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Page history last edited by Mark Gallagher 15 years, 1 month ago

Five-Year Plan Document and Discussion


MORS Five Year Plan (Approved 27 Feb 09).pdf


Use the comment entry block below to tell us what you think of the MORS 5 Year Plan.


See commentary by Gene Visco


I think that the basic concepts in the plan are good. The world has changed.  As for the name issue, retaining "MORS" is very sensible. Whether the society's name is changed has pros and cons.

Comments (11)

Mark Gallagher said

at 9:25 am on Jun 20, 2008

This Five Year Plan is a great initiative. Here are my general comments and observations.
Very Respectfully, Mark Gallagher

Three environmental drivers are forcing changes upon MORS.

First, military operations are more integrated in national security issues beyond the Department of Defense. Our analysts examine topics with, or at a minimum considering, interagency partners and international coaltions. In addition, analysts in other than the Department of Defense should be supported in improving their contributions to national and international security.

Second, analysis approaches and solutions to these complex problems requires integration across many disciplines, similar to the earlier heritage of operations research. The necessary disciplines with incresing frequency include the social sciences besides the physical sciences. INFORMS defines operations research (O.R.) as "the discipline of applying advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions." While we may and should assume this broad definition of operations research, many politcal and behavioral scientists, as examples, will unlikely consider themselves as participants in operations research studies.

Third, the GOA rulings have drastically changed our contract interpetation, and hence the relationship between the society, sponsors, and members. As a result, members directly pay for their membership, and these members desires have taken on a significantly increased role.

While not a driving change to the MORS mission, information technology is providing new means for conducting our forums and continuing our collaborations. We can now deliver products electronically and conduct distributed meetings.

Mark Gallagher said

at 9:26 am on Jun 20, 2008

Gallagher comments continued (within the 2,000 character limit)
MORS vision shoud focus more on the ends (goals of our efforts) than the means (how we achieve our goals). For example, an alternate vision statement is

The Military Operations Research Society (MORS) supports analysts, decision makers, and senior leaders addressing national and international security issues. MORS provides knowledge of analytical techniques, supports advancing analytical approaches, connects analysts or leaders with a network of experts, and provides professional development opportunities through unclassified and classified forums.

MORS should adopt a name that encompassess our new vision while maintaining the best of our heritage. With the expansion to all analysis supporting national security issues for both American and foreign analysts, an appropriate name would be National and International Security Analysis Society (NISAS). MORS has great recognition and history that should be maintained. The acronym MORS should revert to its original use to desiignate our premier event, the Military Operations Reseach Symposium (MORS). Hence, the society name encompasses our broader role while the syposium name reflects our heritage.

The plan should identify the core competencies of our society and how we are going to maintain and enhance them. An initial list of core competencies follows:
- Technical expertise in supporting analysis for national security issues
- Conducting information exchanges in unclassified and classified forums
- Supporting advancement of analytical approaches
- Providing networking for expert guidance, modeling, data, and analysis support
- Professional development and recognition for analysts, educators, and leaders

Mark Gallagher said

at 8:02 am on Jun 24, 2008

The five-year plan should faciltate more systematic and operations research approach in the decision making for the society. For example, the plan could include a value hiierarchary (not necessarily weighted) for the society and incorporate a procedure for business case analyses for board decisions. For major policy decisions requiring a board vote, committees would describe the issue, list the MORS values affected, propose alternative options, and evaluate alternatives against the values. Discussions, ideally prior to board meetings, could add criteria (values), additional alternatives, and refine evaluations. Besides improving decisions, these business plans would record rationale for our members and future board deliberations.

Ted Bennett said

at 7:11 pm on Jun 26, 2008

One of the top-level functions of the MORS Five Year Plan is "Enable Collaboration and Development." I strongly support this function.

In the past, the mission of MORS was to hold meetings. A consequence of the meetings was an opportunity for networking, professional development, and technical skill development. In the MORS Five year Plan, the purpose of MORS is to provide opportunities for networking, professional development, and technical skill development. One way to accomplish this function is to hold physical meetings. Other ways include virtual meetings, Communities of Practice, and other forums for discussion and collaboration.

