Strategic Planning and the U.S. Air Force: Characteristics of Success
RAND PROJECT AIR FORCE SANTA MONICA CA SANTA MONICA United States
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The U.S. Air Force has embarked on a new round of strategic planning, under the auspices of its 2015 Strategic Master Plan SMP, to help set the future direction of the service. Refining the Air Forces strategic planning process may help the service align itself to its environment and keep key initiatives on track. To offer the Air Force actionable findings on strategic planning, we surveyed a number of major topics and literatures for common themes and findings. The basic concept and approach of the SMP has promise. Our review of history and theory supports the idea that a consistent, ongoing planning structure would offer important advantages to any military service. Yet we also found that the actual design and execution of the SMP could potentially obstruct, rather than facilitate, these objectives. The SMP retains many elements of an old-style strategic planning processforecasting an identifiable future, building an exhaustive, pre-set plan, and identifying hundreds of specific taskswhich creates a focus on execution over creative and flexible responses.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Administration and Management