5

Conclusions and Recommendations

The committee has developed the following conclusions and recommendations based on this study.

CONCLUSIONS

Conclusion 1. The phrase “world-class” is widely used to describe products and services. This phrase, however, can reasonably mean different things to different people. Therefore, if the phrase “world-class” is to be useful as a vision, it must be defined, tailored, and characterized in detail.

Conclusion 2. A world-class R&D organization is one that is recognized by peers and competitors as among the best in the field on an international scale, at least in several key attributes.

Conclusion 3. A world-class Army RD&E organization is one that excels in several key attributes by matching core competencies to its mission, thereby fulfilling the needs of soldiers as well as, or better than, similar organizations anywhere in the world.

Conclusion 4. Efforts to reach or maintain world-class performance require the demonstrated commitment of the full chain of command, from topmost management to the lowest level.

Conclusion 5. World-class R&D organizations are likely to excel in certain fundamental attributes, which are based on demonstrated



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WORLD-CLASS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT: Characteristics for an Army Research, Development, and Engineering Organization 5 Conclusions and Recommendations The committee has developed the following conclusions and recommendations based on this study. CONCLUSIONS Conclusion 1. The phrase “world-class” is widely used to describe products and services. This phrase, however, can reasonably mean different things to different people. Therefore, if the phrase “world-class” is to be useful as a vision, it must be defined, tailored, and characterized in detail. Conclusion 2. A world-class R&D organization is one that is recognized by peers and competitors as among the best in the field on an international scale, at least in several key attributes. Conclusion 3. A world-class Army RD&E organization is one that excels in several key attributes by matching core competencies to its mission, thereby fulfilling the needs of soldiers as well as, or better than, similar organizations anywhere in the world. Conclusion 4. Efforts to reach or maintain world-class performance require the demonstrated commitment of the full chain of command, from topmost management to the lowest level. Conclusion 5. World-class R&D organizations are likely to excel in certain fundamental attributes, which are based on demonstrated

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WORLD-CLASS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT: Characteristics for an Army Research, Development, and Engineering Organization commitment. These attributes, often called pillars, are customer focus, resources and capabilities, strategic focus, value creation, and quality focus. Conclusion 6. The five pillars are the basis of 25 characteristics that the committee believes are most relevant to an Army RD&E organization (see discussion of the characteristics in Chapter 4). Conclusion 7. Metrics with qualitative descriptors for four levels of performance (i.e., poor, adequate, good, and excellent) of the 25 characteristics are the preferred means of determining the extent to which an RD &E organization has achieved world-class performance. (The metrics appear in Table 4-1, Table 4-5.) Conclusion 8. Good or excellent performance for each characteristic, and excellent overall performance for all five pillars, are believed to be necessary for an organization to be judged world-class. RECOMMENDATIONS Recommendation 1. The concepts, characteristics, and metrics developed in this study should be used to assist the committee to assess the Natick RDEC. Recommendation 2. These concepts, characteristics, and metrics should be considered by the Army or outside reviewers for use in assessing other Army RD&E organizations. Recommendation 3. Army RD&E organizations should consider using these concepts, characteristics, and metrics for self-evaluation. Recommendation 4. The concepts developed in this study should be considered by RD&E organizations in general for making assessments and self-evaluations. Some tailoring of the characteristics and metrics will probably be needed to suit specific organizations, be they inside or outside the DoD. Recommendation 5. The concept of a world-class organization should be used principally as an internal focusing mechanism for

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WORLD-CLASS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT: Characteristics for an Army Research, Development, and Engineering Organization achieving excellence rather than as an external mechanism for advertising the virtues of an organization.

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