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This monograph presents the results of a short-term review of 27 publicly available manpower studies to discover methods that other organizations could use to make ''fiscally informed'' manpower decisions. The studies varied widely in their definition of cost-effectiveness. Methods included cutting the workforce, trading one workforce for another, reinvesting fixed manpower in higher-valued functions, trading end-strength for experience, and making short-term technology investments to reduce manpower in the long term. The authors conclude that the method used to determine manpower requirements may not be as important as other attributes of the studies, such as the direct involvement of a senior decisionmaker; stating specific goals as part of the study charter; a holistic view of the organization being studied; publicly available and auditable results; and a clear set of measurement criteria upon which to make decisions.

This research was sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and conducted within the Forces and Resources Policy Center of the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

This report is part of the RAND monograph series. RAND monographs present major research findings that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND monographs undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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