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News | Aug. 28, 2019

FB revamps PPBE process

By Thomas Perry DCMA Public Affairs

Defense Contract Management Agency’s Financial and Business Operations is revamping the Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution, or PPBE, process, with hopes to expand the agency’s return on investment from an already hefty 2.86 to 1.

The financial-centric directorate recently hosted the initial fiscal year 2020-25 Program and Budget Review kickoff meeting to introduce a new phase in the ongoing efforts to improve the manner in which programming and budget goals relate to resourcing the agency’s mission requirements.

Robert Franzen, FB’s director of Business Planning, Programs and Analysis Division, said the meeting was the starting point for this year’s PBR fiscal year 21-25 cycle, and included facets of the FY20 budgeting phase.

“The Program Control Document, or PCD, is a new interactive DCMA 360 tool and a key enabler to the PBR process. After being developed by FB Budget Analyst John Guzowski, it was introduced and demonstrated for participants at the PBR kickoff meeting,” he said. “Because the agency has a complex set of missions to execute and a limited set of resources with which to accomplish its missions and supporting functions and tasks, the necessity to maximize fiscal and programmatic management efficiencies and key enablers have become increasingly imperative.”

During the development process, Guzowski discovered more than he expected.

“Having this capability opened our eyes to a whole new world of enterprise-wide analytical possibilities for making data-driven decisions,” said Guzowski. “The team and I look forward to using lessons learned through this PPBE cycle to further refine both the user experience and future capabilities SharePoint is allowing us to leverage.”

In support of DCMA Strategic Goal 3, which is to ensure agency funds are used in alignment with department guidance and executed in a transparent, accountable manner, FB promotes the successful execution of each segment of the PPBE process by documenting transparent processes and enforcing direct accountability. The results of the overarching process will facilitate the agency’s ability to make data-driven financial decisions and effectively align resources to approved requirements supporting the strategic mission of the department and ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.

Virginia Reed, an FB Business Planning, Programs and Analysis Division program analyst, and her division teamed with Corporate Operations in support of various authoritative sources such as the U.S. Code Title 31 on money and finance, Office of Management and Budget Circular A-11 focused on budget preparation, and the Department of Defense Financial Management Regulation, to streamline the execution of the PPBE process.

“It is DoD’s method of aligning resources against validated requirements across the Future Years Defense Program, commonly referred to as FYDP, executing those resources, and evaluating performance of programs within a quadrennial planning cycle,” said Reed.

According to the Defense Acquisition University website, the annual cyclical PPBE process is the primary resource allocation process of DoD to determine Defense Department funding requirements and to allocate resources to satisfy those requirements. It is one of three major decision support systems for defense acquisition along with Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System and the Defense Acquisition System. The PPBE process forms a formal, systematic structure for making decisions on policy, strategy, and the development of forces and capabilities to accomplish anticipated missions.

“The PPBE process uses a system of governance, advisory and oversight forums to support the process,” said Reed, while explaining how the system impacts DCMA’s mission. “These forums are used to aggregate and analyze resource information, direct and review cost-benefit analyses, consult and deliberate, make recommendations and decisions, and formally approve the PPBE documents submitted to the Office of the Secretary of Defense. This integrated and collaborative process ensures the success of the warfighter while supporting the agency’s strategic plan and serving as better stewards of the American taxpayer dollar.”

The Transformation Process
Franzen credited his team’s work and collaboration with Operations Research Systems' analysts as key tenets of his division’s PPBE transformation.

Aaron Economou, an ORSA with the agency’s Portfolio Management and Business Integration Directorate, said, “Our support leveraged PCD data to produce predictive analytical scenarios assisting in identifying potential programing and budget solutions for impacted capabilities.”

Franzen explained further, “ORSA provided all the operations research support to extract the PCD data and present it in a meaningful value added way.”

For FB personnel, speaking dollars makes sense. Their collective effort is fueled by the pursuit of sharpened business practices.

