Using software applications to facilitate and enhance strategic planning
Carpenter, Daniel K.
Ebner, Donald J.
Roberts, Nancy C.
Conner, George W.
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This thesis is an evaluation of current computer software applications and their use in strategic planning. Military and business strategy are reviewed and discussed and the premise for sharing ideas between communities is proposed. The concepts of cognitive mapping and analytic hierarchy process, while not recent developments, will still be new to many readers of this thesis. A discussion of the strengths, weaknesses and capabilities of each approach is presented. Each of these approaches is also used as the basis for the two computer software applications which are discussed and evaluated in the thesis. Cognitive mapping, with its concepts linked by relationships to form a network map, is used by Graphics COPE to structure the problem being considered by a planning group. The Analytic Hierarchy Process, using multi-variable criteria, is capable of 'what if' analysis and goal seeking to choose among alternatives during a planning process. The planning process, and where these two fit into it, will be discussed step by step. Rationale for considering using this process will be discussed, as will the reasons for using computers in support of military strategic planning. And, advice will be given to those military analysts and planners who feel the need to search for computer applications to help them do their job.
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