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A common problem in defense acquisition is the difficulty in ensuring that the required capabilities stated in capability development documents are technically feasible, affordable, and available through mature technologies. This problem is driven by a lack of knowledge on both the capability developer and program manager teams. Addressing this knowledge gap requires a new approach to capability development, where knowledge gained early in the process is injected into the capability development process in a rigorous way. This article describes that new technical approach along with lessons learned on two large acquisition programs. Key tenets include the use of pre-planned knowledge points as a vehicle for expanded collaboration between program managers and capability developers, and early use of systems engineering fundamentals.