“Due to the increased complexity of various systems in place within the agency for requirements' determination, validation and approval, and the need to streamline the process, the FB team adopted a team-based integrated working capability group-based approach with a web-based tool to enable the process,” Franzen said. “An essential element of fiscal management is the process of reviewing, revising and reengineering the business practices of the agency to increase revenues, optimize buying power, reduce costs and leverage agency funds.”

Mike White, an FB program analyst who works alongside Reed, said the PCD has been developed to facilitate the tenets of the PPBE process, increase operational efficiencies and build the agency resourcing across the FYDP.

“As with any such efforts, the tool and the process will continue to evolve and improve with use and feedback,” he said. “However, the PCD will be a common source for alignment of components’ resourcing, including position authorizations and full-time equivalents and the labor and non-labor budgets and programmatic projections for resourcing.”

The FB team believes prescriptive, sanctioned access to the PCD by specified members of agency components and capabilities will ensure proper management control over data input. The goal is to enhance decision making as the PCD will be the prime source of resourcing positions, with revised baselines each fiscal year as changes are approved across the agency.

“Justifications will be required for new requirements and for changes — not associated with inflation factors — to annual baselines and requirements must be approved through established processes prior to input into the PCD,” said White. “The PCD will also accept justifications and approved requirements documentation to provide supporting documentation for historical and auditing purposes. The PCD will be used in this cycle with other established documentation and processes and will become a mandatory feature of future budgeting and resourcing cycles.”

The PCD tool allows for visibility and transparency to the agency’s aggregated PPBE data.

“The tool allows a controlled interface of transparent and integrated data points,” said Guzowski.

The FB directorate’s goals of this enabler are all-encompassing provide decision support information to program funding; provide analytic data to support business operations; and improve accountability and stewardship.

“The tool allows for the component representatives to manage manpower and resources, while accepting responsibility and ownership for the data inputs,” said Reed. “It is a collaborative effort by all agency components and capabilities to unify data collection and adds easy programing and budgeting visibility for component heads and project managers. This tool will enhance the agency’s requirements solicitation for resources, align them through the full spectrum of the FYDP, and enable more predictive and predictable resourcing for informed senior leader decision making and risk management. The PCD will become a focal point as a true authoritative master data source for resourcing decisions.”

Franzen said everyone involved in the development and execution of the PPBE transformation process should be proud of their work, including those outside the directorate.

“The new streamlined initiative and key enabler introduce an unprecedented focus on performance and results and points to more outcome-oriented program management and performance budgeting,” he said. “The fiscal tenet of readiness assesses the agency’s ability to achieve mission excellence through streamlined processes and good stewardship of resources that address the agency’s priorities and meet mission requirements.”

PCD and process goals and features recap:
— Improves alignment of the PPBE processes to achieve strategic initiatives that support Goal 3 of the agency’s strategic plan.
— Single data source for requirements-based budgeting and resourcing.
— Authoritative data source for senior leaders’ resourcing decision making.
— Accountability tool for component directors and capability managers; component directors will sign their respective PCD positions and requirements.
— Enhances the agency’s requirements' solicitation for resources, aligns them through the full spectrum of the FYDP, and enables more predictive and predictable resourcing for informed senior leader decision making and risk management.
— Allows component representatives to manage manpower and resources input, while accepting responsibility and ownership for the data inputs.
— Unifies data collection and adds easy programing and budgeting visibility for component heads and project managers.
— Managers’ Internal Control document for resourcing and programmatic decisions. Control aspect includes limited, targeted access to the PCD for data input (components establish their POCs for access).
— PCD enhances audit support and provides visibility and transparency to the agency’s aggregated PPBE data.
— Comprehensive look at each component’s resourcing across the FYDP, based on fiscal guidance and other annual DoD program and budget decisions that impact DCMA.
— Historical authoritative document/tool including supporting documentation and prior year positions for audits and for trends analysis.
— Will include justifications to support business cases for requirements.
— Arrays all resourcing data to financial object classes and to program elements to address mutually supportive resourcing data for budgetary and program phases.
— Resourcing dashboards for each DCMA component (single page resourcing outlook).
— Provides analytic data to support agency business operations; improves accountability and stewardship.