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Capability Life Cycle Management

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Human Factors and Medicine

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C2, Capability Governance, Command and Control, Knowledge Management, Learning Organisations, Organisational Development


A primary challenge in developing an enduring, adaptive and agile C2 capability is how to reform the generating organisation and systems i.e. not C2 itself, but a whole raft of individual and organisational development activities that take place over extended periods of time to create its constituent components. This challenge exists because C2 is much more than just people and equipment. Instead, factors such as historical and current doctrine and concepts, established ways of working, cultural norms, and policies and personnel procedures, all influence the eventual C2 capability that is realized. Hence, to develop C2 capability requires the crossing of organizational, domain and capability boundaries as well as a number of academic disciplines. Complicating matters even further is the fact that existing C2 components were often designed and developed some considerable time ago, frequently independent of each other and often without a guiding integration concept. Each of the capability components and the influencing factors also change over time, more or less independently. Hence, for example, if a state of the art technology enabler was proposed initially, it might subsequently become inadequate due to an emerging policy change. To address this myriad of challenges requires a “life cycle perspective” to be taken on all the factors that contribute to a C2 capability, i.e. it should not be restricted to just the life cycle of military units and/or their supporting technological systems. Finally, the challenges cannot be wholly responded to by just focusing on the development process itself; there is also a need to embrace the feedback aspects of lifecycles, which includes the topics of organizational learning and the adaptive management of current and emerging C2 capabilities. This ET seeks to explore whether C2 capability generating activities can be changed to a form which continuously sustains a coherent intent throughout component development lifecycles, with the intended outcome that components are more readily combinable into an effective, adaptive and agile C2 capability. The end result should be a C2 capability which can be proactively adapted, via a blended design and emergence process, to address a wide range of future challenging circumstances. This would call for a new approach to organisational development and change, which arguably does not yet exist, particularly in terms of understanding applicable theories and how they can be practically leveraged by the military in difficult capability development and operational contexts


The ET will explore the potential for developing military stakeholder guidance for more a holistic design approach and governance process for C2 capability development, and as part of this, will consider whether it is possible to create a “NATO Code of Best Practice for C2 Capability Life Cycle Management”. The ET will also examine the underlying problem space and determine, within a future RTG, which of the following thematic areas could be usefully explored in an allied military C2 capability context to the benefit of NATO: • Thematic Area 1: Identification, understanding and influencing of the primary long-lead-time individual and organisational development (socio-technical) factors driving current and future C2 capability development. • Thematic Area 2: Identification, development, improvement and exploitation of approaches to organisational learning and capability development in the context of C2. • Thematic Area 3: Exploration of short and long term organizational/systems change in the context of agile C2 capability. Including better understanding of how to improve the likelihood of changes being implemented effectively, how to ensure that they have the desired impact, and also how to sustain transformational change over the longer-term. • Thematic Area 4: Identification and improvement of the means to evaluate the effectiveness of C2 change, in relation to short term, long-term and overall capability health and maturity as a consequence of both individual and multiple change interventions being implemented. • Thematic Area 5: Identification and analysis of success stories and bad examples from different areas of C2 and management practice


• Short and long-term learning and development in the context of C2. • Blockers to C2 organisational improvement and potential mitigation approaches. • Mechanisms to improve the efficacy and sustainability of short and long-term changes to C2 capability. • Evaluation of impact of short and long-term change and C2 organisational maturity. • Review of existing and proposed maturity and life cycle models addressing not only technology but also other issues such as processes, people, structure etc. An examination of other domains for potential equivalent models e.g. from medicine, crisis management and wider public service. • Success stories and bad examples. • Possibility of conducting case studies with data collection in a follow-on RTG.

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