Roger Martin | Report

Design Thinking Comes to the U.S. Army

Military Review, March-April 2010, ad for new Army Field Manual FM5-0

When I get invited by CEOs to talk about integrating design thinking into their organizations, they listen attentively. As they understand what it is, the cautious ones argue that the core of their business is just too important to expose it to the risks of design — and maybe we could experiment with design in some minor part of the business off to the side. My response, typically, is to argue that the core is the most critical place for utilizing design thinking in order to save the core — and their whole business — from the inevitable poor consequences of exploiting the current rather than exploring what might be. But that argument rarely works.

Now I have a better argument to make: if the U.S. Army can do it in the core of its business, so can you! The core of the Army’s business involves not just maintaining market share or enhancing shareholder value but life versus death, freedom versus oppression. Surprising as it may seem at first blush, the U.S. Army has incorporated design thinking into the core of its battle doctrine — and there is something to learn from its efforts.

The series of events that produced this startling result began in 2006, when the U.S. Army began to overhaul a document called “Field Manual 5-0: Army Planning and Orders Production,” or FM5-0 in Army jargon. While it may appear to be a pretty arcane item, like the manual for customer service representatives in a bank, it is anything but. It lays out the core military doctrine that battlefield commanders are taught and expected to use to guide their planning and decision-making.

The overhaul was in response to a battlefield that was becoming ever more complex, unpredictable and dangerous. And as one might expect from the U.S. military, the process took a long time and involved a number of formal revisions — three official drafts, a review and approval in December 2009 by a body called Training and Doctrine Command, and final release of the new doctrine, Field Manual 5-0: The Operations Process, in March 2010.
What might have been less expected is that in the middle of that overhaul process, the concept of design thinking entered the intellectual fray. Design’s arrival on the scene was signalled by a spate of articles in the Army’s key academic journal, Military Review, starting in 2008. It began in the September-October issue with From Tactical Planning to Operational Design by Major Ketti Davison and continued in the January-February 2009 issue with Systemic Operational Design: Learning and Adapting in Complex Missions by Brigadier General Huba Wass de Czege, retired. This was followed by companion pieces authored by Colonel Stefan J. Banach in the March-April issue. The first (co-authored with Alex Ryan) laid out a military interpretation of design: The Art of Design: A Design Methodology. The companion explained how military leaders could be taught design: Educating Leaders: Preparing Leaders for a Complex World. This pair was followed in July-August 2009 with Understanding Innovation by Colonel Thomas M. Williams.

Finally, contemporaneously with the release of the FM5-0, were two articles in the March-April 2010 issue celebrating the new doctrine: Field Manual 5-0: Exercising Command and Control in an Era of Persistent Conflict (Colonel Clinton J. Ancker, retired, and Lieutenant Colonel Michael Flynn, retired) and Unleashing Design: Planning and the Art of Battle Command (Brigadier General Edward C. Cardon and Lieutenant Colonel Steve Leonard).

This all makes for absorbing reading for those interested in design thinking. To me there are three notable points about the Army’s initiative: first, design is now a really big deal in military doctrine; second, the Army has gotten design quite right; and three, the struggle to get design well ensconced in Army doctrine was and remains no easy feat.

Design Is Now a Big Deal
This group of articles first foreshadowed and then celebrated the inclusion of an entire chapter on design in FM5-0. Real estate in this manual is not easy to come by. The core of it, excluding the several introductions and voluminous appendices, is a mere six chapters covering 77 pages. After the overview, there are only five themed chapters — Planning, Design, Preparation, Execution and Assessment — and the third chapter of 13 pages is all about design. Those pages are well worth the read.

This is quite a leap forward from the previous iteration of FM5-0, which didn’t contain a single word about design. And the group of Military Review article writers are unafraid to take pot-shots at the previous military doctrine. In Major Davison’s piece, the prior process is harshly dealt with: “The prevailing planning process, the Military Decision-Making Process, amounts to a mechanistic view of mindless systems... The mechanistic perspective focuses on physical logic and is entirely appropriate — at the tactical level. It becomes incomplete, however, at the more conceptual operational level, where the political objectives of war are at least as important as the physical disposition of forces.” (p. 34)

The Army Has Gotten Design Quite Right
I found the articles referred to above by General de Czege and by Colonel Banach (with Ryan) to be particularly impressive and apt.

