Infusing an SD Modeling Effort throughout the Military Organization:

The ANG Experience


Colonel Robert Glitz, U.S.A.F.
Chief, Customer Support Division SSG/RF
U.S. Air National Guard


Mr. Chris McGoff


Abstract: The lessons and policy interventions uncovered by a system dynamics modeling and simulation team are often difficult to communicate outside of the modeling team itself. The Air National Guard has attempted large-scale organizational change with two such modeling and simulation efforts. A number of different techniques were used, including groupware, organizational design, advanced graphics, management flight simulators, and large group interventions.

The lessons learned from these two efforts will be presented and a discussion facilitated on similar efforts from other modeling projects.

The two projects that will be highlighted are:

  1. The USAF-ANG Demand Management model and simulation
  2. The ANG Workforce Diversity Project: "People Potential 2000 and Beyond"

The first project had a relatively small audience and was run entirely from the National Guard Bureau, Air Directorate point of view. Few if any field personnel were involved. The effort involved System Dynamics modeling and simulation, the creation of a graphic artistís representation of the static model, and the limited deployment of a Management Flight Simulator among a group of high-ranking ANG officers. Of the project, the artistís representation has had the biggest effect in communicating the work of the modeling team. It has been used as a device for facilitating planning sessions and focusing discussion.

The second project was intended from the start to the centerpiece of a large-scale change effort across the ANG and involving outside stakeholders. A high level board owned the project for its entire lifespan and owned the work generated by the project. The modeling team was large and diverse, representing over 20 states, districts, and territories as well as several levels within the organization. The output of this project led to a new and detailed strategic direction for the Air National Guard which is still ongoing, three years after completion of the modeling effort.

Both models will be made available to the conference attendees. They are constructed in Powersim Constructor and will be bundled with the Powersim Lite run time version.