Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education

What Is It?

Manpower and Personnel Modeling, Simulation and Optimization Tools are integrated decision support tools for forecasting the enlisted and officer behavior (e.g., recruitment, retention, career decisions, education benefits) based on both proposed and current Navy policy decisions.

How Does It Work?

This system will include a suite of tools to include a policy simulation environment in which analysts can assess: cost and readiness impact of varying personnel policies; a career assessment and retention environment; a demand planning model to anticipate manpower needs; an incentive structure to improve cost efficiency; and optimization algorithms that match requirements to most efficient alternatives and multicriteria decision support to guide career planning.

What Will It Accomplish?

The decision support analytical tool will meet the chief naval personnel goals of creating a more agile, competency-based workforce to make the Navy competitive in the marketplace. The modeling tool will support strategy, policy and programming decision-making, with results enabling strategic, policy and investment decisions. It will also assist with identifying and closing gaps identified by forecast demand signals.

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) Manpower and Personnel Training and Education (MPT&E) Program strives to deliver tools for assigning the “right person, right skills, right place, right time and right cost.” The Navy’s MPT&E enterprise is highly complex, posing significant challenges for decision makers who define rules and policies that impact this complex web of interactions. The result is often unexpected and undesirable.

Traditional analytical tools, especially those based on statistical analysis and equation-based models, are limited in their ability to capture the complexity of MPT&E. They typically focus on a very limited portion of the overall MPT&E enterprise, constraining themselves to predictions within a narrow time window. ONR is investing in research that builds upon previous studies to develop a new powerful, flexible, easy-to-use toolset. The tool should be fast, accurate in its predictions—even in the face of dramatic changes within the Navy or in the external environment. It should also allow the user to focus on specific MPT&E functions, while taking into account the impact on other parts of the enterprise.

The program will be executed using an annual, spiral software development process combining elements of both design and prototyping-in-stages. This method combines advantages of Chief of Naval Personnel (N1) and Bureau of Personnel (BUPERS-3) requirements. To efficiently execute this program, ONR has subdivided the effort into seven functional areas, including:

  • System architecture design
  • Requirements analysis
  • Agent-based simulation development
  • Agent development
  • Software development and integration
  • Testing and documentation
  • Verification and validation

Research Challenges and Opportunities

  • Ability to realistically capture Sailor attitudes and allow program analysts to select multiple quality of life parameters
  • Ability to evaluate the Navy as a whole and to drill down to individual ratings as well as specific locations
  • Automated and standardized monetary and non-monetary incentive analysis processes with risk analysis tools

Point of Contact

Dr. William Krebs

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