De Czege sizes up the challenge as follows: “Nearly all missions in this century will be complex, and the kind of thinking we have called “operational art” is often now required at battalion level. Fundamentally, operational art requires balancing design and planning while remaining open to learning and adapting quickly to change.” (p. 2) To him, the ubiquity of complexity necessitates a different form of thinking — including abductive logic — in the following way: “Where merely complicated systems require mostly deduction and analysis (formal logic of breaking into parts), complexity requires inductive and abductive reasoning for diagnostics and synthesis (the informal logic of making new wholes of parts),” which in turn “implies a new intellectual culture that balances design and planning while evincing an appreciation for the dynamic flow of human factors and a bias toward perpetual learning and adapting.” (p. 3)

Banach’s thinking clearly played a seminal role in the development of the new Army doctrine. He thoughtfully contrasts science with design in the following way: “Design is focused on solving problems, and as such requires intervention, not just understanding. Whereas scientists describe how the world is, designers suggest how it might be. It follows that design is a central activity for the military profession whenever it allocates resources to solve problems, which is to say design is always a core component of operations.” (p.105) It is very interesting to see an organization so defined by science and technology see the limitations of purely scientific thinking.

Banach’s other contribution is a conceptual model for design in the military and on the battlefield with an approach to linking the overall environment, the problem at hand, and the potential solution. The model is found both in his own paper (p. 144) and in the final FM5.0 (p. 3-7). While it may not be the most elegant graphic, the model itself embodies the degree to which design is an iterative process in which the thinking must go back and forth between elements of the situation at hand and the possible solutions to come up with what the military calls a “design concept.”

Banach and Ryan, "The Art of Design: A Design Methodology," graphic, The Three Design Spaces

In the end, FM5-0 defines design as “a methodology for applying critical and creative thinking to understand, visualize, and describe complex, ill-structured problems and develop approaches to solve them” (Page 3.1), which is a pretty good definition of design. Ancker and Flynn go on to argue that design “underpins the exercise of battle command within the operations process, guiding the iterative and often cyclic application of understanding, visualizing, and describing” and that it should be “practiced continuously throughout the operations process.” (p. 15-16)

It Was and Continues to Be a Struggle
While the design component of the resulting doctrine was pretty impressive, it was evidently somewhat of a struggle to bring the artistry of design to the machinery of the U.S. Army. After reading the articles and the final document, I came to see the design transformation tasks that I have taken on pale in comparison. When Claudia Kotchka, Procter & Gamble’s first vice president of design strategy and innovation, asked me in 2005 to help her solve the problem of integrating the design work she and colleagues were doing with IDEO and other design firms into the strategy process at P&G, I thought it was a tough challenge. We had to find a way to make the fuzzy front end of design connect seamlessly to the analytics of strategy. It was not easy, but the task seems like child’s play in comparison to the U.S. Army’s figuring out a way to hard-wire design thinking into its exceedingly detailed and rigorous doctrines and processes for Planning and Execution.

Even its proponents, like de Czege, are philosophical about the difficulty of the sale in tradition-bound military: “Those who believe the military has no business in ambiguous missions and complex settings are its most ardent opponents. Then there are those who prefer the traditional approach to complexity: overwhelm and obliterate it.” (p. 12) In the midst of the fray in mid-2009, Williams entered with a stern admonition to not get carried away with the innovation of design: “The problem is, in contemporary usage, the word innovation is now just a buzzword used to sell everything from software to blenders. Its definition is now so broad that we can declare nearly every unorthodox action, thought, or event acceptable as long as we label it innovative. Whether conducting counterinsurgency operations, preparing for conventional war, or transforming to meet new and yet undefined threats, imprecision begets failures. Regulations and field manuals arrayed in lines of vague language will only serve to confuse leaders and produce well-intentioned but misguided actions.” (p. 59)

In early 2010, with FM5-0 fully approved, the Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS) began teaching the new design doctrine. In order to promote discussion and understanding of design, SAMS created a blog for classmates to discuss design, and it makes for very interesting reading.

Major Ed Twaddell leads off with: “Design has encountered resistance throughout its introduction into Army doctrine and the Army lexicon. In order to improve the Army’s design approach and smooth its doctrinal introduction, the Army must standardize the language of Design; define the doctrinal relationship between Design and the operational art; and clarify at what level of war Design is suitable for use.” Major John Ebbighausen remains unconvinced: “Design methodologies and planning processes produce similar products...design authors have not demonstrated the non-doctrinal methodologies differ from the doctrinal planning process.” 

