2

Review of the Army Research Laboratory Today

An organizational and management change alone does not guarantee that ARL will be effective as a source of high-quality research and technology. ARL's mission and ability to conduct world-class research must be supportive of any organizational change if it is to be the Army's flagship laboratory and support horizontal technology integration.

The committee reviewed the current ARL to better understand its strengths and weaknesses in the funding, personnel, and administrative support necessary to pursue excellence in its own laboratories and in technology sources outside the Army. With this understanding, the committee was better prepared to address the advantages and disadvantages of the four organizational and management options, as well as make general recommendations for improvement.

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

The committee chose six criteria which reflect the Army's desires for ARL's performance. These criteria were used to review the current ARL and to compare the four organizational and management options considered in this study. The six criteria are:

  • Linkage to Army strategies and objectives: Responsiveness to the needs of the Army's leadership, tacticians, and soldiers in the field.

  • World-class land warfare research: The ability to conduct world-class research in areas of unique interest to the Army. The committee defines a world-class Army laboratory as one that provides value to both its immediate customers (other research, development, and acquisition organizations) and to its ultimate customer, the soldier. In addition, it has nationally recognized leaders and researchers working with state-of-the-art equipment in appropriate facilities; efficiently manages internal programs and takes advantage of external efforts; has an imaginative, innovative, and productive research program; and has a record of successful and timely transfer of research knowledge and technology to useful applications.



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THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options 2 Review of the Army Research Laboratory Today An organizational and management change alone does not guarantee that ARL will be effective as a source of high-quality research and technology. ARL's mission and ability to conduct world-class research must be supportive of any organizational change if it is to be the Army's flagship laboratory and support horizontal technology integration. The committee reviewed the current ARL to better understand its strengths and weaknesses in the funding, personnel, and administrative support necessary to pursue excellence in its own laboratories and in technology sources outside the Army. With this understanding, the committee was better prepared to address the advantages and disadvantages of the four organizational and management options, as well as make general recommendations for improvement. ASSESSMENT CRITERIA The committee chose six criteria which reflect the Army's desires for ARL's performance. These criteria were used to review the current ARL and to compare the four organizational and management options considered in this study. The six criteria are: Linkage to Army strategies and objectives: Responsiveness to the needs of the Army's leadership, tacticians, and soldiers in the field. World-class land warfare research: The ability to conduct world-class research in areas of unique interest to the Army. The committee defines a world-class Army laboratory as one that provides value to both its immediate customers (other research, development, and acquisition organizations) and to its ultimate customer, the soldier. In addition, it has nationally recognized leaders and researchers working with state-of-the-art equipment in appropriate facilities; efficiently manages internal programs and takes advantage of external efforts; has an imaginative, innovative, and productive research program; and has a record of successful and timely transfer of research knowledge and technology to useful applications.

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THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options Diversity and quality of research sources: The ability to obtain research and technology development knowledge from diverse sources in universities and industry to support changing Army needs. Technology transfer to the Army: The capacity for effective technology transfer to Army systems, either directly or through ARL's customer organizations (mainly the RDECs). Ability to leverage funds and programs: The ability to exploit research and technology development efforts outside ARL, through contracts, cooperative ventures, and multiservice projects. As much effort as possible should be exploited with minimum cost to ARL. Ability to improve productivity with respect to recurring costs: Cost-effectiveness and the ability to improve quality and organizational efficiency. As stated earlier, these criteria reflect the Army's desires in the Statement of Task (Appendix A). However, after reviewing ARL and assessing each of the options, the committee concluded that there may be other assessment criteria that the Army should consider in its decision process. The criteria could include: the impacts of proposed organizational changes on the Joint Directors of Laboratories and cross service coordination, and necessary facilitation costs (or cancellation of planned facilities) for enhancing each ARL option.1 A review of the current ARL according to each of the criteria follows. Linkage to Army Strategies and Objectives The committee believes that ARL's primary and most challenging task is to conduct long-range (5-to 15-year) Army basic research and exploratory development. Also, ARL must continue its additional tasks of conducting some short-range R&D (in support of RDECs and program managers), system assessments, and field assistance. To remain focused on these tasks, ARL maintains a variety of links with the Army's staff, with tactics and doctrine developers, and with soldiers in the field, in addition to its principal customers, AMC's RDECs. Short- and Long-Range Perspectives Liaison with Tactics and Doctrine Developers. Four ARL directorates—Advanced Concepts and Plans, Weapons Technology, 1   See additional discussion of facilitation costs in the listing of assumptions in Chapter 7.

