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I-neXt Solution Process


The I-neXt Solution Process is a step-by-step approach to problem solving and solution development that an individual or organization can take to identify opportunities, pilot concepts, and transition solutions for the next generation of installations. Informed by incubation processes such as those designed by BMNT and used by other innovation cells such as NavalX, the I-neXt Solution Process incorporates principles of human-centered design, design thinking, and rapid prototyping to reduce risk and uncertainty by incorporating iterative feedback from end users.

i-neXt flowchart graphic


I-neXt leverages existing DoD doctrine, best practices, and frameworks that are also utilized by organizations such as AFWERX, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and Defense Innovation Unit (DIU). Most importantly, the I-neXt Solution Process is designed with the Fleet Marine Force and installations in mind to produce mission-focused outcomes. I-neXt’s goal is to empower Marines to execute its process in collaboration with ecosystem partners to achieve a shared mission of  readiness & resilience in building and projecting combat power.


Baked into our Solution Process are four key principles:

  1. Agility, not Certainty – Embrace uncertainty by trying new approaches, iterating on your ideas, and continuously adapting to user feedback to maintain forward momentum and reduce risk along the way.
  2. 80% not 100% – Build low-fidelity prototypes to quickly test concepts before investing time and resources.
  3. Quantity over Quality – Stop seeking one right answer and explore various potential solutions to the problem.
  4. 2 Brains > 1 – Work with a diverse team to leverage different perspectives to develop a more innovative solution.

Below are short descriptions for why each step is important and what it accomplishes.

Discover graphic icon.

Discover Pressing Issues: Solving the right problems of the highest priority

The guiding question is: “What is the issue you are trying to solve?”

With the problem in mind we map out the current state and identify key pain–points to:

  • Understand the issue
  • Understand the end user for the solution
  • Create a guiding problem statement
  • Align the issue to an I-neXt vector (Resilience, Protection, Mobility, etc) and cross walk it to an operational issues and alignment with a mission area.

Ideate Opportunities graphic icon.

Ideate Opportunities: Utilize divergent thinking to explore many potential ways to solve the issue(s)

The guiding question is: “How can you solve the issue or alleviate the pain-point?”

Using the guiding problem statement and an analysis of the current state, we explore various ways to solve the pressing issue that has been identified, and then:

  • Generate solutions to address the issue
  • Create a Solution Canvas for a targeted opportunity from those lists of solutions
  • Identify key stakeholders made up of internal and external partners to pilot the solution
  • Codify the current state process map
  • Create a future state process map
  • Generate a guiding solution statement

Refine concepts graphic icon.

Refine Concepts: Dive into the details for what this solution is and refine the approach to addressing the challenge

The guiding question is: “What does success look like?”

Using the guiding solution statement and a process map of the future state, we outline the details of the idea and how it will be piloted by:

  • Designing a blueprint of the concept
  • Identify initial success metrics for fielding the concept as a capability
  • Finalize the pilot location
  • Build a Capability Acceleration Team of stakeholders around the User and the Opportunity
    • Identification of a Strategist/Sponsor for to support the investigation
    • Identification of an Investigator/Integrator to field the capability for the User
    • Identification of a Capability-Vendor/Supplier for the opportunity
  • Building a pilot project team for the fielding the capability and steering the pilot project from planning to transition.

Plan pilots graphic icon.

Plan Pilots: Lay out the initial details for what this capability is, how to implement the capability, how to evaluate, field and transition the capability to a solution.

The guiding question is: “How will you execute your pilot?”

With a refined concept in-hand we lay the foundations for pilot testing on a small scale—to learn fast and learn smart— prior to investing further resources through the:

  • Creation of a solution roadmap and timeline with short term and long term objectives
  • Identification of assumptions and constraints in a DOTMLPF-PC framework
  • Formalization of testing levels and objectives
  • Plan of pilot execution
  • Commitment to the resourcing

Field capabilities graphic icon.

Field Capabilities: Bring the capability to life in a operationally relevant environment to understand the true potential of the solution and reduced the risk of adoption by the Marine Corps market through testing and exploring a low-risk :study, experiment, and/or tactical demonstration.

The guiding question is: “What is the impact of your pilot?”

Rooted in the foundation of a pilot plan, the capability is fielded and evaluated to determine the transition pathway for the solution via:

  • Gathering continuous feedback from users
    • Perceived Ease of Use
    • Perceived Usefulness
  • Analytical assessment from integrators
    • Utility and Effect
    • Interoperability
  • Insights from external market providers
    • Sustainability
    • Best Practice Use/Adoption
    • Capability refinement for the user
  • Consulting with functional proponents to evaluate the progress of the pilot to determine the appropriate transition pathway.
    • Efficacy in addressing Critical Operational Issues
    • Potential for scalability and wider scale adoption

Transition solutions graphic icon.

Transition Solutions: Shepard the fate of a capability to the end-state solution, be it documentation lessons, continues piloting and scaling, or adoption of beneficial solutions as a service or acquisition; each path for a solution informs the IX Operating Concept for the Next Generation of Marine Corps Installations.

The guiding question is: “What did you learn from piloting your capability?”

Transition begins with refinement of the concept, knowing where the user wants the solution to go, it is forecasted in planning, and is evaluated in the fielding of the capability before it is finally executed along 1 of 7 pathways:

  • Obtain Technical Knowledge
    (Capture Lessons Learned)
  • Develop a Use-Case for a Statement of Need
    (Refine/Redefine What We Know/Need)
  • Move to  2nd Pilot/Project
    (Additional Exploration)
  • Develop a Prototype 
    (Feed into the R&D, AOA, S&T process)
  • Refine Requirements for a Mission Owner
  • Move to a Service Contract
  • Feed the Acquisition Process for Ownership
    (Program of Record)


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