The MORS survey from Winter 2007 - 2008 showed that the membership values opportunities for networking and professional development highly. While technical skills are very important, studies show that key factors for professional success are the soft skills of networking and emotional intelligence. A focus on "enabling collaboration and development" would enable the membership to develop both their technical skills and their soft skills of networking and emotional intelligence.

Thanks for considering this comment.


Mike said

at 10:16 am on Dec 10, 2008

I like the strategic direction. I like that we *Have a Direction* even more. Bravo to the authors.

I don't like neutering the name of our Society. I think Military Operations Reseaerch Society still works. If it doesn't, I propose changing the name to something else with content and meaning, like Society of National Security Operations Analysis Professionals (SoN-SOAP).

David Spoerl said

at 11:01 am on Dec 10, 2008

After yesterday's lively discussion about the vision statement, I looked at the INFORMS website. Though there isn't an apparent vision statement, it does say the following:
"Operations research is the application of advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions. Since its inception more than 50 years ago, O.R. has contributed billions of dollars in benefits and savings to corporations, government, and the nonprofit sector."

It would appear that advancing the analytical community we are inline with our non-DoD brethen.

Eugene P. Visco said

at 7:55 pm on Jan 19, 2009

The comment I wanted to add was too windy to fit in this constrained space. I created a new page called Visco Comments. Please go there to read the comment I have made about the plan to change the name of this esteemed organization, that will forever remain the Military Operations Research Society, even if the BoD decides to rename it--at least to a small covey of curmudgeons.

Dean Hartley said

at 8:47 pm on Jan 19, 2009

Please review the history of INFORMS as a combination of ORSA and TIMS and consider whether you really want an internecine battle within MORS. If you are still not convinced, consider the (very expensive) marketing campaign that INFORMS has undertaken, in which it was decided that "Operations Research" was the tagline with the greatest current name recognition and the only one with a hope for increasing that recognition.

Eugene P. Visco said

at 9:24 pm on Jan 19, 2009

If I understand Dean's comment, he is pointing out that a change of name is not necessarily easily accomplished--that is, moving away from the Military Operations Research Society, even by creation of a name that is not an acronym (MORS) as suggested by the five year plan, means an uphill battle to remain an institution with immediate recognition. Introducing a name related to national security and erasing "military" and "operations research" is even worse. Whatever community we would be trying to attract would simply say "Who or what in blue blazes is that thing?" and why should we join those new guys on the block? Stay with the winner: the unique and well-known and mostly well appreciated Military Operations Research Society. As to MORS relegated back to meaning just (?) the annual symposium (as it did many years ago), what does that accomplish. Translated, it means a military operations research meeting, leaving open the question of whose meeting, sponsored by who, etc.

Eugene P. Visco said

at 9:29 pm on Jan 19, 2009

Incidentally, how important is the proposed name change to the Five Year Plan? I find much of the plan to be very desirable. The authors and developers should take just pride in their "baby." But, does the implementation of the plan require a name change? If not, and the subject appears to be a discordant one which may lead to considerable and deep concern on the part of some fraction of the membership, why not move ahead with the substantive parts of the plan and continue to discuss the issue of name with the broader group of members. Is there any statement from sponsors regarding the possible name change? I think the members should be made aware of the position of the sponsors, if any.

Paul K. Davis said

at 2:04 pm on Jan 21, 2009

Congratulations to the committee for the change of scope. Retaining "MORS" makes sense, as does redefining scope without changing name. I have doubts about the functions and subfunctions. My overall comment is that they are long on measuring numbers rather than quality, whether it be MORS meetings, membership, etc. Many of us have far too many meetings seeking to attract us. A few good ones, with high quality presentations and papers (peer reviewed?) are more welcome than many more meetings with thousands of people and shoddy stuff diluting the pearls. Reaching out to students is a good idea. Preserving heritage is a good idea. I urge that the Military Operations Research Journal be on-line and, probably, that its scope be expanded. Also, should there be an explicit (even if informal) link-up to, e.g., the J. of Defense Modeling and Simlulation? Other journals? Shouldn't some of the tutorials be on-line? Shouldn't older materials be scanned and place on-line? Its tedious and not free, but there are good things to be found in the reports of some old MORS meetings (a personal favorite of mine was MORIMOC II, but there are many examples).

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