriptive of the principal types of information exchanged. It is important to note that the arrows on the diagram represent needlines only. This means that each arrow indicates only that there is a need for some kind of information transfer between the two connected nodes.

There is a one-to- many relationship from needlines to information exchanges (e.g., a single needline on OV-2 represents multiple individual information exchanges). The mapping of the information exchanges to the needlines of OV-2 occurs in the Operational Information Exchange Matrix (OV-3). For example, OV-2 may list Situational Awareness as a descriptive name for a needline between two operational nodes. In this example, the needline represents a number of information exchanges, consisting of various types of reports (information elements), and their attributes (such as periodicity and timeliness) that are associated with the Situational Awareness needline. The identity of the individual information elements and their attributes are documented in OV-3.

OV-2 should also illustrate needs to exchange information between operational nodes and external nodes (i.e., operational nodes that are not strictly within the scope of the subject architecture but that act as important sources of information required by nodes within the architecture or important destinations for information provided by nodes within the architecture). Operational Activities. The operational activities (from the OV-5 Operational Activity Model) performed by a given node may be listed on the graphic, if space permits. OV-2, in effect, turns OV-5 inside out, focusing first-order on the operational nodes and second-order on the activities. OV-5, on the other hand, places first-order attention on operational activities and only second-order attention on nodes, which can be shown as annotations on the activities.

Representation of the product. For complex architectures, OV-2 may consist of multiple graphics. There are at least two different ways to decompose OV-2. One method involves using multiple levels of abstraction and decomposing the nodes. Another method involves restricting the nodes and needlines on any given graphic to those associated with a subset of operational activities. Both of these methods are valid and can be used together.

OVs usually avoid representing real physical facilities as operational nodes and focus on virtual or logical nodes that can be based on operational (human) roles or missions. Operational nodes are independent of materiel considerations; indeed, they exist to fulfill the missions of the enterprise and to perform its tasks and activities (business processes, procedures, and operational functions). Use of operational nodes supports analysis and design by separating business process modeling and information requirements from the materiel solutions that support them. Similarly, tasks and activities are organized, and communities of interest are defined to suit the mission and process requirements; the materiel is flexibly and automatically configurable to support the operational processes. However, an OV often has materiel constraints and requirements that must be addressed. Where appropriate, system or physical nodes that constitute the location of an operational node may augment the description of an operational node. These are often taken as recommendations or boundaries for further SV details.

1 Comment on Operational Node Connectivity Description (OV-2)

  1. Bill Irwin
    December 27, 2008 at 12:23 pm (8 years ago)

    With regard to this statement: “There is a one-to- many relationship from needlines to information exchanges”
    My understanding is that a many-to-many relationship exists between needlines and IE’s. Comments?


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