Major Randall Wenner finds the notion of a design concept confusing: “During our most recent design practicum, it became clear that a cognitive gap exists in understanding how to translate the design concept (DC) into a campaign design concept (CDC). Additionally, there is confusion in understanding the difference between a design concept and the campaign plan concept. Is the campaign plan concept a PowerPoint brief that is not as detailed as the campaign plan itself, and what is the difference between the campaign design concept versus the campaign plan concept? Are these two concepts different? Generally, it is understood that once a design concept is developed and approved it serves as a basis for the commander to publish his guidance for the campaign design. There is no clear guidance as to what constitutes the campaign design concept.” And bless him, J.D. Williams desperately wants a checklist: “The greatest difficulty with the Army’s current design approach and methodologies is that there does not appear to be a checklist, or a step action drill, for military designers to follow in the practice of design. The nonlinearity of the cognitive spaces in design is intellectually stimulating, but it leads to confusion as critical terms lack definitive clarity and authoritative sources have been vague on the procedural steps.”

The U.S. Army has been creative, open and brave to adopt design thinking into its doctrine. But as is the case with most organizations that recognize that their world has gotten so complex that their traditional thinking modes are no longer up to the task and turn to design, the Army will have a struggle to push aside the traditions of analytical thinking to leave space for design thinking. But unlike many organizations, the Army has made a very bold start with the overhaul of FM5-0 and its embrace of design thinking.

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Comments [21]

Sounds great. If only their adoption of design thinking also translated into good design of the ad, the graphic, and the book cover illustrated above. Somehow, it seems difficult to trust design thoughts that come in a book with a cover like that.
Misha Beletsky

I take it this Army design is not visual. It sounds more like plain old problem solving by trying to think outside of the box. A concept driven strategy for military success? Idealism over pragmatism? I guess that's what military design is.
J Butler

I think this effort is profound and it could produce significant horsepower to the application of design thinking. I am wondering if the back end of DT has been less well understood. Design and design thinking is all about transforming insight into action-making it tangible. Maybe the back end to DT in this application needs to be articulated as "strategies and tactics". That is the "solution(s)" they are striving to create. Thoughts?
Bryan deBlois

Yea, the millions of innocent men women and children wounded and murdered by the US military would be pleased to know the efficiencies of design thinking are being brought to bear on future suffering.

That this could be discussed in such a decontextualised manner is highly problematic.

If design thinking is good for anything at all, maybe the US could use it to interrogate their notions of 'pre-emptive strikes', 'offshore renditions' and the like - not to mention the wisdom of military aggression generally?

This is a regression to the worst aspects of modernist doctrine - design as an impossibly objective and neutral tool. It has nothing to do with real people's lives - not just American lives, but the lives of those crushed by the delusion of American power... brought to you now by the delusion of 'design thinking'.
Jason Grant

call a spade a spade, this is still killing for oil draped in the red white and blue
henry k

An article lauding the army's implementation of 'design thinking' implicitly replies in the negative to the old question of whether good design is necessarily good. In contrast to Jason above, the modern movement assumed that this was indeed the case, and I think such an enduring answer deserves reiteration. If we understand design in the sense that Richard Hollis assigns to graphic design in his design history methods article in Eye 13, design has to do not only with how a job gets done, but with conscious control of the means of production. A modernist would argue that good design employs new modes of production in order to mean in new ways. Employing new modes of production challenges old categories, frees meaning from the structures of capitalism, and inevitably moves toward the realisation of that most human of human conditions, the capability to produce and to own what one has produced. The worst that society can do is give itself, instead of control over the means of production, a complete denial of these means alongside pseudo-meaning in the form of violent destruction (it's clear how, without owning the means of production, it's easy to take some base fulfillment in wreaking destruction). In modernist terms, in any case, war cannot be called good design – it's the utilisation of the means of production for their opposite, destruction. If design is human, the anti-human is anti-design.

See Paul Rennie's article in Eye 52 for a case study of modernist design in a time of war. In this case, neither the military nor industrial sectors seemed to have produced good or 'good' design.
Jane / Eye

Using the definition supplied in the essay "In the end, FM5-0 defines design as “a methodology for applying critical and creative thinking to understand, visualize, and describe complex, ill-structured problems and develop approaches to solve them” then I'm afraid the FM5-0 is about a half-century late to make any kind of claim for introducing design thinking to the U.S. Army.

