ⓘ Power to the edge (management technique)


ⓘ Power to the edge (management technique)

Power to the edge refers to the ability of an organization to dynamically synchronize its actions; achieve command and control agility; and increase the speed of command over a robust, networked grid. The term is most commonly used in relation to military organizations, but it can equally be used in a civilian context.

"Power to the edge" is an information and organization management philosophy first articulated by the U.S. Department of Defense in a publication by Dr. David S. Alberts and Richard E. Hayes in 2003 titled: "Power to the Edge: the Information Age." This book was published by the Command and Control Research Program and can be downloaded from the Programs website.


1. Principles

Power to the edge advocates the following:

  • Sharing data rather than maintaining private data
  • Achieving situational awareness rather than creating a single operational picture
  • Handling information once rather than handling multiple data calls
  • Information "pull" rather than broadcast information "push"
  • Enterprise services rather than separate infrastructures
  • Collaborative efforts rather than individual efforts
  • Communities of Interest COIs rather than stovepipes
  • "Task, post, process, use" rather than "task, process, exploit, disseminate"
  • Bandwidth on demand rather than bandwidth limitations
  • IP-based transport rather than circuit-based transport
  • Net-Ready KPP rather than interoperability KPP
  • Self-synchronizing operations instead of autonomous operations
  • COTS based, net-centric capabilities rather than customized, platform-centric IT
  • Persistent, continuous information assurance rather than perimeter, one-time security

2. Agility

The philosophy of power to the edge is aimed at achieving organizational agility. Such agility has six attributes:

  • Flexibility: the ability to employ multiple ways to succeed and the capacity to move seamlessly between them
  • Adaptation: the ability to change work processes and the ability to change the organization
  • Robustness: the ability to maintain effectiveness across a range of tasks, situations, and conditions
  • Resilience: the ability to recover from or adjust to misfortune, damage, or a destabilizing perturbation in the environment
  • Innovation: the ability to do new things and the ability to do old things in new ways
  • Responsiveness: the ability to react to a change in the environment in a timely manner