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THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options Survivability and Lethality Analysis, and Human Research and Engineering —continuously evaluate Army personnel, materiel, and information systems in terms of technical and operational requirements. For operational requirements, these directorates must work closely with the trainers, tacticians, and doctrine developers at the Army's Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). These directorates inform the other ARL directorates of the latest Army requirements, so that they may maintain the necessary technical capabilities and seek technical solutions for deficiencies. TRADOC has six battle labs. The battle labs simulate and experiment with warfighting concepts and materiel capabilities that will be available in the next two to three years (Porter, 1993). The time horizons of RDECs are more consistent with those of the battle labs, and therefore, AMC has appropriately assigned the RDECs as the primary liaisons to each battle lab. However, ARL has also established liaisons at some of the battle labs. ARL regards these arrangements—which include interactions with the RDEC liaisons—as partnerships, in which its liaison personnel assess technology for TRADOC and discuss research programs with the RDECs in return for insight into Army needs identified in battle lab experiments (Army Research Laboratory, 1993b). This short-range view supports ARL's efforts to satisfy the immediate needs of the RDECs and soldiers in the field. However, it does not provide a long-range perspective in support of future Army needs. ARL does not have strong links with the advanced concepts directorates of the TRADOC schools. These directorates' evaluations of future tactics and doctrine could provide a long-range perspective for ARL. These advanced concept directorates work closely with the battle labs to develop smooth transitions from short-range to long-range doctrine. Likewise, a similar transition for technology could be established between the RDECs and ARL. Field Assistance Teams. ARL provides field assistance teams to satisfy soldiers' immediate needs for technical help. Scientists and engineers on these teams may be stationed at major Army commands for periods ranging from a few weeks to one- or two-year assignments. The Human Research and Engineering Directorate also maintains permanent field teams at Army branch (e.g., Armor, Infantry, etc.) schools. ARL has about 60 scientists and engineers working in long-term field assistance and TRADOC liaison positions. By fiscal year 1997, that number should drop to at the most 50. Although small in number, these field activities provide excellent linkages to short-range Army strategies, objectives, and needs. Work is normally funded by TRADOC battle labs and schools. Customers interviewed by the committee were highly supportive of the efforts of these people.

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THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options Military Personnel in ARL. Military personnel in ARL provide a direct link to the user. ARL currently has about 120 military officers and enlisted soldiers, who bring experience in wartime and peacetime execution of current Army doctrine and tactics, as well as an interpretation of Army short-range requirements. ARL has approximately 25 additional positions that require officers with doctoral degrees. Such officers can speak the languages of both the users and the developers. They are important sources of information for ARL's civilian scientists and engineers as well as soldier-scientist ambassadors to the military community. Their academic experience brings to ARL glimpses of academia's state-of-the-art research. Frequently, however, these highly educated officers do not have much experience in the planning and execution of Army doctrine and tactics. Linkage to Short-Range Needs through the ARL Board of Directors. The principal function of the ARL Board of Directors is to review the laboratory's basic research and exploratory development programs to ensure their relevance to the programs of ARL's direct customers, the RDECs. At least half of the programs must support the RDECs' efforts. This support is documented in memoranda of agreement developed by ARL and RDEC scientists and engineers. Each agreement defines the needed joint technical work and the specific arrangements for transfer of responsibility from ARL to the specific RDEC involved. These agreements are known as Technology Program Annexes. ARL directorate executives are responsible for implementing the Technical Program Annexes (Army Materiel Command, 1992b). The ARL Board of Directors has 16 permanent members: the 2 Principal Deputies for Acquisition and Technology at AMC headquarters (who serve as co-chairs), a Department of the Army human factors engineering representative, a technical director from the Information Systems Command, 8 RDEC technical directors, the technical directors of AMC 's simulation command and testing command, the director of AMC's systems analysis activity, and the director of ARL. Its four associate members include two senior staff members of the Materiel Command 's headquarters and the directors of the Army Research Office (ARO) and the Battle Lab Integration and Technology Directorate of TRADOC. Other than the directors of ARL and ARO, the members come from organizations with primarily short- or mid-range needs for technologies and systems. The board does not conduct technical assessments or peer reviews for determining quality of research at ARL.