In 1951, former WWII Corporal Will Eisner, creator of The Spirit and A Contract with God and seminal figure in history of comic books, became the Artistic Director of PS, the Preventive Maintenance Monthly.

Under Eisner's direction, PS introduced a range of design solutions, exploded-diagrams, extreme close ups, cut-away views and comic-book-style narratives and illustration, to help G.I.s ensure that their increasingly complicated equipment was properly maintained and battle ready.

Still in publication, today PS is produced under the artistic guidance of Joe Kubert, another comic book legend.

While many of the elements that characterized the early years of the magazine, particularly the pin up worthy pulchritude of heroine Connie Rodd, have been updated or toned down, the mission of the magazine, using design to make hard-to-understand concepts accessible and usable, remains the same.

Eisner's complete run on PS is available online, thanks to Virginia Commonwealth University. Here's URL:

Eric Johnson

(For a more readable version of my comment, see my blog: http://bit.ly/bgcASQ .)

For me, this is one of the most important passages in FM 5-0:

"The introduction of design into Army doctrine seeks to secure the lessons of eight years of war and provide a cognitive tool to commanders who will encounter complex, ill-structured problems in future operational environments…. As learned in recent conflicts, challenges facing the commander in operations often can be understood only in the context of other factors influencing the population. These other factors often include but are not limited to __economic development, governance, information, tribal influence, religion, history and culture__. Full spectrum operations conducted among the population are effective only when commanders understand the issues in the context of the complex issues facing the population. Understanding context and then deciding how, __if__, and when to act is both a product of design and integral to the art of command." (paras. 3-16 & 3-17, emphasis added.)

For me, the key word "if" (as in "deciding if to act") speaks directly to Jason’s legitimate concern that design thinking might merely be used to inflict pain, suffering, and death (one of the explicit objectives of warfighting) more efficiently. Design thinking will only be a success in influencing Army doctrine if it sometimes leads to decisions NOT to engage in armed combat; to try a different, less lethal approach to achieving an objective.

I think if you read FM 5-0 more closely Jason, you’ll see that this is one of the primary reasons for introducing design thinking into battlefield operations doctrine: to better understand when force of arms is NOT the right approach.

That said, I am somewhat disappointed that one needs to read FM 5-0 so closely to see this message. The concept of "human centeredness", which I feel is essential to design thinking is not highlighted in the field manual. I hope that in discussions of FM 5-0 and eventually in revisions to it, that the concept of "human centered experiences" and meaningfulness take center stage.
Nick Gall

Why does it have to look like *%$# ?

Thanks for all the thoughtful comments on my post. Indeed, Misha, J, and Cory, it looks like hell. Maybe next time, they will involve graphic designers too.
I find the dialogue between Jason, Henry and Jane on one side and Nick on the other very interesting. I actually didn’t think at all about the former argument as I wrote the piece, in part because I have the interpretation of Nick. For me, design is about creatively elegant solutions instead of brute force solutions. In the world of conflict, war-making is arguably often the brute force solution. Notionally it often ‘gets the job done’ but leaves lots of collateral damage – it kills without reason and damages long-term relationships. It is like a product that does the job but has a huge environmental footprint – only worse of course. So my hope would be that the inclusion of design thinking in military doctrine would move the military in the direction of using force as elegantly as possible, and in my view, that means the least possible force for the task the military is given by its political masters.
Maybe that is wishful thinking, but pacifist Mennonites must always wish for peace! And it would be interesting to know whether, to Nick’s point, that the insight of limiting the use of force is so buried because to have said it more baldly would have risked upsetting military traditionalists. Hard to say.
Thanks, Eric, for the interesting history of Eisner’s comics. I knew nothing of that history.
And finally, Bryan, I do think that the back end of design thinking is strategy – or at least that is how I think of design thinking in the corporate setting. For me, there are three big pieces to design: 1) deep and holistic user understanding; 2) visualizing new solutions and refining them through prototyping them; and 3) converting the design concept into an activity system that provides competitive advantage over rivals. In my experience, the use of design thinking in corporations falls down because the first two pieces are not integrated with the third piece, so design becomes detached from strategy. The consequence is that its outputs tend to be ignored because those in charge of the strategy can’t figure out how to link the clever design idea to strategy. In this respect, I saw the US Army as struggling hard to create the linkage to strategy. But as the blog posts demonstrate, battlefield commanders are not yet totally convinced.
Roger Martin

Design and advertising were used heavily by the US army during the World Wars.

