D I S T I N G U I S H E D G U E S T L E C T U R E R
APMC “Turnabout” Makes Everyone a
Learner, Everyone a Teacher
JDAM Case Study Facilitating Open Dialogue,
M A J. T R OY S N O W , U . S . A I R F O R C E • D R . M A RY - JO H A L L
LECTURER TERRY LITTLE,
FRONT ROW, FROM LEFT: STEVE YARNALL; ARMY LT. COL. ED O’CONNOR; RUTHANNE ZOMBOLAS; PATRICIA
HAGAN; JAMES SENCINDIVER; GREG MAKRAKIS. BACK ROW, FROM LEFT: AIR FORCE LT. COL. JERRY
WORSHAM; AIR FORCE LT. COL. SCOTTY FAIRBAIRN; AIR FORCE LT. COL. JONATHAN SUMNER; TERRY LITTLE;
FRANK SWOFFORD; ARMY MAJ. ETHAN COLLINS; NAVY CMDR. TERRANCE HAID; ALBERT GRIGGS.
n old axiom states that if you tured question-and-answer session. Sep- This “turnabout” approach, moving
A want to learn something — a
concept, an idea, a theory, or
a skill — then teach it. With
that in mind, APMC 98-3 stu-
dents literally took “center stage” at
the September Distinguished Guest
Lecturer (DGL) session.
tember’s DGL, however, departed from
that traditional approach.
Led by Ruthann Zombolas, the student
selected by peers as the Section C rep-
resentative, 12 students representing all
APMC sections asked questions of Sep-
more toward encouraging students to
ask “their” questions, established open
dialogue between lecturer and students
from the beginning.1
The JDAM program, which is still an on-
tember’s DGL — former Program Man- going program, converts dumb bombs
Traditionally, DGLs deliver their pre- ager of the Joint Direct Attack Munitions to smart weapons using commercial
sentations, followed by a brief, struc- (JDAM) Program Office, Terry Little. practices. Originally begun as a tradi-
Snow and Hall are Professors of Systems Acquisition in the Program Management and
Leadership Department, Faculty Division, DSMC.
Photos by Richard Mattox P M : J A N U A RY - F E B R U A RY 19 9 9 25
tional program in 1991, in 1994 Little in terms of real-time programmatics and
and his team streamlined the JDAM pro- The Office of the issues. During JDAM II, the DGL is the
gram using the principles, practices, and current JDAM Program Manager, Oscar
processes of Acquisition Reform, with
Under Secretary of Soler.
Since the Office of the Under Secretary
Defense (Acquisition DSMC’s APMC students use the case
study to assess and evaluate one out-
of Defense (Acquisition and Technol- standing example of cutting-edge
ogy) and Defense Acquisition University and Technology) and Acquisition Reform. Rather than a de-
were interested in the use of case stud- tailed analysis of functional and pro-
ies as a means to share lessons learned Defense Acquisition grammatic aspects, the JDAM I lesson
and to provide insight to all sides of an focuses on understanding leadership
acquisition relationship, DSMC, in part- University were and the transformation dynamics of
nership with Boeing, began developing cultural change.
a JDAM Case Study in May 1997.2 The interested in the use
JDAM case study highlights how one par- Toward that end, DSMC established the
ticular office — the JDAM Program Of-
fice — implemented the policies and
of case studies as a following Terminal Learning Objective
for JDAM I:
strategies emerging from Acquisition Re-
form and all it embodies.
means to share Given the early Phase II in the JDAM
program, critically assess and evalu-
This joint DSMC-Boeing JDAM Case lessons learned and ate the transformation decisions,
Study is actually designated “JDAM I” strategies, processes, and techniques
because it focuses on one particular time to provide insight to the government and industry lead-
in the life of the program.3 For this rea- ers used to implement Acquisition
son, we asked students to limit their all sides of an Reform.
questions to this snapshot in time.
acquisition After a thorough study of the case, stu-
During week 13 or 14, the students begin dents develop and prioritize their ques-
JDAM II, a “present” look at the program relationship. tions for the DGL. Actually, the learning
process starts with each student’s indi-
vidual reading of the case study, aided
by a concise set of structured, self-help
Themes: Trust, Communication, Focus on Cost (less than $40K), Commercial, Competition questions.
Perseverance Partnership • What are your general impressions
(who, what, when, where, why, how)?
• Who are the primary protagonists?
Involvement What were their dilemmas, success is-
• What were their assumptions? What
Collocation decisions did they make? Why? How?
Involvement of OSD
Direction • What are your assumptions?
Effective and • What are the primary issues?
Efficient Program • What are your recommendations for
x" T the
• What are the important events?
Training Best Practices in Industry
• How much time elapsed during the
Leadership Style Rolling Down Select events described?
Rewards • Who are the players?
Performance • What are their backgrounds?
• What are their motivations?
People Processes • What are their attitudes toward other
characters and events?
• What does the organization look like?
• What are the reporting relationships?
FIGURE 1. Ishikawa (Fishbone) Diagram • Who has influence over whom?
26 P M : J A N U A RY - F E B R U A RY 19 9 9
• What are the cultural overtones? • What is the operating environment discussion (six or seven students) to col-
• What are the histories and traditions like? laborate on an individual interpretation
of the organization and teams? • What external factors impact the peo- of the case. This individual interpreta-
• How do the structure, culture, history, ple, teams, and organization? tion uses another set of questions to
and traditions factor into the current • What is the industry like? Is it com- guide students:
situation? petitive? Who are the competitors?