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THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options Linkage to Long-Range Needs through the AMC Board of Directors. In addition to the ARL Board of Directors, there is an AMC Board of Directors which reviews AMC's technology plans and provides ARL 's primary long-range perspective. The AMC Board of Directors provides corporate oversight and approval of strategic planning, policies, and processes for the management of all research, development, engineering, testing, and evaluation activities of AMC (Army Materiel Command, 1992a). It helps the Department of the Army develop long-range research, development, and acquisition plans and approves policies and procedures to link the programs of AMC, the Army, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The AMC Board of Director's membership is similar to that of the ARL Board of Directors. The board is chaired by AMC's Deputy Commanding General (a three-star general). Its 21 other senior members include the members of the ARL Board of Directors plus the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Programs and Policy, a deputy chief of staff from the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, and 2 additional senior staff members from the AMC headquarters (Rosenkrantz, 1994). Financial Links with RDECs. At least half of ARL's 6.1 (basic research) and 6.2 (exploratory development) programs must support the direct needs of AMC's RDECs, ARL's primary customers (Army Materiel Command, 1992b). The RDECs typically demonstrate short-range perspectives to support the needs of its main customers, the program executive officers and program managers, who are primarily concerned with the acquisition phases of demonstration and validation, engineering and manufacturing development, and production of hardware and software systems. Appropriately, each RDECs' basic research through engineering development institutional funding2 is oriented toward satisfying near-term hardware and software needs. The Other Half of ARL's 6.1 and 6.2 Mission Funds. ARL focuses the other half of its 6.1 and 6.2 programs on long-range research, in support of future Army requirements or for developing new doctrine. As such, the customer for this half of ARL's 6.1 and 6.2 appropriated mission program is the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Research, Development and Acquisition) (ASA[RDA]). The ARL Director and the ASA(RDA) agree on programs in support of the Army Science and Technology Master Plan. The ASA(RDA), 2   This institutional funding, specifically appropriated by the Department of the Army, is intended to be sufficient to carry out core research and development, without the need for additional funds from outside.

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THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options AMC, and ARL must ensure that this half of ARL's 6.1 and 6.2 mission funds continues to support long-range Army needs. In terms of balancing its R&D programs, the committee believes that ARL does not have enough control to shape its own research program in support of long-range Army requirements. Governance by AMC. ARL is governed by AMC which is primarily responsible for system development and production, system support, and readiness, as well as basic research and exploratory development. System development and production, support, and readiness require a short-range view of R&D. The Commander of AMC reports to the Chief of Staff of the Army, who does not have primary responsibility for research, development, and acquisition in the Army. This responsibility is in the charge of the ASA(RDA). As a comparison, the Naval Research Laboratory reports to the Chief of Naval Research, who in turn reports to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition. Linkage to ASA (RDA). The program guidance and institutional funding of ARL are determined by the civilian ASA(RDA) and passed on to AMC. The ASA(RDA) has Army-wide responsibility for the following: establishing policies, procedures, priorities, and funding for science, technology, research, development, and acquisition; setting procurement policy, procedures, and practices; overseeing the acquisition managers of all Army major weapon systems from initiation to fielding, including product improvements; ensuring that future battlefield operational needs are addressed in the Army's R&D planning (in cooperation with the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations); ensuring that the Army explores multiple sources of science, technology, research, and development in academia and industry; and developing the Army's Science and Technology Master Plan. Of particular importance to ARL is the fact that the ASA(RDA) controls all of the Army's 6.1 and 6.2 funds, allocating them among ARL, the RDECs, ARO (the Army's conduit for university research grants), the Surgeon General, the Army Research Institute, and the Army Corps of Engineers. Also, the ASA(RDA) is charged with assessing the long-range view of Army technology needs, and managing a technology program that spans the boundaries of all of the Army's laboratories and engineering centers.

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THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options As a flagship laboratory responsible for long-range research and development programs, ARL must maintain a close working relationship with the ASA(RDA). This is especially necessary if ARL is to support Army-wide technology insertions as a means of gaining total force enhancements. With the Army-wide outlook, long-range plans, and Army staff links, the ASA(RDA) provides the conduit for developing, coordinating, and implementing ARL's long-range programs and its horizontal technology insertion efforts. Seminar Wargames. The ARL-sponsored, annual seminar wargames3 often include representatives of ARL directorates, the RDECs, TRADOC, and other defense laboratories and engineering centers. The wargames allow materiel developers and doctrine developers to build consensus about technology needs and new doctrinal and tactical concepts. Each seminar lasts only a few days and receives relatively little funding. This technology push and pull exchange helps develop a two-way linkage between ARL and Army strategies and objectives. Army Strategic Planning for Science and Technology. ARL participates with other Army laboratories and engineering centers in writing planning documents such as the Army's Science and Technology Master Plan, which is the strategic plan for the Army's science and technology program. It is based on the leadership's vision of the future Army, as constrained by realistic funding limits. World-Class Land Warfare Research The primary function of ARL should be to conduct world-class research and technology development in support of the Army's long-range land warfare needs. However, as true to all laboratories in general, the quality and relevance of research are difficult to measure quantitatively and accurately. A recent National Research Council study of Air Force laboratories reached the same conclusion (National Research Council, 1993). Like the Air Force, ARL measures R&D through peer reviews and performance indicators (Gendason and Brown, 1993). Output measures, such as the numbers of refereed papers or patents per scientist, are easily determined, but may not properly reflect all the efforts and accomplishments of the laboratory's 3   The purpose of these wargames is more to discuss materiel and doctrinal options, rather than move simulated combat forces on maps, computers, or physical terrain.