Folks, as an Army Officer trained in Design, I feel compelled to answer some of the questions asked in the blog above. First, “why does it (the manual) look like *%$#?” The short answer is that all of our manuals look like that, so they all look like *%$#, I suppose. Also, there aren’t that many graphic designers in the Army, and we like our training materials to look the same, so that’s the long answer. Having read more than a few of them in my time, if you can get Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) to make them look better, please be my guest.

Second, the debate as to whether the military can do “good” design because war is a social evil is well taken. Our counterargument would be that combat is often the lesser of two (or more) evils and, while regrettable, is necessary to stop even greater evil from being perpetuated. Along that line, your hopes that we understand Design’s promise of doing as little harm as possible and yet still accomplish the mission and protect ourselves and those entrusted to our care are fulfilled in recent guidance in Afghanistan limiting the circumstances under which airstrikes are allowed to be called in—even when Troops are in contact with the enemy. This is a departure from previous practice and has caused some controversy, but seems to be working in the greater context of the population-centric counterinsurgency we are prosecuting in Afghanistan.

Which brings me to my final point: there is nothing new about design. Understanding the war you are going to fight is as basic to soldiering as a clean weapon and dry socks. Clausewitz said it best when he said that "The first, the supreme, the most far-reaching act of judgment that the statesman and commander have to make is to establish . . . the kind of war on which they are embarking." On War, Book 1, Chapter 1. Design is a way to do just that and in doing so, avoid unnecessary harm while still achieving the ends set out for us by our political masters.
Your Humble Servant, Jay
Jay Nelson

I am excited to see that organizations outside the military take time to read and understand our doctrine. Are there any suggestions for improvements – other than graphical representations? The blog appears to be a fair take on the introduction and incorporation of design. There are a couple of highlights for those wishing to incorporate design. First, the blogs posted by SAMS students were posted after the initial design block of instruction in Nov – Dec of last year and the Army did not publish the FM until March 2010. Why is this important? In Donald Schon’s book Educating the Reflective Practitioner, he emphasizes learning through practice and reflection. It takes the practice (application) and experimentation of theory to gain a full understanding of its relevance. Six months of practice has provided valuable insights into Design. Those that limit their reading to Chapter 3 of FM 5.0 will gain only a partial understanding of Design. As design hinges on learning, the assessment process (chapter 6) is equally as important. An understanding of Appendix B (MDMP), Appendix G (Running Estimates or perhaps Running Narratives), and Appendix H (Formal Assessment Plans) provide additional insight.

All and all, I and most of those cited in the blog are firm believers. Again, why is this important? A Design methodology generates learning and helps to solve the right problem. Learning requires dialogue based on different viewpoints (narratives). For Example: my assumptions are that for both Canada and the US, our number one national treasure is our youth – the next generation, and that in both countries the political leadership or elected by the populace commits the military to war. If the populace disagrees with the war, ending it could be as simple as voting those responsible out of office. Either way, it is the job of the professional military officer to protect our national treasure. If the politicians and population have a need to commit the military to war and design helps defeat the enemy while protecting a country’s national treasure, then it seems like we should expect out military to be expert designers. I guess it is all a matter of perspective. Design allows us to understand a nation’s problem, examine all elements of national power, and provide our best military advice for solving or assisting the other elements in solving the problem. It seemed more often than not that a better understanding of the problem resulted in a realization that all other elements of national power must be exhausted before committing the military.
My comments are personal in nature and do not reflect the opinions of SAMS, CGSC, nor the U.S military.

John Ebbighausen

Jay, with all due respect, any counter argument about combat being "the lesser of two (or more) evils and, while regrettable, is necessary to stop even greater evil from being perpetuated", utterly fails to acknowledge the ideological reality of your 'political masters'. I suppose these kinds of flimsy justifications are necessary for people profiting from war, including soldiers. If we take an honest look at the history of US military interventions isn't, more often than not, a self serving destruction clearly revealed?

