Saturday, August 25, 2007

Measurement and Change...

Re(1): ‘Process’, The Belmont Club, Wretchard

Process and initiative are both basic cogs in an ever improving and competitive enterprise. There is a balance. You need both.

The Clinton Legacy was one that neither respected the military nor the intelligence services. Hence, they would not accept failure and could not accept results unless ‘process was followed’ and ‘accountability could be ascertained’. Both the military and the intelligence services were not critically important assets since they were not immediately aligned to Liberal goals. Basically, these entities never adapted to the peace dividend!!!

Therefore, the view was that they must change incrementally. Thus, process improvement techniques where implemented (TQL) to build a ‘stronger’ military and ‘revamped’ intelligence service. However, under Clinton ‘stronger’ was ‘more streamlined’ and cheaper - and ‘revamped’ was a re-tasking to economic and social research. We were, of course, talking about ‘Peace in Our Time!!!’.

Conversely, after 9/11 we went straight to change and initiative without much regard to process. To me, this was necessary. The processes were not set up to redevelop and restructure the entity. They were there to make it manageable and cheaper in peacetime. However, we are now dealing with the excesses and failures of initiative without measurement. America is now restructuring its processes to match its reality. Hence, the hue and cry about surveillance and counter insurgency surges. The Left is still unconvinced that the military and intelligence services have adapted to the modern world, and the Right cannot prove that they have. We are now readdressing process. It is ugly, but it is necessary.

Here is a very strong positive of the Clinton starvation by process and the ‘W’ process be damned just give me progress initiatives. Now, the military has a much lighter support footprint and understands process improvement techniques. The best example is Rumsfeld’s water spiquet references. Even during wartime he wanted to measure effectiveness and make incremental changes based on those facts. Another example is the recent review of NSA surveillance techniques – and, the reasonable adjustment to the wild-wild west changes that occurred in October of 2001. Why is that important? It is important because we can now change tactics and equipment and training and recruiting and retention – and still measure how the changes affect the whole.

We have changed, We are changing, And, we are improving.

I would hate to be the other guy!!!

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