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THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options scientists and engineers (e.g., the scientist who would rather conduct research than write, or the software engineer who may find it impossible to get a patent). In addition, although less of a problem for the bulk of basic research, measures of recognition (i.e., honors, peer recognitions, and awards from professional and learned societies) can be distorted by the classified nature of military research. Another possible output measure is the transition of given technologies to further development or application, yet, this again can be a deceiving metric as the origin of the technology that finally makes up a weapon system may be obscure. Input measures, such as the numbers of Ph.D.s from highly regarded graduate programs and the state of equipment and facilities, are more convincing, albeit less reliable, measures. To date, the Army laboratories are only beginning to measure the quality of their work, and have not developed enough data to validate their measurements against nationally recognized world-class laboratories (Department of the Army, 1992). Thus, in reviewing ARL's ability to conduct world-class research, this committee relied heavily on judgments of input criteria: management, personnel statistics, administrative practices, and funding. ARL has some broad areas of excellence. Some elements of its directorates have the ability to conduct world-class research in areas that are uniquely tied to the Army. Many ARL scientists and engineers, for example, presented outstanding summaries of their research projects at the 18th Army Science Conference in June 1992 (Kamely et al., 1993). ARL excels in the use of simulation and modeling that can predict the performance of new components and systems. Using high-performance computing, ARL pursues radical new concepts in projectile design, gun propulsion, armor technology, and novel weapons. Its evaluations of man-machine interfaces in proposed equipment designs are also excellent. It uses simulation to conduct comprehensive and accurate analyses of developmental systems without costly large-scale experimentation such as live-fire testing (Taulbee, 1993). It has been responsible for the basic research underlying night vision systems and has made major contributions through this research to the Army's night warfare capabilities. Much other excellent R&D goes unrecognized because it is classified. But ARL still does not have the reputation enjoyed by some government laboratories like the Naval Research Laboratory and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The committee believes that the conditions for maintaining consistent excellence have not yet been fully established. As experienced by many government laboratories and engineering centers, ARL suffers undue constraints on management, restrictions on hiring and promotion, unresponsive procurement systems, and reductions in personnel and funding. Unless corrected directly with administrative changes or indirectly with an organizational or management structure change (e.g., a

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THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options GOCO laboratory), these and other conditions will prevent ARL from achieving, let alone maintaining, world-class status. The Director, Senior Leadership, and Staff The quality of research in ARL depends primarily both on capable managers and supervisors and on talented and experienced senior scientists and engineers, who stand outside the management chain but guide and inspire younger colleagues. Yet, in personnel management, ARL is highly constrained. Salaries are uncompetitive.4 Managers have little local authority to hire, reward, and fire personnel. There are rigid limits on the numbers of high grades and total personnel. The process of approval for hiring scientists and engineers and senior managers is cumbersome and slow, and requires many months and layers of approvals. Promotions, merit-based pay raises, and firings are limited (see Chapter 7 and Appendix D). Many personnel reforms permitted by the Federal Employee Pay Comparability Act of 1990 and the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 have not yet been implemented (Army Laboratory Command, 1991). In order to assert its world-class status, ARL needs the administrative flexibility to hire and reward the best possible technical personnel, from the director to the bench level. The Director. As an implementation of the Lab 21 study, the directorship of ARL changed from a two-star general officer to a civilian Senior Executive Service (SES) position with a protocol rank of a two-star general. The decision to have a civilian director was wise. Since military commanders typically rotate in and out of their assignments within two years, a civilian director brings stability. A civilian also has the potential to have much more technical experience, at the bench and in directing research, than the typical Army general officer. Senior Technical Leadership. ARL has 26 other general officer equivalent civilian positions—19 SES and 7 Scientist-Technologist positions.5 These 4   The average salary per ARL scientist and engineer was found to be $52,700 as opposed to the average GOCO scientist and engineer salary of $70,000 (see Chapter 7 and Appendix D). In addition to differences in averages, the GOCOs also have a much wider pay band available at equivalent grade levels. 5   An SES is a senior manager, while a Scientist-Technologist is an SES equivalent, nonsupervisory, technical person (senior researcher).

