Blog / PPBE

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The Future of PPBE: Part 3 - It's all about Advana

Josh Martin

April 03, 2024

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    It’s all about Advana

    This article is part of a series analyzing the final PPBE report issued by the Reform Commission on March 6.  Part 1 looked at the goal of adding agility to the system. Part 2 focused on the multi-front battle required for successful implementation. This final analysis will focus on Advana.

    The Commission mentioned Advana many times throughout the report. The idea behind Advana is to have it serve as the ‘data foundation’ for the DoD, while applications sitting on Advana can access data based on the credentials of the user and the application.

    While we believe the idea of Advana is an important one, ensuring its success is complicated and will rely on several factors including a) training of personnel b) ready access to commercial solutions c) strong data connectivity.

    Training of personnel

    Taking advantage of Advana will require analytics, data skills, and expertise in the platforms available on the system. In short, Advana will not be a ready-made solution that automatically turns all users into citizen decision scientists. Therefore, it will be incumbent on the DoD to provide training services but also to look towards the ecosystem for training support.

    There are three primary ways in which training and education will happen. First, training resources provided by the DoD and the centers of excellence are readily available. Second, training organizations like Management Concepts, which is a partner of American Society of Military Comptrollers, provide robust courses designed specifically to meet training needs. Finally, it’s important to ensure that platforms on Advana are developed by industry partners that also provide curated training. For example, Decision Lens has developed Decision Lens University, which includes online training courses as well as in-person instruction.

    Beyond understanding the technologies available, leaders in these organizations must provide the time required to engage in training.

    Ready access to commercial solutions

    Advana promises to serve as an ‘app-store’ like experience for those in the PPBE process to select the right software, connect it to the right data, and integrate it into their workflow.

    The only way this approach will be successful is if – as the report highlights – the authority to operate (ATO) process is simplified, software can connect to systems of record, and contracting is easy. These elements matter because financial managers do not want to input data multiple times or rely on tools that operate in silos. So, Advana should identify the biggest gaps for users and select software that solves for these issues. This software should be easy for users to identify, acquire, and integrate into their process.

    There will need to be a level of oversight and training in the library of solutions, with a focus on avoiding customizing these offerings and using them as is.

    Integrated data connectivity with systems of record

    Advana and the software it offers need to simplify workflows, not complicate them. Therefore, connecting directly to data from other systems is critical to success. This is an area cited in the report, heard in in-person discussions, and highlighted during Decision Lens’ interviews with the PPBE Commission.

    The challenge with data is complicated by the impact level of the data, the user, the application, and any other system that would connect to the data downstream. The recommended implementation team must address this challenge and consider how to solve it. Requiring users to export and import or manually transfer data will not deliver the desired agility and will see potential users opt out of adoption.

    This doesn’t mean commercial off-the-shelf solutions shouldn’t be integrated onto Advana. Instead, clearly articulated data management and interoperability standards with clear definitions will drive adoption of these services. Delivering an integrated experience on Advana across multiple platforms – which the commission recognizes is the right approach – will drive adoption, efficiency, and agility.

    Overall, the PPBE Commission delivered a comprehensive approach to reforming the current process. With more than 60 years of history and entrenchment across the DoD, implementing something new will take time, effort, and focus. Ultimately, delivering a more agile, responsive, and transparent system is worth the investment in time and resources.

    Decision Lens and the Defense Resourcing System

    Decision Lens has been developed as a building block for a new approach to defense resourcing. When evaluating the solution relative to the goals of the new approach, it meets several important criteria.

    Underpinning the platform is a decision framework which, when deployed across an enterprise, makes it easier to align budget to strategy. The decision framework is flexible, and criteria are developed to serve the needs of individual organizations and their missions. The structured approach makes tagging investments easier and allows for a broad view into spending across categories and even whole departments.

    Our expertise in implementation and built-in best practices, alongside our strong partner network, enable the process re-engineering required to adopt a new approach by starting with the end in mind.

    By serving as the system of record for pre-decisional data and offering decision support tools, customers can make decisions at the speed of relevance. Whether at home, in an office, or in the boardroom, customers rely on real-time data, spend plan capabilities, and scenario planning tools to adapt to changes while understanding the impact of those decisions.

    Developed for the public sector, we focus on moving government to the cloud, integrating with authoritative systems, supporting various IL levels. We are deployed on a variety of hosting environments, including ADVANA. If you are looking to begin your transformation towards a more modern approach to Defense Resourcing, request a demo of Decision Lens.

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