Writing an effective operation order (OPORD) is a manual, time-consuming process. The Army Field Manual 5.0 instructs warfighting units to allocate 20% of the total time devoted to MDMP for Orders Production. Reducing this effort will free up time that can be reallocated to mission analysis, COA development, or preparations. Additional time in any of these areas will improve the chances of mission success for warfighting units.
We have been working on MACH, a new approach to OPORD production, utilizing technology to capture and create content throughout the stages of the MDMP and make it usable when writing an OPORD. By improving the Army’s tools to gather, organize, and author OPORD content, we have created a more efficient process for planners across all echelons.
The same application available on all major devices and operating systems.
Live collaboration capabilities when connected and offline functionality when not.
We worked with warfighters to research the planning process and to understand the pain points within the current systems and tools.
Our findings show that throughout the MDMP process, planners take meticulous notes about pertinent information and decisions made. Notes are often collected in various formats (e.g. Microsoft Word, Excel, post-its, pen and paper) and shared through either email or Powerpoint presentations. These mediums silo data and force planners to seek information created by others. In addition, when information is passed from one planner or unit to another, it becomes difficult to trace a decision back to where it originated.
The OPORD authoring process presents further challenges as it requires input from multiple teams (e.g. intelligence, maneuver, fire support, air defense). The process of merging disparate content into a single document is a painstaking process that uses a considerable amount of available planning time. When including additional documents such as warning orders (WARNOs) and fragmentary orders (FRAGOs), the time spent on developing documents for the MDMP increases even more.
We have created a tablet-based prototype to showcase an optimized MDMP process. Our approach uses a collaborative workspace, accessible from any device, that allows notes to be created via chat, map-based planning, and content tagging. Since this smart content now has context, we use pre-built or custom built outlines to automatically pull in relevant information. These outlines are called intelligent templates and allow drag and drop organization of planning notes immediately within the tool. Finally, through the Streamlined Document Generation process, an initial draft can be created, edited, and exported to the preferred format (e.g. Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, PDF).
Real-time, collaborative "projects" where teams plan out missions.
Teams plan out a mission in a multi-device, real-time environment.
Automatically link and efficiently use related information.
Gather and tag useful information with smart notes.
Smart notes populate a live-updating template of the document outline.
Edit and review documents before publishing.