Learning Over Time: Using Rapid Prototyping Generative Analysis Experts and Reduction of Scope to Operationalize Design
Monograph rept. Jul 2009-May 2010
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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This monograph proposes that design provides commanders with an exceptional tool for military problem-solving, if focused and applied correctly. This means applying a design process as more than just a better way to do mission analysis or a methodology for developing situational understanding. In short, a design approach, applied as a methodology that emphasizes a deliberate learning process to build understanding over time, instead of a process of in-depth analysis in support of decision-making, enables commanders to simultaneously prepare for the direction of immediate actions and begin the more time-intensive techniques required for problem-management. Using design properly provides a meta-process that supports military planning by defining and continually re-defining problems so that military staffs can build better plans. This research argues that four critical factors, or starting blocks, help characterize a design approach as emphasizing learning over analysis. A broad review of design theory suggests that four techniques - rapid prototyping, generative analysis, use of experts, and deliberate limitation of scope - are particularly useful. Since a commanders dilemma of action versus analysis is most acute at the outset of an operation, these concepts would necessarily be applied from the beginning of a design approach hence the label starting blocks. Proving the validity of this argument entails an objective measurement of each of these techniques against some foundational principles of design. Comparison of rapid prototyping, generative analysis, use of experts, and deliberate limitation of scope against the foundational design tenets of formulating, moving, representing, evaluating, and reflecting, demonstrates the usefulness and applicability of the four starting blocks.
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