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APPLIED FUTURES. The Importance of Effects-Based Thinking Christine MacNulty, FRSA. 16 July 2008. www.exploit-the-future.com. christine.macnulty@gmail.com. The Nature of the Problem.

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The Importance of Effects-Based Thinking Christine MacNulty, FRSA


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    1. APPLIED FUTURES The Importance of Effects-Based Thinking Christine MacNulty, FRSA 16 July 2008 www.exploit-the-future.com christine.macnulty@gmail.com

    2. The Nature of the Problem • Successful acquisition of complex systems requires a systematic approach to contracting, and firm acquisition governance • Recently, there have been a number of examples of where the acquisition process has failed to deliver desired capabilities or to control escalation of costs • There is a need, both in Government and in private industry, to improve the ability to define the desired results of a given acquisition, this includes: • Developing the right contract approach to deliver a complex system with the desired capabilities • Keeping costs under firm control

    3. What is Required? • A Vision for the Program that is shared by all the Stakeholders – both private industry and the Government. This is generally requirements-driven • A Strategic Plan for the Acquisition with the logic trail and critical paths explicit – so that any changes can be made in conscious recognition of what they are going to affect and how they will change the planned output • Measures of Effectiveness (MOEs) that take priority over Measures of Performance (MOPs) • A systematic approach to the contracting process • A means for achieving firm acquisition governance

    4. The Perils of Process • Everyone is going overboard on Lean Six Sigma, BPR, BPI • These are very useful if we have clear goals/objectives towards which we’re working • If we’re going in the wrong direction, these approaches will help us get there faster • (And, by the way, if we are trying to develop a truly network-centric organization, we need “fat” built in to the system. Lean will prevent it) • Compliance Checklists – beware! • It is possible to be “in compliance” with every item on a check list, and yet the Program can be off track (e.g. Information Assurance) • Effectiveness trumps Performance • Both are important, but achieving the Vision or Goal is more important than getting to the end of some process on time

    5. What is Required? • A significant change in mindsets! • Away from PROCESS • Towards OUTCOMES or EFFECTS

    6. Two New Habits of Effective PMsto Combat the Perils of Process • Focus • Direction

    7. Thoughts on Accomplishing theTwo Habits • Vision Based Planning • A Vision has emotion • Effects Based Thinking • EBT requires logic Engaging the Heart Inspiring Providing Direction Engaging the Head Motivating Providing Focus To get the best out of people and their capabilities, we need to harness both head and heart

    8. Apocryphal Story Food Packaging Pallets ? Transportation We have all heard about “mission creep” and “project creep”

    9. Increasing Complexity? • The world has always been complex, but we have often seen and thought about only a small part of it • Today we are being forced to take a larger systems perspective on our operations • As the number of nodes (people, things, organizations) increase, the possible relationships between them increase exponentially • Large projects that involve multiple organizations and many people must understand that complexity and be able to deal with it

    10. Increasing Complexity?

    11. Increasing Complexity? 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 2 289 17 Possible Arrangements = 2 = 2 More than the number of particles in the known universe

    12. The Changing Nature of Warfare and Business: Challenges • Increasing complexity • Technology • Society • Politics • Need to form strategic alliances • Increasing globalization • Understand cultures • Understand ways people know and think • Understand markets • Understand ways of doing business • Need for speed • Innovation • Disruptive innovation – macro and micro Which make the outcomes/effects more difficult to determine and measure

    13. Effects The System Outcomes/ Effects Inputs Outputs The system hasentities, relationships andactivities all of which are described by processes (Bertalanffy)

    14. Key Components of EBT • Visualize or develop a Vision of the desired outcome • Use the Socratic Method / Critical Thinking / System’s Thinking to find the REAL Vision / desired outcome • Engage in dialectic reasoning to examine contradictions and to promote creative thinking. • Engage in deep think – including reframing • Take a system’s perspective on the Vision / desired outcome

    15. Simple Example of Critical Thinking and Systems Thinking • First thoughts on Vision (?) • I want my house painted • Use the Socratic Method to find the REAL desired outcome (the larger systems perspective) – keep asking questions… • Why do I want my house painted? • Because the paint is peeling • Because I want to protect my investment • Because I don’t like the present color • Because my spouse is nagging • Because I want my house to look beautiful and cared for • Let us assume our real Vision is the last desired outcome – it is the most Visionary of the reasons … in which case… • If I want the house to look beautiful and cared for, is painting enough? • If I want the house to look beautiful and cared for, what else could I do? • Replace doors and windows • Replace the roof tiles • Re-landscape the garden • Re-surface the driveway…

    16. Example (cont.) • What’s involved in making the house look beautiful and cared for? • Money • Time • Labor • Disruption to daily life • If I want the house to look beautiful and cared for how much / many of these ideas can I afford? • If I hire contractors to do it? • If I do it myself? • If I do part and contractors do part? • If I take the third option, how can we schedule the work? • What preparation will be involved? • What needs to be done in what order? • We don’t want dirt/sand blowing about when paint is wet • We want the drive to be re-surfaced when people do not need to use it • Will it affect the time of completion? • …etc. … etc. • How will we know when all the work is done? • Develop a critical path analysis • Develop metrics of outcome (MOEs not MOPs)…

    17. Purpose of a Vision 2018 2008 To provide direction – a “Guiding Star”

    18. VisionMust be demand- or requirements-led 2018 2008 Requirements- or Demand-Pull Technology- or Supply-Push

    19. Vision A Vision without (Strategy and) Action is a Daydream Action without (Strategy and) Vision is a Nightmare Derived from a Japanese Proverb

