IRAMM: Improving Strategic Decisions and Senior-level Teamwork in U.S. National Security Organizations

March, 2017
IDA document: D-8328
FFRDC: Systems and Analyses Center
Type: Research Summary/Research Insights , Documents
Division: Strategy, Forces and Resources Division
James S. Thomason, James N. Bexfield See more authors
MAKING GOOD DECISIONS IS HARD: Good analysis helps but should not be the sole basis for a decision. Good decisions consider non-quantifiable factors, such as the value structure and experiences of the decision maker and those who serve as advisers. Incorporating these factors can be difficult, as decision makers often have conflicting priorities and are confronted with contradictory inputs from staff. IDA developed the Integrated Risk Assessment and Management Model (IRAMM) to capture these informed personal views to help decision makers understand the foundations of their own views on national security issues and where those views fit relative to their peers and staff. The method also helps build teamwork among senior staff that can result in imaginative solutions to challenging problems and promote the consistent application of organizational policies. Another benefit of the IRAMM structure is the national-level perspective it provides, which makes it a useful tool for supporting the development, coordination, and implementation of national defense and security strategies, including the articulation of the resulting strategy to others.