Joint Analysis is the systematic and in-depth study of a complex issue involving multiple entities in order to identify enduring systemic improvements at the operational and strategic levels. Analysts use applied research and different types of analysis techniques to combine existing knowledge from inside and outside the organization in order to understand complex issues from different perspectives. The result of a Joint Analysis project is a knowledge product tailored to support specific decisions or staff work, and to capture and preserve knowledge as part of NATO’s long-term organizational learning. A Joint Analysis project typically takes six to nine months to complete due to the depth and breadth of the research and analysis undertaken.
Impact of Joint Analysis
The JALLC’s Joint Analysis projects have captured, preserved, and institutionalized knowledge on complex issues arising in nearly every major NATO operation, exercise or event since the JALLC was established in 2002. These include:
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan,
NATO Training Mission – Iraq (NTM-I),
Kosovo Force (KFOR),
Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR,
Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR,
Operation OCEAN SHIELD,
NATO Disaster Relief to Pakistan,
ALLIED ACTION Exercises, and
TRIDENT/STEADFAST NATO Response Force (NRF) Major Joint Exercises.
The JALLC’s Joint Analysis products also support ongoing change initiatives and staff work in areas such as policy reviews, concept development, doctrine updates, exercise planning and operational planning. For example:
Concept Development: The NATO Assistant Secretary General International Staff Operations Division requested the JALLC to compare lessons from NATO’s, the European Union’s and the United Nations' activities relating to good governance and in particular counter- and anti-corruption. The resulting JALLC Joint Analysis report was used as a primary reference during the development of a new NATO Concept for Building Integrity in Operations.
Capability Development: In 2020, the JALLC published its findings on the current NATO Tactical Air Command and Control Model and how it could be improved in a potential larger than Major Joint Operation scenario in order to optimize Air-Land Integration in Alliance operations. As a direct result of the recommendations, Allied Land Command and Allied Air Command took action to coordinate an approach to further improve this capability. See the corresponding factsheet here.
Training and Exercises: The largest NATO exercise of 2017, TRIDENT JAVELIN (TRJN), was a key opportunity for the JALLC to observe, analyse, and make recommendations in three key areas of the exercise’s design and delivery. The findings captured in the report contributed to the Joint Warfare Centre's continuous work to improve the delivery of exercises to the NATO Command Structure, and they remain valid today as NATO continues seek optimal solutions for training its fighting forces.
Operations: In support of Allied Land Command, the JALLC developed the first edition of an enhanced Forward Presence Handbook, based on Lessons Learned since the deployment of four battle groups to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. The handbook contains more than 50 good practices, notes, and recommendations from the formation of a battle group through its own implementation of a Lessons Learned process. The classified handbook is a living document, used by soldiers and decision-makers alike and is updated as new lessons and best practices come to light. Read more about it here.
Requesting and Delivering Joint Analysis
The JALLC is tasked by Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) to fulfil Joint Analysis Requirements for a variety of NATO (and NATO-affiliated) entities. HQ SACT regularly invites NATO (and NATO-affiliated) entities to submit their Joint Analysis Requirements for the JALLC’s Programme of Work and emergent Joint Analysis Requirements can also be submitted at any time. Priority is given to Joint Analysis Requirements that:
are endorsed by a senior leader,
align with NATO priorities,
identify complex operational/strategic level issues involving multiple entities, and
where the JALLC’s analysis expertise, access to NATO data, and independence make it the most suitable analysis entity to complete the work.
The JALLC ensures timely delivery of high-quality evidence-based analysis products, by managing its analysis projects in accordance with the JALLC Project Approach, an adaption of the PRINCE2® (Projects In a Controlled Environment) project management best practices.
Finalized Joint Analysis products are delivered to the originator of the Joint Analysis Requirement and related stakeholders and also published in the NATO Secret NATO Lessons Learned Portal and JALLC NATO Information Portal sites, and, as appropriate, on the NATO Unclassified NATO Lessons Learned Portal. Report factsheets can be found here.
In addition to the management of the NATO Lessons Learned Portal (NLLP) itself, the JALLC provides Active Content Management of the NLLP, which is defined as a continuous activity that includes analysis and assessment of data and information, to monitor and assess the conduct of the Lessons Learned Process, to reach out to the Originating Authority, Tasking Authority and Action Body for coordination and advice as required, to identify trends and strategic lessons, to monitor lessons from major NATO events (exercises and operations) and to push information to relevant authorities.
The JALLC conducts Active Content Management through the delivery of routine, ad-hoc and NLLP data visualization products, in addition to reaching out to various NATO bodies for clarification on NLLP items or to facilitate Lessons Learned Information sharing. The main deliverables are described below.
Routine products. These are periodic reports which present an analysis of the NLLP content over the reporting period. Examples include: monthly reports based on all NLLP content; monthly reports on specific NLLP activities, such as COVID-19; and bi-annual reports produced for key Lessons Learned events, such as Fall/Spring Lessons Learned week.
Ad-hoc products. These aim to present a summary of the NLLP content relating to a topic of interest specified by the NATO customer. Previous topics include: resilience, suppression of enemy air defence, maritime and land materiel standardization/interoperability, and Unmanned Aerial System/Vehicle integration. These products have been used by customers to inform discussions at national or NATO committees and working groups, as well as to inform capability development and potential doctrinal changes.
NLLP data visualization. The JALLC has developed a number of interactive tools that enable NLLP users to quickly access tailored and relevant NLLP data to support reporting, monitoring and information sharing. The tools include dashboards and storyboards covering all NLLP data or focusing on specific topics of interest. Within Active Content Management, tools are used to monitor the conduct of the Lessons Learned process, push graphical Lessons Learned information to stakeholders, and produce graphics for Active Content Management products.
This image depicts the status and progression of COVID-19 activity items in the Tracking Area
and Main Library of the NATO Unclassified and NATO Secret NLLP by 30 NOV 2020.
The Active Content Management area in the NLLP (login required) has been developed to promote the sharing and utilisation of these Active Content Management products. This area can be accessed on both the NATO Unclassified and NATO Secret NLLP, which contain different products depending on the document classification.
If you are a member of NATO and are interested in requesting an NLLP Active Content Management ad-hoc product on a specific topic of interest, please contact the JALLC using the contact details found in the Active Content Management area in the NLLP (login required).