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DoD PPBE Data Problems Can Be Fixed Now

As the fervor for PPBE modernization increases, Federal News Network and Decision Lens continued their series on Modernizing Federal Government Planning. The series focuses on how the DoD can leverage technology today to address shortcomings in PPBE in anticipation of the PPBE Commission issuing its final report in fall 2023.

 Jonathan Allen, the EVP of Strategic Markets at Decision Lens shared his insights into why the predictability at the foundation of PPBE is challenged by today’s dynamic environment.

 According to Allen, technology is key to a more agile approach as it “gives you the ability not only to have a defensible, justifiable strategy, but [also] a living, breathing process that can adapt to emergent requirements, as those are coming in.”

 While there are systemic issues with PPBE, the article highlights that improving data is at the crux of a better approach to budgeting and execution. Some reasons why data is getting in the way: 

  1. Data is mismatched. The data used to develop a POM is often different than that used in budget execution years later resulting in different groups speaking different languages.
  2. Data is old. By the time data is collected, organized, visualized, and presented to decision makers, it is out of date.
  3. Data is disbursed across various systems. Data takes differing forms for different planning functions creating disconnects across various functions with PPBE.

 Solving the data problem can be achieved without broad structural reforms. Software like Decision Lens lets users bring together data in a meaningful way via a centralized platform which allows multiple people to come together.

 This was evident at Army Training and Doctrine Command. TRADOC went from 17 spreadsheets to using one Decision Lens instance for organizing and integrating their disparate data sources. The result was a more comprehensive picture of planning and resource requirements.

While fundamental change is needed to improve PPBE, solutions like Decision Lens are solving several challenges to deliver sustained operational advantages to organizations.

Access to the full interview and article can be found on Federal News Network.

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