View Full Version : GTD-applicability to military command and staff work
07-13-2004, 01:54 PM
I'm a officer assigned to the Pentagon. I've been using GTD and it is increadibly effective. My productivity has soared. To my knowledge, GTD is not formally taught in the military. There is really no systematic teaching method in the military education system for getting organized and productive. Consequently, many folks in the military use ad hoc methods. Some succeed, and some flounder under the weight of all the tasks and organization difficulties.
It's no joke that the most effective staff officers are EXTREMELY organized. They get things done. I started to look at historic examples of well organized and effective staff officers. Dwight Eisenhower is a good example.
I want to express my appreciation to Dave Allen for GTD. You have certainly had a very positive impact on my life and performance. All the best. I will promote your system throughout my career on and off the battlefield and briefing room.
07-13-2004, 04:23 PM
GTD principles should apply nicely to the military environment, especially since organization, order, & discipline are essential components of both systems. However as you point out, it's up to the individual to use the tools at his/her disposal effectively or fail to do so at one's peril.
Incidentally, thank you for your service at this crucial time in our nation's history; and please pass this word of deepest appreciation along to others with whom you serve.
07-13-2004, 06:35 PM
The U.S. Air Force, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. National Guard Bureau, and the U.S. Navy are all on David's client list:
07-13-2004, 08:12 PM
I am getting started with GTD and in corporating it into my projects that I work on and manage.
I think that if you were to get something started formerly it would probably be best to focus on your immediate chain of command.
We are doing some portal development work and workflow processes and I think those are good areas where my understanding of GTD could find its way into systems and users.
07-14-2004, 01:55 AM
I started to look at historic examples of well organized and effective staff officers. Dwight Eisenhower is a good example.
When I think of a really organised person in that period of history my first thought is Montgomery. Planning, daily routine. I mean, he went to bed at 21:00 on the night of D-Day, just like always :-) I don't know if you would call him a staff officer (he was the general, not the chief of staff), but ok. He might be good to check out when reviewing organised generals from that era.
Btw, do you have a recommendation for a good book on Eisenhower organisationally? I mean, I only 've got his "crusade in Europe" book. And that doesn't go really into the organisational element.
07-14-2004, 12:36 PM
Thanks for the info on Monty, I'll study his methods. I'm starting to read more about Ike but not much is mentioned about his organizational tools or methods. I do believe his meteoric rise was due to his management and organizational skills. If anyone knows some good books on Ike by all means let us know.
Personally, GTD has really been a much needed boost. I was getting buried under the growing requirements stemming from increased responsibility and job functions.
07-14-2004, 02:14 PM
It is kinda interesting to browse the amount of data associated with:
There isn't appear to be a lot of unification in the workflow area.
07-15-2004, 09:25 AM
David Allen discusses some of his experiences in training the US military in his GTD Fast audio series.
The point that I took away from it was that in hierarchical organizations like the military he had to use methods to make people anonymous so that they could give frank and candid feedback in brainstorming sessions.
07-17-2004, 09:34 PM
And of course there's the Gus Pagonis book, Moving Mountains, that described his experiences as chief of logistics for Gulf War I and some of his tools to organize information flows up and down the chain of command. He used stacks of 3x5 cards. General Schwarzkkopf credited Pagonis with making the ambitious operations of the ground war--and especially the Hail Mary end sweep-- possible.
07-19-2004, 07:25 AM
Thanks for the tip on Gen Pagonis' book. I will order it.