Systemic Operational Design – Freeing Operational Planning from the Shackles of Linearity

Conception opérationnelle systémique – Libérer la planification opérationnelle du carcan de la linéarité


  1. Lauder, M.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN)
This paper’s central argument is that the CF Operational Planning Process (OPP) is not an ideal method for military planning, in particular for dynamic, high complexity, and time-constrained environments, because the method is highly formal, structured, and linear. This paper argues that the OPP, due to its rigid structure, essentially hamstrings military planners and, because it is based on the assumption that the problem-space is closed and readily decomposable, creates a false sense of certainty. This paper further argues that Systemic Operational Design (SOD) may be better suited for use in the contemporary operating environment because it is less structured (i.e. flexible and iterative) and based on systems-thinking, which is a holistic approach to understanding the problem-space. To accomplish this task, this paper provides an outline of the two primary approaches to decision-making (i.e. analytic and naturalistic), briefly summarizes and outlines the limitations of the OPP, and provides and overview of SOD as well as identifying the benefits of SOD over the OPP.

Il y a un résumé en français ici.

Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-SL-2007-153 — Scientific Literature
Date of publication
01 Jan 2008
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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