Modernizing PPBE: DoD budget process must keep up with real needs

On March 22, Tom Temin of Federal News Network interviewed Juliet Beyler the Executive Director for U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa’s for the Decision Lens series – Modernizing Federal Government Planning.

“We are still very much working with spreadsheets” 

- Juliet Beyler

During the discussion, it was clear that the Navy operates in a very fluid environment requiring constant recalibration as threats shift and congressional priorities change. The planning challenges are compounded by the archaic planning, programming, budgeting, and execution process (PPBE).

As a result, the following tends to happen:

  • Priorities have sometimes changed by the time money comes through
  • There is difficulty matching up long-term plans and budgets
  • Reallocating current dollars for an operational need is time-consuming

One major highlight is the continued reliance on spreadsheets. As has been discussed in several outlets, relying on spreadsheets can result in manual errors, is labor intensive leading to slow response times and frequently leads to decisions being made from out-of-date data.

Modernizing the PPBE process is now a major focus of government with a Congressional commission recently established to study reform. However, beyond the PPBE process itself, the tools DoD leaders rely on must be modernized even while waiting for the commission’s interim report in 2023.

Commercial off-the-shelf software such as Decision Lens are available to digitize many of the processes today. Organizations will become more operationally efficient, leverage AI/ML for improved scenario planning, rely on real-time data in their planning process while becoming agile enough to instantaneously shift priorities.

You can read the full article on Federal News Network here.

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