Human-Systems Integration (HSI) and the Network Integration Evaluations (NIEs), Part 2: A Deeper Dive into Mission Command Complexity and Cognitive Load
Final rept. Oct 2013-Sep 2014
ARMY RESEARCH LAB ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD HUMAN RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING DIRECTORATE
Pagination or Media Count:
This report is the second in a series discussing Human-Systems Integration HSI within the context of the Network Integration Evaluations NIEs. The focus of these reports is the impact of complexity and cognitive load on mission command performance in digital Command Posts CPs. Cognitive load is defined as the aggregate mental load placed on battle-staff personnel by a complex mission command work setting. NIE results suggest there are 3 primary contributors to excessive cognitive load in NIE CPs 1 design, 2 integration, and 3 training. These factors combine and act to increase the aggregate level of perceived complexity and cognitive load for CP personnel. The mission command role itself is intrinsically complex and demanding. However, a work setting with a large number of design-related rough edges will give the impression of being more complex and intimidating than one that has been better designed and integrated. While some of the cognitive load associated with mission command in NIE CPs is intrinsic to role, high levels of extraneous cognitive load are needless consequences of insufficient attention to HSI in component design and integration coupled with inadequate training for both individual system users and for battle staffs operating as a team. The primary focus of the following discussion is HSI results from the FY 2014 series of NIEs.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Command, Control and Communications Systems