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THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options positions are difficult to fill with qualified research and development personnel. Approval by AMC, Department of the Army, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Office of Personnel Management takes at least nine months. (At the time of this report, there were 6 SES positions unfilled [3 since October 1, 1992]. Concern over downsizing the Army and anticipation of a larger than usual number of SES retirements in 1994 has drastically slowed down the system [Kirby, 1994].)6 The next level of supervisors and senior researchers are also difficult to recruit or promote because of hiring freezes and imposed limits on the numbers of GS-13s, 14s, and 15s allowed in ARL. All Army organizations have similar limitations which can be attributed to downsizing and reduced funds. However, an organization primarily oriented toward R&D needs a high proportion of experienced Ph.D. and M.S. scientists and engineers in grades GS-13 and above. This ideal condition is not the case in ARL, as it is within the Naval Research Laboratory (see Figure 2-1). ARL is thereby prevented from recruiting experienced scientists and engineers, and from promoting capable scientists and engineers from within. These current restrictions have the further negative impact of encouraging talented young scientists and engineers in ARL who realize that promotion above GS-12 is unlikely to seek employment elsewhere. Scientists and Engineers. ARL employs about 3,600 people, half of them scientists and engineers; about 400 of the scientists and engineers hold Ph.D.s. By fiscal year 1997, employment is projected to drop to about 3,100 people. At that time, ARL hopes to increase its number of Ph.D. scientists and engineers to 800 (40 percent of the total scientists and engineers). The current distribution of Ph.D.s in ARL's directorates is described in Figure 2-2. ARL is not as well endowed with Ph.D.s as some well regarded federal laboratories. Even if it can double its current number of Ph.D. scientists and engineers by fiscal year 1997, it still will not match the current 47 percent at both NIST and the Naval Research Laboratory. With the current freeze, the most recent proposed reductions in Table 2-1, and other restrictive personnel policies, it is not clear how, by 1997, ARL will fulfill its goal of increasing the number of Ph.D. scientists and engineers to 800. The Naval Research Laboratory credits its high levels of Ph.D.s to its innovative personnel office (which is highly sensitive to the special needs of 6   The large SES pay raise in 1991 encouraged SESs to stay in service until 1994 in order to maximize retirement pay, since it is based on a percentage of the average of the last three years of salaries. The committee could see no apparent reason for this to slow down the system unless the elimination of positions will be somewhat dependent on which SES positions are vacated from retirements.

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THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options FIGURE 2-1 Personnel: the Naval Research Laboratory versus the Army Research Laboratory. Source: Data from the Army Research Laboratory.

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THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options research and development efforts will partially compensate for the weakened ties between ARL and the RDECs. The Importance of an Integrated Approach to Technology Development With research, development, and acquisition resources decreasing in the Army, there is a steadily increasing need to integrate the process of technology development to assure that particular technologies are supported from cradle to grave. ARL cannot do this alone, since it is limited to basic research (6.1) and exploratory development (6.2), and does not have direct contact with program managers who apply technologies in systems and report through program executive officers to the ASA(RDA). The RDECs, on the other hand, are able to conduct basic research, exploratory development, nonsystem-specific and system-specific advanced development (6.3A and 6.3B), and engineering development (6.4). Technology transfer thus should occur more easily within the RDECs than from ARL to the RDECs. An interactive relationship with the RDECs is therefore critical for ARL if it is to see its technologies applied to systems. The experience of the committee has shown that the best way to transfer technology is through personal interactions—in fact, by transferring people from one organization to another. While the Technology Program Annexes are the key means of forming these partnerships, they account for only half of ARL's program. Other than the AMC Board of Directors and the guidance of the ASA(RDA) 's Science and Technology Master Plan, there is no continuous overall management of the R&D activities of ARL, ARO, and the RDECs. While it is beyond the charter of this study to recommend the initiation of a program of overall management, the Army should consider this possibility, perhaps in the form of a single Army research and development laboratory integrating all of the R&D organizations currently under the supervision of AMC. This would certainly ease the technology transfer among the current three AMC organizations—ARO, ARL, and the RDECs—and to system program managers, as well as avoid duplication and unnecessary competitions for funds. A New Model of Technology Transfer The Defense Department's longstanding policy of funding research sequentially, from basic research (6.1) up to engineering development (6.4), and finally to production and use, with different agencies involved at different points along the way, leads to a large number of technology transfers. These

