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Defense Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis: Meeting the Challenge
should be responsive to the decision maker’s requirements at all levels of detail that are supported by the analysis.
Many decision makers do not like to be told what they should do; their job is to make decisions. The MS&A team’s job is to present the information in a way that makes choices transparent and to clarify the crucial parameters on which the choice depends (decision makers typically consider many factors other than those considered by MS&A). Simple, transparent models that allow decision makers to control input parameters and immediately observe outputs can be an effective way to develop their confidence in models. If the underlying model is very complex and time consuming to run, simplified models that capture the essence of the complex underlying model should be used.
In short, MS&A practitioners should document their activities and results in a transparent and traceable way. At all levels of presentation, all terms and assumptions should be stated explicitly, sensitive and robust features should be identified, and shortcomings and weaknesses should be discussed openly. Strategies should be identified and implemented to increase the flexibility, adaptability, and robustness of MS&A activities and results. The MS&A community should work closely with communications experts to develop and institutionalize effective techniques to communicate MS&A results.
Decision making is a highly individual and often idiosyncratic process, so it should not be surprising that a disconnect often exists between the MS&A practitioner and the decision maker. Every effort should be made to ensure that both have the same understanding of the problem, the assumptions that are necessary to model and analyze it, the alternative solutions offered, and the uncertainties associated with each. This is an area that requires technical, verbal, and presentation skills, all of which need to be adequately represented on the MS&A team.
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