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Automating PPBE: Decision Lens Cofounder and CSO speaks with Federal News Network

Amber Larkins

March 17, 2022

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In this article

    “Planners are in a permanently reactive state because of these antiquated processes,” said Dan Saaty, Decision Lens co-founder and Chief Science Officer.

    Saaty was recently interviewed by Tom Temin of Federal News Network to discuss why the Department of Defense (DoD)’s Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution (PPBE) process remains so complex, resource-intensive, and prone to mismatches between goals and dollars.

    Here are problems many agencies face in the PPBE process:

    • Multiple spreadsheets, each containing thousands of rows and columns of data
    • Data housed in multiple disparate systems, creating the need to merge and continuously synchronize manually to stay up to date.
    • Budgeting is often decentralized as different elements of budget planning belong to different bureaus and offices.

    These challenges not only make it difficult to do budget and spend projections; they also impede change and innovation. Those who operate the day-to-day business are barely able to sustain what they do today, let alone take on any new initiatives.

    How can Federal agency decision-makers ensure they have the budget for future programs in the correct allocations, and at the right time?

    • Embrace automation and take on a data analytics-oriented approach.
    • Define performance measures and how they will drive organizational effectiveness.
    • Move to a continuous planning and execution model in order to run different “what-if” scenarios.

    The ideal PPBE process is automated and incorporates all the critical data needed to make smart trade-off decisions allowing planners to identify and overcome gaps to better deliver on their mission.

    Watch the in-depth interview to learn more as Dan and Tom delve into why the federal government remains reliant on manual processes for its budget planning and how Department of Defense agencies can begin to automate their processes to deliver a budget based on real-time data. 

    You can read the article, watch the interview, or listen to the broadcast from FNN.

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