Enablers of Self-Synchronization for Network-Centric Operations: Design of a Complex Command and Control Experiment
Hutchins, Susan G.
Kleinman, David L.
Hocevar, Susan P.
Kemple, William G.
Porter, Gary R.
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Modified human decision-making processes are required—in addition to new tactics and technology that are also currently under development—to enable Joint military forces to operate in a time span that is shorter than an adversary’s. Selfsynchronization is viewed as an essential process within military organizations that can increase speed of command and thus accelerate execution of the mission. This process of self-synchronization is described as the ability of a well-informed force to organize and synchronize complex warfare activities from the bottom up. The organizing principles are unity of effort, clearly articulated commander’s intent, and carefully crafted rules of engagement. Self-synchronization is viewed as a mechanism to overcome the loss of combat power inherent in top-down, command-directed coordination that is characteristic of conventional command and control doctrine. The planning that took place to prepare for a complex, command and control, team-in-the-loop experiment, examining selfsynchronization, is the focus for this paper. The objective of the experiment was to determine the conditions under which self-synchronization can most effectively be achieved. In particular, we discuss the activities that led to formulating the hypotheses for the the experiment, and the efforts that were needed to actually run the experiment. These efforts included conducting a pre-experiment seminar game, crafting the scenario, experimental design development, independent variable manipulation, data collection methods and instruments, and simulator software modification. Some initial results and lessons learned will also be discussed.
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