Some believe that the weakest link in systems engineering is often between what the stakeholder desires and what the development team believes is needed. The CONOPS can be a means to bridge this understanding gap. The systems engineering community has identified a need to improve the CONOPS development process and increase the level of understanding between stakeholders and engineers. The research presented here has led to the development of the Integrated Concept Engineering Framework to explore and demonstrate the effectiveness of virtual environments, gaming technologies and visualization in improving the CONOPS development process. This work has shown that 3D visualization has the potential to improve how stakeholders reason about operational concepts. This paper will review the need for an improved CONOPS and report on the research results and findings. Finally, the authors will discuss future directions in which the research can further mature.