25 May 2009

What's In A Name?

Any program with the word “Future” in its name is already doomed. 

For example, see the NRO’s (cancelled) Future Imagery Architecture or the Army’s (recently scaled-back) Future Combat Systems

The thing is, if you call something a “Future” system, isn’t that an acknowledgment that it’s not going to go operational anytime soon? Isn’t it a not-so-subtle message that we’re not in much of a hurry (“Oh that? It’s the Future system. You can’t use it yet, ‘cause it’s not the future yet.”). 

And if we ever actually delivered a system with the word Future in the name, um, we’d have to change the name, right?

On the other hand, my experience shows that any program with the word “interim” in the name is likely to be operational very soon… and it’ll probably still be used 10 years from now.


Phil said...

Very true. The system my squadron develops will replace an "interim" capability next spring that has operated in Europe for 11 years.

The Dan Ward said...

Thanks for confirming the pattern, Phil! You may recall the Interim Intel Project I worked on back when our assignments overlapped. I don't know for sure, but I'll bet it's still operating somewhere...