The Army's National Training Center: A Case Study in Management of a Large Defense Project
ARMY MILITARY PERSONNEL CENTER ALEXANDRIA VA
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This thesis is a detailed case study which examines and analyzes the management of the planning, development, and establishment of the Armys National Training Center NTC. The NTC is a new Army unit training facility which was conceived in 1976 and established in 1981 at Fort Irwin, California. Included under the project title NTC were all actions associated with developing the training concept, reactivating Fort Irwin, staffing and equipping the installation, designing and procuring sophisticated field instrumentation, and securing Administration and Congressional approval and funding. The causes and effects of decisions and events impacting the NTC from conception to establishment, focusing on the management methods used, are examined in detail. This study describes the systemic organizational processes which resist changes within the Army. NTC managers never understood these organizational processes and attempted to manage the project rationally actions have their rational causes which have specific solutions. Such rational management resulted inevitably in poor planning and resource estimation. The study also describes the bureaucratic political environment in which the NTC was managed. NTC managers initially groped with specific issues without identifying the stakeholders. As a result, they were frequently blindsided by negative stakeholders who almost succeeded in killing the program.
- Administration and Management