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


  • Aaron P. Jackson Australian Department of Defence


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.

Author Biography

Aaron P. Jackson, Australian Department of Defence

Dr Aaron P. Jackson is Joint Operations Planning Specialist in the Joint and Operations Analysis Division of Defence Science and Technology Group, part of the Australian Department of Defence. Previously he worked at the ADF Joint Doctrine Centre, where he specialised in developing executive, operations and planning series doctrine. In addition to his civilian appointments, Aaron has served in the Australian Army Reserve since 2002. He has deployed as a civilian on Operation Accordion (Middle East region) and as a military officer on Operations Astute (Timor Leste) and Resolute (Australian border security).