A New PPBS Process to Advance Transformation

By Stuart E. Johnson Defense Horizons 32

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Sept. 1, 2003 — DOWNLOAD PDF

A New PPBS ProcessOverview

The Office of the Secretary of Defense has released its first Transformational Planning Guidance to steer the Armed Forces through a joint process of transformation. This is a strong step in the direction of making transformation and innovation visible parts of the defense planning process, but more is needed. The planning, programming, and budgeting system (PPBS) through which the Department of Defense (DOD) prioritizes its programs and resources has to be restructured to facilitate transformation and innovation, not to obstruct them. DOD has begun a trial resource allocation process that will reduce the burden of repetitive report generation that has drained time and energy away from innovative, strategic change. This process gives senior leadership an opportunity to shift its attention from wrestling with budget detail to developing initiatives to transform U.S. forces. However, this change will not happen of its own accord. A set of proposals that would enable senior leadership to move its focus from the back end (budgeting) of the resource allocation process to the front end (planning and idea generation) is presented below. A review of how the PPBS has evolved is presented to highlight the need to target specific parts for restructuring.

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