Friday, August 29, 2014

Rethinking Readiness

Strategic Studies Quarterly just published my most recent work, Rethinking Readiness. The thesis of the article is we have an even bigger readiness problem than we realize because we don't have good metrics for readiness. For the most part, we measure and report readiness inputs, like flying hours and maintenance levels, instead of readiness outputs, like average bomb miss distances. To make matters worse, we don't have a good understanding for the relationship between inputs and outputs so it is hard to show how a cut in readiness funding actually harms readiness.

My conclusion is that DoD and Congress need to revamp the way readiness is measured and reported to focus on readiness outputs (performance measures) rather than inputs. Moreover, DoD needs to use controlled experiments to establish and continually refine the complex relationships between readiness inputs and outputs. Without this, we may be significantly overfunding or underfunding readiness without knowing it.