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Systems, Experts, and ComputersThe Systems Approach in Management and Engineering, World War II and After$
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Agatha C. Hughes and Thomas P. Hughes

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780262082853

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262082853.001.0001

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From Concurrency to Phased Planning: An Episode in the History of Systems Management

From Concurrency to Phased Planning: An Episode in the History of Systems Management

(p.93) 3 From Concurrency to Phased Planning: An Episode in the History of Systems Management
Systems, Experts, and Computers

Stephen B. Johnson

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses the shift from the philosophy of “concurrency” to that of “phased planning,” which is a significant change in the conceptions and processes of systems management. As can be seen here, this shift was a managerial and organizational response to a deeper restructuring of priorities within the United States government. Priorities shifted from a dominant concern with rapid development and deployment of large weapons systems to a concern with their cost, a good example of how an organization translates upper-level decisions and priorities into changes in processes and procedures that, consequently, modify the products they create. Phased planning represented a partial retreat from concurrent methods toward sequential techniques, such as what was done in the air force when it adopted a “sequential” method in the 1960s. The chapter will also discuss this shift in the standard procedure for Air Force Systems Command.

Keywords:   concurrency, phased planning, systems management, upper-level decisions, concurrent methods, sequential techniques, standard procedure, Air Force Systems

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