A Tale of Two Designs: Developing the Australian Defence Force’s Latest Iteration of its Joint Operations Planning Doctrine

Aaron P. Jackson


This paper chronicles the incorporation of design thinking ideas into the latest iteration of the Australian Defence Force’s Joint Military Appreciation Process. In addition to discussing my personal role in this, it evaluates the included design thinking ideas and the successes and limitations of their incorporation. Positing that this incorporation has benefited the ADF despite the need for a pragmatic compromise between design thinking and other paradigms, the paper subsequently argues that in the past decade the ADF has often ‘done’ design thinking without necessarily knowing that it has. In conclusion, the paper recommends a way that the Australian Defence Force could further enhance its implementation of design thinking approaches in the future.

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JMSS is a publication of the Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary.

JMSS gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council.