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International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS2006)

A System Dynamics Treatment of the Essential Tension Between C2 and Self-Synchronization

Robert Wiebe
the Boeing Company -- Phantom Works

Dan Compton
The Boeing Company -- Phantom Works

Dave Garvey
The Boeing Company -- Phantom Works

     Full text: Not available
     Last modified: June 7, 2006

Abstract: At the heart of the transformation being undertaken by the DoD, is agility, the rapid and timely action/response to any situation at the level needed. As agility is sought, trained for, expected, and counted on, there is a naturally occurring tension between the various Command and Control (C2) approaches and self-synchronization (which implies nearly autonomous behavior at the operating levels). Compounding both the benefits and the difficulties of agility is a requirement to dramatically increase collaboration across the types of units and among levels of organization. The benefit of the additional collaboration is a richer understanding among units and extended reach among levels due to the creation of a shared situational awareness. The difficulty is not only that collaboration takes time (unless teams/organizations have worked together previously) but that there is a blurring of the boundaries.

Traditionally, boundaries have been enforced to facilitate de-confliction of assignments; now the boundaries are being intentionally blurred to facilitate synergies of action. That synergy of action can only be achieved when ‘synchronization’ exists among units operating in a near autonomous manner (each working to achieve their mission(s) as given by the command organizations and modified by emerging threats and opportunities) and when everyone, who needs to be, is informed of both the latest changes and positions. This model enables a methodical exploration of the interesting and inherent dynamics generated by the interactions among the difficulties and benefits of self-synchronization and essential tensions between it and Command and control.

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