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THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options transfers are difficult when they take place among separate entities such as ARL, the RDECs, and system program managers. Industry and many government agencies have found this sequential approach to technology transfer too slow, too uncertain, and too unlikely to meet the real needs of users. They have substituted a nonlinear or systems approach to guide the work and facilitate technology transfer. Each stage from concept to production and marketing is guided by the needs of all the other stages and is highly interactive (rather than sequential). Figure 2-4, adapted from a presentation by the Xerox Corporation, provides one way of visualizing this process. This figure basically shows a matrix-type organization that requires the teamwork of all parties (including teams or individuals who stay with particular projects through at least several stages), highly increased interaction, considerable flexibility, and outstanding corporate management for its successful implementation. The best illustrations of this approach among the federal laboratories are probably the nuclear weapons programs of the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as the R&D teams at NIST, the China Lake facility of the Naval Air Warfare Center, and the Naval Research Laboratory. At these laboratories, projects are followed beyond the research phase, through development, and sometimes all the way to production; they are not constrained in scope as is ARL (to 6.1 and 6.2 work). In addition, such an approach was possible at one of ARL's predecessor organizations, Harry Diamond Laboratories. The team that developed the fuse for the Patriot air defense missile's new antitheater ballistic missile capability, in the buildup to Operation Desert Storm, was able to continue its involvement through the war, perfect the fuse, and get it to production for use in limited numbers against Iraqi Scud missiles. The team was able to do this only because in war the bureaucratic lines break down. Such issues arise more clearly in considering joint ventures or other types of projects with outside entities, whether with industrial companies or other DOD or federal activities. The “transfer point ” as determined by ARL's current scope may be impractical, because it lacks the essential element of flexibility and concurrency. Should industrial joint ventures be with ARL and an RDEC, with one or the other having the overall responsibility? Such arrangements would seem unwieldy, but could be a consequence of the present organizational responsibilities. This difference in approach and the limitations on ARL's scope have significantly influenced ARL's management, governance, and integration with military and industrial R&D. In considering ARL's current governance, the Commander of AMC may be reluctant to allow ARL to venture into technology areas beyond the 6.2 (exploratory development) funding level and possibly infringe on the mission and efforts of one of his RDECs.

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THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options FIGURE 2-4 Comparison of the linear research and development model used in the Department of Defense acquisition process (top) with the interactive model now commonplace in industry and gaining acceptance in some government agencies (bottom). The illustration of the interactive model is adapted from a presentation on the Xerox Corporation's Total Process Innovation system, which includes much more interaction and teamwork throughout.

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THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options Ability to Leverage Funds and Programs The Army is not self-sufficient with regard to technology. The Army 's technology base investment is about $12 billion. The nation as a whole spends about $150 billion on research and development. ARL must capitalize on these external sources of technology. By strategic spending on these sources of technology, military laboratories can share the costs of technology with commercial firms and other government agencies, thus leveraging its funds through joint ventures and cooperative research and development. ARL's success in this area so far has been limited. Technology from the Private Sector In many vital fields, such as electronics, commercial firms have produced technology that is more advanced and more cost-effective than its counterparts in government laboratories. It is necessary to exploit these sources of so-called “dual-use” technology to the extent possible, through small research contracts and other interactions that increase the payoff to the Army from relatively small investments. The term “spin-on,” a play on the familiar expression “spin-off,” is used to describe this process. ARL is always seeking partnerships of this kind. However, any leverage the government may have is limited by the DOD's insistence on using procurement contracts for research and development, rather than the more flexible cooperative agreement form, which permits real partnership in discussing aims and products. Neither party to a typical R&D contract is likely to be satisfied, and the administrative burdens are great. As a means to resolve this issue, the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986 allowed for the establishment of the cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA), a contractual form created to foster technology transfer from the federal domain to the private sector. The cooperating organization (which may be a firm, a university, a nonprofit R&D organization, another federal laboratory, or a state agency) provides personnel, equipment, or financing for R&D activities that complement a federal laboratory's mission. The federal laboratory can grant these collaborating parties patent licenses or assignments in inventions made by federal employees under the agreements; and permit federal employees or former employees to participate in commercializing any resulting inventions. The federal partner receives a royalty-free, nonexclusive license to any copyrights or inventions. CRADAs are no substitute for adequate research contracting procedures. They are required to be of no net cost to the government, and thus cannot be used to transfer funds to contractors.

