Collaborative Synchronization Management Tool - Final Report


  • Johan Schubert
  • Pontus Hörling

Publish date: 2011-12-13

Report number: FOI-R--3298--SE

Pages: 23

Written in: English


  • CSMT
  • cross impact matrix
  • CIM
  • morphological analysis
  • Effects-Based Approach to Operations
  • EBAO
  • Planning
  • Subjective
  • Assessment
  • Execution
  • Allied Command Operations Comprehensive
  • Operations Planning Directive
  • COPD.


In this report we present how a cross impact matrix (CIM) may be used in the planning process of an Effects-based Approach to Operations (EBAO) for concept development and courses of action development. The purpose of using a CIM within the planning process is to find inconsistencies and decisive influences during concept and courses of action development. The CIM represents the impact between all actions, effects, decisive conditions, and end state of the plan. We develop morphological methods for analyzing actions and evaluating and refining plans, within the planning process using the CIM. We show that we can find the decisive influences from actions by using sensitivity analysis. By doing both we can find any weaknesses and all strengths of alternative courses of action as described by the CIM before the execution phase. We furthermore develop a subjective assessment method for making subjective assessment of plans and plan elements within EBAO. We show that such subjective assessments can be performed with regard to all effects, decisive conditions and the end state by taking human subjective assessments about actions as input and extending those assessments to all other plan elements using the CIM. The cross impact will aid the planning staff to find and exploit synergies by making all identified relationships between planned actions and their impact upon the effects, etc., explicit. The values entered in the CIM during concept development can be continuously updated during execution of the plan as the staff increases its knowledge of the current operational environment. Together with other information about the operation the explicit values in the CIM can therefore aid decision makers in gaining a more similar understanding of the situation, possibly leading to better decisions. The CIM can also be used during assessment of the operation as it should contain the most current view of what impact all effects have on the decisive conditions and what impact all decisive conditions have on the end state. Accepting human subjective assessments regarding the successful outcome of activities of the plan, we can use the impacts between plan elements as described by the CIM to calculate similar subjective assessments of all desired effects, decisive conditions and the end state. Using this methodology we get an early assessment of all plan elements during execution and may early on observe if actions and desired effects are developing according to plan. By observing the change over time of these subjective assessments of effects and decisive conditions as assessments of actions are updated, we notice if trends are moving in the right direction as more actions are further executed. We believe that the methods developed are primarily useful at the operational level early during concept development and courses of action development at Joint Forces Command in Phase 4a of NATOs Allied Command Operations Comprehensive Operations Planning Directive (COPD). The methods are implemented in a Collaboration Synchronization Management Tool (CSMT).