    20. Expansion & Exploration Phase Synthesis Phase Typical Vision-Based Planning Process Current Status of XXX Technology Developments System Requirements New Ideas Role in Larger Organization External Drivers Mini-Scenarios • Outputs include: • Vision, Values • Goals, Objectives • Strategies • Stakeholder Strategies • Action Plan • Roles & Responsibilities • Metrics • Implementation Plan Reframe

    21. Reframing Reframing is about seeing things differently – slicing the pie differently • Nixon walks on water vs Nixon can’t swim (Washington Post in 70s) • House versus Home • Requirements: Outcomes vs Capabilities • Outcomes vs Performance Reframing can open up new possibilities and new ways of doing things

    22. Vision-Based Strategic Planning Ideas / Scenarios about the Future Vision Roles & Missions Policies / Constraints Top-Level Goals Objectives Periodic Feedback Periodic Feedback COMMITMENT CONSENSUS Strategies Action & Implementation Plan with Metrics, Roles & Responsibilities

    23. Related Ideas from Jim Collins’Good to Great:Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t B R E A K T H R O U G H B U I L D U P Level 5 Leadership First WHO Then WHAT Confront the Brutal Facts Hedgehog Concept Culture of Discipline Technology Accelerators DISCIPLINED PEOPLE DISCIPLINED THOUGHT DISCIPLINED ACTION F L Y W H E E L

    24. Example: NSWG1Commodore’s Concerns 1995 Wanted to make the SEALs relevant • Become a strategic asset for CINCs • Solve problems of PERSTEMPO/ OPTEMPO • Reduce mission/campaign planning time • Increase survivability • Lessen footprint • Lessen logistics tail

    25. Commodore’s Vision 1995 Vision/Purpose included: • We will be the force of choice to clarify and simplify the battlefield • We will lead the way in advanced technology, training and tactics to provide unorthodox solutions to complex problems Resulted in Quantum Leap • Change in organizational structure • Smaller platoons • New way of doing business • Reduction in questions about direction

    26. Quantum Leap Key ideas from Quantum Leap: • Reduce amount of communications traffic • Reduce time for communications/message traffic • It’s cheaper to move information than people • It’s cheaper to have smaller footprints – less logistics tail • Operate smarter – nodal analysis (effects based thinking) – to decrease detectability and increase survivability • Use Special Operations Executive and FedEx as models

    27. Mission Support Center 1996 In 1996 set up the first version of the MSC – demand driven • Blue Force Tracker • Meteorological/Oceanographic (METOC) experts • Imagery analysts • New form of radio “bursts” to communicate • “R&D Department” – “mad scientists”

    28. Mission Support Center Used for almost all missions since 2000 • SEALs were first on ground in Afghanistan after 9/11 – with only four people – later expanded to 12 • In Iraq, they were able to secure two critical nodes of oil pipelines and turn off the oil before it could be dumped in the Gulf • Where co-located with Army and Marine Corps, the MSC becomes the most reliable and fastest source of information for them • Operates 24/7 – has capacity for surge • Can reconfigure/update software on the fly for those forward • Today it provides a One-Stop-Shop for SEALs

    29. Why the Success? It worked because the Commodore was passionate about his Vision He had the intellectual ability to think through what he wanted to achieve • He gave his leadership the opportunity to participate in the development of the Vision and Plan • He enabled them to become passionate about it He had the confidence to seek out-of-the-box solutions and implement them

    30. Defines A B Defines C Values, Beliefs & Motivations Attitudes & Lifestyles Observable Behavior 0 - 2 Years 2 - 10 Years 10 - Lifetime WIIFM – What’s In It For Me?How to Engage Heart and Head Through Values and Motivations: Socio-cultural model of industrialized nations – based on Maslow’s developmental Hierarchy of Needs Tested and used in many countries since the early ‘70’s for • Strategy development • New business development • Marketing • Training and education • Communication…

    31. SELF ACTUALIZATION SUSTENANCE DRIVEN SETTLERS AESTHETIC INNER DIRECTED PIONEERS COGNITIVE ESTEEM GROWTH NEEDS BELONGING SAFETY SELF ESTEEM ESTEEM OF OTHERS DEFICIENCY NEEDS OUTER DIRECTED PROSPECTORS BASIC Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

    32. Characteristics: Pioneers Pioneers (37% US Population) • Most likely and able to work in networks – they are happy to be the leader one day and the “gofer” the next • Greatest ability to take a system’s view • Most willing and able to use Information Technology • Most willing and able to operate in highly complex, uncertain, ambiguous environments • See interdependencies and connections • Ideas people – grasp new ideas quickly • People people – relationships matter

    33. Characteristics: Prospectors and Settlers Prospectors (50% US) • Goal oriented – want to win at any cost • High energy – want to get things done • Willing to change, if they see it is in their best interests • Seeking professional advancement • Independent • Action oriented Settlers (13% US) • Traditionalists – tried and true approaches • Want to get things right – dot “i”s and cross “t”s • Concerned about change • Don’t want to “throw the baby out with the bathwater” • Dependable • Dependent

    34. The Two Habits Use Values to change Mindsets, then ensure that leadership at all levels has • Focus – Enhanced by Effects Based Thinking • Direction – Provided by the Vision Both contribute to the overall performance of the people engaged in the project and to the quality and effectiveness of the outcomes

    35. Questions?