The Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre (JALLC) is aptly titled. The key terms in the title are analysis and lessons learned.
Lessons Learned (LL) are the desired end products. They are enduring improvements in our capability, based on our past experiences. Learn more about NATO's Lessons Learned Process here.
Analysis, on the other hand, is the process that needs to be completed in order to reach the Lessons Learned.
The official definition of analysis in NATO is:
"The study of a whole by examining its parts and their interactions."
Analysis is a process used to thoroughly understand areas of activity identified to have potential for improvement. The results of analysis are used to support decisions that will result in enduring improvements, thus leading to a Lesson Learned. The relationship between these terms forms the basis for the JALLC's mission.
As well as its use in support of LL processes, analysis provides decision support to NATO in other areas. These include:
- Day to day operations to help the Commander and staff gain the best possible operational outcome. (Allied Command Operations Operational Analysis Cells);
- Capability Development to help select the future direction of NATO capability (Allied Command Transformation (ACT) Capability Development Cell and Defence Planners);
- Concept Development to help develop new ways of working and technology to support the future of NATO (ACT Future Capabilities Analysis Team);
- Training to help identify and fill training requirements in the best possible way. (Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) and Joint Forces Training Centre (JFTC)) .
To learn more about how to conduct a joint analysis, consult the Joint Analysis Handbook.
Analysis Tasking Process
The JALLC is tasked by Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) to carry out a wide range of analysis projects based on analysis requirements generated from both NATO Strategic Commands. Joint Analysis Requirements (JARs) are issues that affect NATO and therefore need to be taken forward into an analysis project.
JARs can be proposed by any NATO command within Allied Command Operations (ACO) via Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). SHAPE prioritizes ACO's JARs for operations and exercises and forwards them to HQ SACT where they are merged with Allied Commander Transformation’s (ACT) JARs for exercises, training, experimentation, and capability development. Additionally, the NATO Nations, the International Military Staff (IMS), and International Staff (IS) can submit proposals for analysis to HQ SACT.
HQ SACT and SHAPE cooperatively prioritize all the JARs and develop the Prioritized Analysis Requirements List (PARL). The PARL is used to design a responsive and balanced JALLC Programme of Work (POW) which is revised twice a year to reflect the operational and transformational needs of NATO. However, if new issues arise, they may be inserted into the JALLC POW as Emergent Analysis Requirements (EARs).
JALLC Project Approach (JPA)
When the JALLC receives an analysis requirement, an analysis process is initiated. The JALLC conducts its Joint Analysis projects in accordance with the JALLC Project Approach (JPA), an adaption of the PRINCE2® (PRojects IN a Controlled Environment) approach, which ensures the focus on quality and timeliness of JALLC analysis products.
As is shown in the diagram, the JPA process consists of five stages.
The first one, the Pre-Project Stage, begins when the JALLC receives its approved POW. During this stage, the JALLC will identify the principal customer and potential stakeholders to establish exactly what the analysis needs to achieve in order to meet the customer’s need. The project team will also gather and review key reference documents which will form the backbone of the project.
At the next stage, the Planning Stage, the JALLC will then conduct an intensive period of preparatory data collection and planning. This stage serves for building of initial understanding the topic of study, for developing research question(s), and for developing a comprehensive analysis plan, including identifying what data needs to be collected, what data collection techniques to use, where the data can be found, and how the data will be analyzed.
The Executing Stage follows with the actual collection, analysis, and synthesis of data to answer the research question(s) developed in the previous stage. The data collected is analysed and interpreted with the help of professionally trained analysts and subject matter experts. The project team will then use the collected and analysed data to draw conclusions and to find feasible solutions or recommendations to the issues found in the conclusions.
The Production Stage entails development of the outline and draft of the first version of the final written product (usually a JALLC analysis report). Firstly, a Coordinating Draft of the product will be produced which will be sent to the customer and key stakeholders for approval. It is worth noting that the principal customer and any other stakeholders are kept informed of the significant findings and are consulted regarding the veracity of the information upon which these findings are based throughout the whole life-cycle of an analysis project. The Coordinating Draft is the culmination of that information in one product. Any comments on the Coordinating Draft are incorporated and the Final Product is produced.
The purpose of the Post-Project Stage is to wrap up the project. This stage focuses on promoting the JALLC Final Product, archiving the project workspace, and ensuring that the JALLC's staff learns lessons from the conduct of the project.