I completely agree with Jason - the comments here by people involved refuse to contextualize the issue. And while I appreciate Jane's defense of modernism, I again agree with Jason that the reality of its consequences are not always a positive legacy.
Robin Yeager

Commenters who take this article describing a process the US Army is undergoing and "contextualize" it with personal political opinions, be they anti-military or anti-US-policy, should take a moment to learn something about subject matter before posting. This knee-jerk reaction to anything involving the military is tiresome and you should understand what you are talking about before typing. The implementation of Design Thinking is specifically intended to minimize casualties and destruction, to look at the whole picture in a theater of operations (including culture, society, and negative effects of force), and to reshape the thinking of military commanders and soldiers to achieve objectives using all the tools available to them, including communication skills.
Furthermore, please stop confusing soldiers with your vision of politics. Soldiers are not "profiting" from conflict, they don't receive free oil at the end of their tours, if they make it back alive. Just because some choose to believe that if the US disbanded its military the world would be happy and peaceful, doesn't make it so. Instead of criticizing them for being soldiers or the author for not having a heart, after reading this article, if you don't understand how Design Thinking fits into the military art in any positive way, go read Field Manual 5-0 and see for yourself. Please be informed before you try to inform others. It works better that way.

That James can type with a straight face 'Design Thinking is specifically intended to minimize casualties and destruction, to look at the whole picture in a theater of operations' while criticizing above comments for being uninformed and 'political opinion' seems a little 'tiresome' to me. It's good to know James doesn't have any personal political opinions distorting his objective truths.

And if we read 'Field Manual 5-0', what would it tell us that a roll call of the dead won't?
Rod Abrams

Roger wrote that he, “think[s] that the back end of design thinking is strategy,” and he continued, noting that, “the US Army as struggling hard to create the linkage [from design] to strategy.” Roger’s observations expose one of the shortfalls with the Army’s adoption of design thinking: Military design nominally ensures that the problems being solved are the right ones, but — as it stands now — only within the framework of Operational Art. Put another way, the U.S. Army’s conception of ‘Design’ assumes that the statesmen have exercised judgment and identified clearly ‘the kind of war on which they are embarking’ (Jay and Clausewitz).

Within the American national security decision making community, the civilian leadership, not the military, is responsible for establishing policy guidance, which goes a long ways towards framing the Nation’s strategy. There is ample evidence that the key features of design thinking (characterized by Roger as deep and holistic understanding; and visualizing new solutions and refining them through prototyping) rarely inform policy and strategy development. Thus, the Army’s adoption of design thinking at the operational level is commendable, but design thinking’s impact on U.S. national security affairs will be limited: good design cannot salvage bad strategy.
Jeff Hannon

i want to talk about designs and military and about peace and military

I find the whole discussion on "Design with a social conscience" very interesting. While I understand the position that using design to plan military action may at first be seen as using design to destroy or kill, it might also be noted that military action is usually not the first option, but part of a larger diplomatic, information, military, and economic campaign. Use of design in military planning has led to alternative options, other than destruction or death. As Sun-Tzu states, optimal warfare is not to fight at all.

However, instead of focusing on what the military could be using design to do, ie murdering "millions of innocent men women and children" as Jason suggests, how about using design to influence behaviors so we don't have to resort to violence at all?

Or how about using design to stop abortion, which has killed more lives than all the wars the US has ever fought combined, and has destroyed the lives of those involved (more than military related post traumatic stress syndrome).

While there are a group of people continuing to criticize the military for violence and death, the sheer volume of death that occurs at Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics puts the military to shame.

Just something to think about for the socially conscious designers!

Do you Dennis? Do you really find the 'whole discussion on "Design with a social conscience" very interesting'? Or are you just another anti-abortionist who can't see the problem with rhetoric that equates warring to protect the interests of the rich with a woman's right to destiny over her own body?

I do share the enthusiasm for this new concept. It is, however, regrettable that so little has been revealed about the 'magic' behind this. As a 'systems thinker' I am very familiar with a wide arrange of problems structuring and systems thinking techniques which offer effective methods and techniques. I would have liked to gain a little more insight what shape this enlightenment has received. Living and working in the UK and an Associated Fellow at Warwick Business School I am familiar with methodologies better known under the collective titile as 'soft OR'. In particular Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) offers a highly effective approach widely used in the UK MoD and its Armed Forces. Regrettable, it has suffered from the 'not-invented here syndrome' in the USA. It would therefore by very valuable to know whether there is a change in sight.
Kees van Haperen

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