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The Ghost In The Machine: Better Application Of Human Factors To Enhance The Military Appreciation Process

The topic of this paper is the Military Appreciation Process (MAP), which is the structured procedure employed by the Australian Army for operational planning. The paper argues that, while the MAP is generally very effective, it could be further improved by better application of human factors. Specifically, better use of the personal role of the commander, intuition, and creativity will result in both higher quality plans and more efficient conduct of the planning process. The paper draws on a variety of scientific research pertaining to these human factors, including both specifically military-focused material and more general decision-making theory.

Conclusions are then drawn about ways to better employ human factors in military planning and specific activities that should be incorporated in the MAP for this purpose. The recommendations thus made would result in additional reference to human factors being included in doctrinal publications and MAP training courses; changes to the current methodology used in staff colleges for MAP training; and changes to the way the MAP is actually conducted in operational headquarters. It should be noted that the MAP is very similar to equivalent processes conducted by other modern military organisations, and that the argument of this paper is equally applicable to them.

The ghost in the machine

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