Organizing for a Complex World
January 28, 2009
Government agencies, primarily the U.S. Department of Defense, currently face an unparalleled leap in complexity as the information revolution presents opportunities to create large, complex net-centric systems-of-systems. Furthermore, individual weapon systems are becoming more intricate as more technology is inserted, requirements mount, and capabilities increase. Gaining maximum benefit from these innovations requires not only overcoming the technical challenges, but also confronting fundamental and profound policy, organizational, and doctrinal issues.
When faced with complicated challenges in the past, the defense community developed new management and analytical tools, created new organizational structures, and fundamentally changed governance structures and policies. In the early days of the Cold War, for example, PERT (program evaluation and review technique) was developed to help manage the Polaris Missile program, and the Federally Funded Research and Development Centers were created. Currently, however, creative thinking on how to grapple with complexity has been in short supply.
This book presents a wide range of new perspectives on the complexity challenges facing the Department of Defense and the industrial base that supports it. In 10 chapters covering topics such as governance mechanisms, competition and innovation, system-of-systems engineering, system integration, and program management, the authors provide a comprehensive view on complexity in a national defense context and present the latest thinking on how to turn complexity from an insurmountable hurdle into an opportunity to be exploited.