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THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options ARL has been a very active participant in this effort, with 54 active CRADAs as of late 1993. ARL plans to increase its CRADA activity by 15 percent per year from fiscal year 1994 to fiscal year 1999 (Army Research Laboratory, 1993c). The rich opportunities for collaboration presented by CRADAs have therefore been a great opportunity for ARL. Technology from Other Government Agencies Another form of leverage, too little exploited in the world of defense technology, is the sharing of costs and effort with other government laboratories. Traditionally, each service has been responsible for its own technology, from basic research to engineering design. The recent establishment of the Tri-Service Science and Technology Reliance program is intended to help the Armed Services and other organizations in the Defense Department share the burdens of and reduce redundancy in research and development efforts, by defining the division of labor in more than 200 specific areas of technology. In each area, one of the participating organizations takes the lead responsibility. The program is too new to have demonstrated its success, but does offer a high-level forum for discussions aimed at increasing research productivity. It will surely grow in practical importance as defense budgets decline. Technology Program Annexes also serve as a leveraging function for both parties, through the formation of ARL-RDEC teams (see Technology Transfer to the Army in this chapter). ARL gains additional science and technology knowledge, which is most likely to be used for supporting near-term research and development. Improving Productivity Cost-effectiveness for ARL, as for every other organization in DOD, has a new urgency, owing to today's lower defense funding. A program of continuous improvement will be needed. The Army has therefore embraced the methods of total quality management, and has begun development of its own program, called Total Army Quality. This program is beginning to identify measurable standards for gauging progress (Army Research Laboratory, 1993b). ARL intends to take the following steps to improve quality in the next five years: improve customer feedback mechanisms; increase training opportunities;

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THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options make benchmarking (comparison of ARL methods with those of other organizations) an expected activity throughout ARL; examine the potential of business process engineering; train at least two people as experts in the methods of Total Army Quality; and expand employee quality survey participation to at least half of ARL employees. However, the total quality management approach of emphasizing quantitative measurement of multiple tangible inputs and outputs is not always suited to R&D organizations. ARL's inputs and outputs—mainly knowledge—are extremely difficult to measure in these terms. Industry and government laboratories are struggling with this problem. The consensus is that the quality of research and development can be assessed most accurately by expert opinion, through peer reviews and management judgment and a history of known successes. The committee feels that the ARL Board of Directors cannot provide this assessment as well or as independently as a group of nongovernment, nationally-recognized science and technology experts. Besides this difficulty, ARL, as now constituted, is also limited in its ability to implement other aspects of total quality management. Its personnel and procurement administrative procedures, as explained earlier in this chapter, are too rigid and unresponsive to permit the management and worker accountability and authority that are vital to continuous improvement. None of these problems is insurmountable, of course. As this report shows, there is a range of options for the Army, each of which offers important relief from these obstacles. ARL, if it is to thrive, must seek this relief. GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS The committee's review of ARL has revealed deficiencies in its program and its management. Many of these problems stem from unduly restrictive federal and Defense Department administrative procedures, which fail to give managers the authority and accountability that provides for excellent research and development needs. Other problems appear to reflect a confusion about ARL's mission, priorities, role in conducting research, and relations with its customers and its sponsor. After reviewing ARL, the committee believes even more strongly that an organizational and management change alone does not guarantee that ARL will be a source of high-quality research and technology. Deficiencies

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THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options exist that must be resolved with actions beyond the transition to a new organizational structure (if appropriate for the option). Many reforms can be made in ARL to resolve personnel, procurement, and funding issues while it is under the governance of AMC. However, the committee believes that implementation within the AMC could also be a problem. An AMC commander would find it difficult to single out ARL for elite status as long as it is closely intermeshed with the rest of his command, both organizationally and physically. No commander who has the responsibility of optimizing value of the entire AMC command would find it tenable to establish a differentiated, organizational entity with a separate culture and set of operating policies. The committee's general recommendations include: streamlining ARL's procurement practices; improving its personnel practices; focusing ARL's own mission and research program to bring it into line with budgetary realities and unique Army needs; improving the formation of partnerships with customers, users, and industry to broaden the technology base and to improve technology transfer out of and into ARL; and changing its reporting channel from the Commanding General of AMC to the ASA(RDA). It is the committee's judgement that this change would better support a mission of Army-wide horizontal technology integration, make it easier for ARL to practice a nonlinear (nonsequential) approach to technology transfer, provide full-time research and technology leadership, and place ARL in a position which would reduce command concerns for giving it an elite status in terms of personnel, procurement, and other administrative reforms. The committee also believes that this move would enhance ARL's external status as the Army's flagship laboratory (putting it on a similar level with the Naval Research Laboratory and NIST). This recommendation also includes replacing the ARL Board of Directors with an independent science and technology advisory board. A detailed discussion of each of these recommendations is found in Chapter 8 (Conclusions and Recommendations).

