Accession Number:

ADA604644

Title:

Operational Design: Distilling Clarity from Complexity for Decisive Action

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLL MAXWELL AFB AL

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2012-08-01

Pagination or Media Count:

151.0

Abstract:

The exploration of operational design is a transformative venture. It represents a tremendous leap in intellectual theory that will have far-reaching implications on the future of planning. In spite of its obvious importance, however, design remains shrouded in the inherent complexities that cloak the operational level of war and the concepts involved in campaign planning. Perhaps even more significant is the fact that we have collectively failed to empower the intrinsic relationship between design and decision analysis. The value of design is not just providing a mechanism to construct a campaign plan. Its true value rests in its fundamental capability to facilitate decision making. If approached deliberately, design provides a foundational basis for formulating preplanned decision points and creating the structure for linking decision analysis to emergent opportunities. Linking operational design with decision analysis substantially reduces the risk associated with an operation and increases the probability of a plan surviving first contact. This analysis takes a didactic approach. It attempts to demystify the aura surrounding operational design by presenting a theoretical framework for comprehending its fundamental precepts. The goals of this analysis are threefold provide a methodological example for understanding and applying design, show how design enhances decision making and risk analysis, and investigate the major differences between design in major combat operations and design in counterinsurgency COIN.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE