Onward Through the Fog

Uncertainty and Management Adaptation in Systems Analysis and Design

by James S. Hodges, Raymond A. Pyles

Download

Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Purchase

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback43 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

Policy analysis has always involved great uncertainty. Tools have been available for handling some of that uncertainty, but policy analysis work in many fields has fallen into stereotyped problem formulations and analytical approaches. In particular, treatments of uncertainty are typically incomplete and often conceptually wrong. This report argues that these shortcomings produce pervasive systematic biases in analysis. It describes and discusses the common mode of policy analysis and identifies its two main shortcomings — omission of crucial sources of uncertainty and neglect of systems' ability to respond to the unexpected. It categorizes some varieties of uncertainty relevant to policy analysis and presents examples of ways they are commonly represented. Finally, it discusses designing and evaluating systems, and presents a collection of generic strategies for uncertain situations.

Research conducted by

This report is part of the RAND Corporation report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.