The Future of PPBE: Part 2 - The Multi-Front Reform Battle


This article is Part 2 in a series analyzing the impact of recommendations made in the final PPBE Reform Commission Report. Part 1 focused on delivering agility and can be found here.

The Commission on Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution Reform released its final report on March 6, 2024. The final assessment lays the groundwork for a new future of defense resourcing across five key focus areas and 28 individual recommendations. The changes, if implemented, will have a significant impact on those working in defense resourcing, from program managers to budget analysts to leaders.

This article focuses on the four main areas where reform must take place in order to find success.

PPBE reform will tackle four main vectors to address problems at their root cause


As a Congressionally established commission, the final report appropriately focuses on maintaining Congressional oversight of the PPBE process. However, there are several ways the Commission looks to improve the relationship by removing administrative burdens and creating a clearer communication path between the DoD and Congress.

Some proposals include consolidating Congressional subcommittees to reduce data requests and provide enhanced mission clarity, changing the 1-year funding approach for MILPERs and O&M, and implementing new technology to make data submissions more secure.

The key takeaway from the report is that any reform must maintain the same level of oversight from Congress while providing flexibility driven by a more transparent system.


The Commission also focused heavily on adding new technology to defense resourcing, both within individual units but also broadly across the DoD as an enterprise. If successfully implemented, it will offer the following benefits:

  • Make better, faster data-driven decisions. Having access to up-to-date data at the right time, in the right format, and with the right features will enable data-driven decision-making.
  • Allow individuals to focus on higher value tasks. Cited many times in the report – adopting automation reduces low value tasks while also reducing human error.
  • Make it easy to find what you’re looking for. Consumers take search tools for granted, but in the relationship between DoD and Congress, reliance on emails, PDFs, spreadsheets, and hard copies makes searching for information very time consuming. New technology will help with this effort.


There is broad recognition in the report that process improvement is critically important. Technology should not simply digitize existing processes but should serve as an opportunity to re-evaluate them and adopt a more modern approach. Such a change will require transformative leadership, investment in training (and providing people with the time to train), and a way to integrate best practices into the day-to-day work.


Resistance to change is noted as a major barrier to adopting a new approach. In fact, the report highlights a few areas where this is an issue. At lower levels some analysts see their value as the owner of a particular process and are disinterested in change, fearing their job may be superfluous if change occurs. Second, since leaders often rely on personal relationships, a move toward a more data-driven system could diminish their value. Finally, risk aversion across the department creates inertia against change. The report finds it imperative for DoD leadership to lead the charge in overcoming these issues.

Solving for one or two of these issues will not transform the current system. Only by addressing all areas will change be possible. The need for a consistent framework, integrated technology, and a staff empowered to make decisions powered by Advana, underpins all of these areas.


Hear from our experts


Let's get started

We have been modernizing public sector planning for 15+ years, evolving our solution to meet the needs of today while delivering the cutting-edge capabilities of tomorrow.

Request a Demo

Explore Categories