just finished Mobilizing Industries in WW2, big take away that is pertinent to the new POTUS is clear lines of authority.
Repeatably throughout the book FDR created Offices, Commissions, etc. to run the various aspects of a wartime economy: all clashed with each other, all wasted time (most importantly FDR's), all fought the Army and Navy (while both were trying to take over aspects of economic planning), Congress and special interests were in the mix as well and all made decisions with out working out the impact a decision may have on other aspects of the economy.
Like: defer agricultural workers or people building planes (AG workers had a deferment, so more folks became farmers - manufacturing workers had no deferment, so instead of building a tank, they could be drafted to drive the tank).
There were roughly 125 commissions, etc. created - some subsumed others or were broken off. It didn't get fixed untill May 27, 1943 (Exec Order 27) with the appointment of James F. Byrnes as director of the Office of War Mobilization. FDR called him "the assistant President" and stated that Byrnes decisions were final (freeing up Roosevelt for Grand Stategy efforts). Byrnes portfolio encomapsed everthing expect foreign policy and military grand strategy.
My one concern now with Pres. Obama is that he seems to be building an analagous situation where there are too many chef's or CxO's, TARP managers, Congressmen, Senators, Cabinet Secrataries, etc. with too many overlapping responsibilities reporting or trying to influence him one way or the other. Endless meeting could result...
Applicable lessons from WWII were:
1. Personalities matter and must have the full confidence of the President. Byrnes knew how to get things done in Washington and wasn't too fully versed in econ matters.
2. Domestic and partisan politics will intrude on everything
3. Planning is essential