Design Thinking and Military Innovation

World military expenditure is % 2.1 of GDP per year. USA spends % 3.2 and NATO spends % 2.5 of GDP. Just to give you an idea what does it mean let’s look USA discretionary budget. USA discretionary budget for 2021 is $1.485 trillion. More than half goes toward military spending, including Homeland Security, the Department of Veterans Affairs and other defense-related departments.

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Military Expenditure per Country

This has resulted in some of the most innovated inventions coming from the military sector. Some of the greatest advances in human history have been a result of this military innovation. Digital photography, virtual reality, Deep Web and the internet itself are just some of the technologies that were born from military research.

Innovation is a new idea, creative thoughts, and new imaginations as the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing needs. One of the most popular method in Innovation is Design Thinking, which is a methodology to better understand requirements, challenge assumptions, re-frame the problem and propose solutions. It is often used with lean startup to develop proposed service/product and agile methodology to deliver the proposed service/product. I would like to highlight that lean startup is to develop specific service/product within a business. Business model canvas is used for overarching business to find the right operating model for the organization.

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Design Thinking, Lean Startup and Agile

Eisenhower says, “Plans are nothing. Planning is everything.” Military Innovation comes from its funding and governance. Department of Defense (DOD) has robust and battle tested Defense Acquisition System that is a process to manage investments in technologies, programs, and product support that is necessary to achieve Security Strategy and support for today’s and future armed forces to satisfy their requirements, improve capability and operational support, in a timely manner at a fair and reasonable price.

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Defense Acquisition System

Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS) is a requirements process, which provides established methodology to identify, assess, validate and prioritize capability requirements, gaps and redundancies in the spectrum of Doctrine, Organization, Training, Material, Leadership, Education, Personnel, Facilities and Interoperability, Policy. (DOTMLPF-IP) Through

· Capability Based Planning (Define capabilities, asses requirements, propose solutions)

· Application of Joint Concepts (CONOPS, Analysis, experimentation, urgent needs and tasks) and Integrated architectures (Enterprise Architecture e.g. DODAF)

· Integrated, collaborative review process

· Leverage expertise of all stakeholders.

Which results Initial capabilities, capability development, capability deployment and operational support. Thereby defines standards and specifications like NATO STANAG, NIST etc.

DOTMLPF-IP spectrum is to avoid the “hammer to every solution looks like a nail” approach:

· Doctrine: a stated principle of military affairs. The way they fight, e.g., Truman Doctrine, emphasizing maneuver warfare and combined forces campaigns.

· Organization: how they organize to fight; divisions, air wings, Marine-Air Ground Task Forces (MAGTFs), etc.

· Training: how they prepare to fight tactically; basic training to advanced individual training, various types of unit training, joint exercises, etc.

· Materiel: all the “stuff” necessary to equip the forces, that is, weapons, spares, etc. so they can operate effectively.

· Leadership and education: how they prepare their leaders to lead the fight from squad leader to 4-star general/admiral; professional development.

· Personnel: availability of qualified people for peacetime, wartime, and various contingency operations

· Facilities: real property; installations and industrial facilities (e.g., ammunition production facilities) that support the forces.

· Interoperability: the ability to be interoperable with forces throughout the alliances

· Policy: any, interagency, or international policy issues that may prevent effective implementation of changes in the other DOTMLPF-IP areas

Let us see a model that represents the concepts and their relationships involved in all the life cycle activities for capabilities. C3 Taxonomy enables a common language and a tool to synchronize these activities and improve connecting Strategic Concept and Political Guidance through levels of ambition expressed in the Defense Planning Process (DPP), to Communications and Information Systems (CIS) architecture and design constructs. The C3 Taxonomy is the generic framework and contributes to a key component of the Connected Forces Initiative: Exploiting technology to help deliver interoperability. The picture below depicts the top levels of the C3 Taxonomy, connecting political and military ambitions to CIS capability components through mission types, capability codes and statements, business processes and information products.

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C3 Taxanomy

Concept of Operation (CONOPS) is used to examine current, new or proposed capabilities required to solve a current or emerging problem. It describes how a system will be used from the viewpoints of its various stakeholders. This provides a bridge between the often vague capabilities that a project begins with and the specific technical requirements needed to make is successful.

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I am passionate about Technology, Cloud Computing, Machine Learning and Blockchain

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