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THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options THE ARMY'S CHOICES The four organizational and management options considered by the committee, described and assessed in Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5 throughChapter 6, are all significant steps toward a more effective and responsive Army Research Laboratory. They offer a range of solutions to the deficiencies the committee has found in its review of the current ARL. All of the options have as their fundamental assumptions the implementation of the five general recommendations, to the extent that they are applicable. (The procurement and personnel reforms, obviously, would inherently be implemented by the contractors who play important roles in the ARL Multicenter and GOCO ARL options.) Regardless of the option chosen, carrying out these recommendations fully and quickly would give the Army Research Laboratory a more secure and unique mission, as the premier Army materiel laboratory.

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THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options REFERENCES Army Laboratory Command. 1991. CMRL Baseline Study. Army Materiel Command. 1992a. Charter for Army Materiel Command Board of Directors. Alexandria, Virginia. August 21. Army Materiel Command. 1992b. Minutes of the AMC Board of Directors Meeting. Alexandria, Virginia. November 23. Army Materiel Command. 1993. Briefing to the ARL option panel, Committee on Alternative Futures for the Army Research Laboratory, Alexandria, Virginia. June 14, 1993. Army Research Laboratory. 1993a. Business Plan, Fiscal Years 1994–2004. Global Strategy. 1(January). Adelphi, Maryland. Army Research Laboratory. 1993b. Business Plan, Fiscal Years 1994–2004. Long Range Plan. 2(August). Adelphi, Maryland. Army Research Laboratory. 1993c. Business Plan, Fiscal Years 1994–1999. Responsive to Owners and Customers. 2. Adelphi, Maryland Atwood, D.J. 1989. Laboratory demonstration program: Actions for improvement of the quality, productivity, and efficiency of DOD laboratories. November 20. Memorandum. Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission. 1991. Report to the President. Washington, D.C. July 1. Department of the Army. 1991. LAB 21. Report prepared for Secretary of the Army. Draft. Department of the Army. 1992. Army Science and Technology Master Plan. November. Department of the Army. 1993. U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) Board of Directors (BOD). February 19. Memorandum from Army Materiel Command Headquarters, Alexandria, Virginia.

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THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options Gendason, P., and E.A. Brown. 1993. Measure of R&D effectiveness: A performance evaluation construct. 1993 Management for Quality in Research and Development Symposium . Juran Institute, Inc., Chicago, Illinois. Holmes, J. 1993. Personal communication from John Holmes, Office of the Director, Army Research Laboratory, Adelphi, Maryland, to Albert A. Sciarretta, Study Director, November 17, 1993. Kamely, D., K.A. Bannister, and R.M. Sasmor, eds. 1993. Army Science: The New Frontiers, Military and Civilian Applications . Saratoga, New York: Borg Biomedical Books. Kirby, K. 1994. Personal communication from Kevin Kirby, Personnel, Army Research Laboratory, Adelphi, Maryland to Albert A. Sciarretta, Study Director, March 11, 1993. National Performance Review. 1993. Creating a Government that Works Better and Costs Less. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. September 7. National Research Council. 1993. Managing Air Force Basic Research. Committee on Air Force Research Management, National Research Council . Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. Porter, D. 1993. Briefing by D. Porter, Director, Mounted Battlespace Battle Lab, U.S. Army Armor Center, to the ARL option panel, Committee on Alternative Futures for the Army Research Laboratory, at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, June 16, 1993. Prather, Maj. Gen. T.L., Jr. 1993. Proposal for new staffing levels for U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC) research, development, test and engineering (RDT&E) activities. November 15. Memorandum to Army Materiel Command subsidiary commanders. Richardson, J. 1993. Personal communication by James Richardson, Special Assistant, Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia to Albert A. Sciarretta, Study Director, December 6, 1993. Rosenkrantz, B. 1994. Personal communication by B. Rosenkrantz, AMC Headquarters, Alexandria, Virginia, to Albert A. Sciarretta, Study Director, March 11, 1994 .

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THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options Singley, G. 1993. Briefing by George Singley III, Director of Research and Technology, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Research, Development and Acquisition), to selected members of the Committee on Alternative Futures for the Army Research Laboratory, Pentagon. May 11, 1993 . Taulbee, S., ed. 1993. ARL predictive technology. Adelphi, Maryland: Army Research Laboratory. Pamphlet. 1994. Personal communication by W. Tolles, Assistant Director for Strategic Planning, Naval Research Laboratory, with Albert A. Sciarretta, Study Director, January 28, 1994. U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment. 1989. Holding the Edge: Maintaining the Defense Technology Base. OTA-ISC-420 . Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. April.