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The Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS) is 10 years old and ripe for review. A central output document of the JCIDS process is an Initial Capabilities Document (ICD) used by the Department of Defense to define gaps in a functional capability area and define new capabilities required. The research team analyzed 10 years of ICDs to identify methods and trends. The team found that several methodologies were favored and a convergence emerged in format and necessary content. Additionally, potential shortfalls in current best practices of interest to implementers and decision makers are identified. Guidelines and best practices are presented to create more effective, concise, and complete ICDs.