• What is the central problem, decision, • What are the program or team • Who are the primary players? How
or opportunity to be analyzed? strengths and weaknesses compared are they motivated? What were their
• What is the case about? to competitors? leadership styles?
• Does organizational change play a • What are the socioeconomic, envi- • What are the important events dis-
role? If so, what forces exist both for ronmental, and technical considera- cussed in the case? When did the
and against change? tions that impact the program? events take place? Who was in-
• Which change forces are most com- volved?
pelling? What can be done to either After developing their questions, stu- • What is the operating environment
augment or mitigate the change? dents follow this effort by a workgroup for the case? What is the external en-
vironment like? What is the internal
• What are the primary problems the
THE EIGHT-STAGE PROCESS OF CREATING MAJOR CHANGE protagonists face?
1. Establishing a sense of urgency:
• Examining the market and competitive realities. The third aspect of the case study was
• Identifying and discussing crises, potential crises, or major opportunities. a section discussion of the dominant
themes throughout the case study:
2. Creating the guiding coalition: People, Processes, Partnerships, and
• Putting together a group with enough power to lead the change. Perseverance. The Ishikawa (Fishbone)
• Getting the group to work together like a team.
Diagram (Figure 1) visually identifies
3. Developing a vision and strategy: and categorizes root causes of program
• Creating a vision to help direct the change effort. success.
• Developing strategies for achieving that vision.
After analyzing and synthesizing the
4. Communicating the change vision:
information in the case study, students
• Using every vehicle possible to constantly communicate the new vision
and strategies. compare the leadership and cultural
• Having the guiding coalition role model the behavior expected of dynamics manifested in the JDAM Case
employees. Study, to the Kotter model for leading
change. Depicted in Figure 2, this
5. Empowering broad-based action:
• Getting rid of obstacles.
model is developed in John P. Kotter’s
• Changing systems or structures that undermine the change vision. work, Leading Change.4
• Encouraging risktaking and nontraditional ideas, activities, and actions.
The final exercise included brain-
6. Generating short-term wins:
storming questions the students
• Planning for visible improvements in performance, or "wins."
• Creating those wins.
wanted to ask Little. These questions
• Visibly recognizing and rewarding people who made the win possible. were prioritized within each work-
group and then at the section level. Ad-
7. Consolidating gains and producing more change: ditionally, each workgroup selected a
• Using increased credibility to change all systems, structures, and policies representative for the DGL session.
that don't fit together and don't fit the transformation vision.
From these five representatives in each
• Hiring, promoting, and developing people who can implement the change
section, one person was selected to
• Reinvigorating the process with new projects, themes, and change agents. represent their section on the discus-
8. Anchoring new approaches in the culture:
• Creating better performance through customer- and productivity- oriented Assessing the
behavior, more and better leadership, and more effective management. Value-Added
• Articulating the connections between new behaviors and organizational At the end of the session, students as-
success. sessed the value-added of the class.
• Developing means to ensure leadership development and succession. The data indicate that 82 percent of
students believed the length of the
FIGURE 2. Kotter Model for Leading Change class — three-and-one-half hours — was
P M : J A N U A RY - F E B R U A RY 19 9 9 27
just right or even too short to assess be switched to another class in APMC
the issues within the case. 99-1.
In an effort to
The bar chart (Figure 3) displays the rel- Acquisition Reform will continue as
ative value students assigned to each part one of the dominant themes, not only
of the lesson. Overall, students felt that continuously within APMC, but also throughout the
the information and learning method- entire DSMC curricula.
ology added value.
improve the quality Editor’s Note: For information on at-
In an effort to continuously improve the tending a DSMC course, visit http://
quality of instruction, the faculty con- www.dsmc.dsm.mil/registrar/
ducted a post-instruction review and rec- of instruction, the applic.htm on the DSMC Web site.
ommended improvements to the case
study. The data indicate a slight drop ENDNOTES
in the value added from the case dis-
faculty conducted a 1. A requirement that students develop
cussions (Figure 3) to the comparison questions for this turnabout DGL ses-
with Kotter’s Model for Leading Change
(Figure 2). Experience from the class-
post-instruction sion was actually built into the cur-
riculum as part of the JDAM Case
room was that the JDAM case too easily Study.
fit this change model, and the analysis review and 2. Harman, Dr. Beryl A. and Daniel G.
did not provide an appropriate challenge Robinson, “DSMC & Boeing Cultivate
to the students. an Unconventional Educational Part-
recommended nership Beyond the Norm,” Program
As a result of that assessment, improve- Manager, Vol. XXVII, No. 4, DSMC 145,
ments are being made to further chal- July-August 1998.
lenge students’ critical thinking skills. improvements to 3. To read the JDAM Case Study in its
The Definition of Acquisition Reform entirety, go to http://www.dsmc.
segment (Figure 3) received the lowest dsm.mil on the DSMC Web site.
score, suffering, in many cases, from lack the case study. 4. Kotter, John P., “Leading Change,”
of time. Since this is important but not Harvard Business Review (March-April
an Enabling Learning Objective, it will 1995).
N = 249 Students rated each of the following
components of the case study:
A Workgroup Discussions of Case
4 B Section Discussion Issues Within
C Comparison between
JDAM and Kotter’s Model for
3 Leading Change
D Workgroup Reports Model —
E Developing Questions for
DGL (Terry Little)
2 F Definition of Acquisition
Using the following rating scale:
5 Extremely Valuable
1 4 Quite Valuable
2 Only Slightly Valuable
1 Not At All Valuable
Note Case A B C D E F
FIGURE 3. JDAM Case Study Survey Results
28 P M : J A N U A RY - F E B R U A RY 19 9 9