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The Army has recently rolled out the Army Business Management Plan, or ABMP, an initiative designed to systematically improve business practices and processes while changing approaches to talent management to optimize the capability and capacity of its workforce.
Army leaders collaborated with each Army command to build the ABMP, which will allow the service to provide better stewardship of its spending.
“The challenge facing the Army is that we have a fixed budget and how we apply that budget toward priorities is through critical decisions made by Army senior leaders,” said Robin Swan, director of the Army’s Office of Business Transformation, or OBT. “Every budget or programming cycle, every dollar that is freed through improvement in efficiency, is a dollar that they can apply to a higher readiness or modernization priority.”
Swan said the ABMP will use data and business analytics to make “resource-based” decisions that will eliminate unnecessary processes for a more efficient business model. He said the plan will aid some of the Army’s most critical modernization efforts, including delivering new equipment to warfighters faster and upgrading talent management. The Army released the ABMP on April 1.
The new plan, which Swan said will evolve with annual revisions through 2025, establishes the Army Integrated Management System, or IMS, as the service’s vehicle to continuously identify new reform initiatives. The IMS helps integrate data, processes, and people into one aligned and synchronized system.
The overhaul of its management systems will improve the management of business operations so the Army can support readiness and modernization priorities, said Jennifer Mootz, chief of business planning and assessment for OBT.
“Aligning the Army under a common strategic direction for the management of business operations is how we will facilitate continuous reform,” Mootz said. “Every part of the headquarters of the Department of the Army and by extension, subordinate commands, has to be synchronized in the accomplishment of those goals and objectives.”
Among the goals, Swan said, better business practices outlined in the ABMP will allow brigade combat teams to make swifter decisions, impacting unit readiness.
“That brigade commander can then train [their] organization in a way that meets mission demand with the best equipment at the best available time to be able to train,” Swan said. “Get that into the hands of our Soldiers, and they can have that warfighting focus to prepare for their mission. All of that takes an efficient, smooth-running range of business processes.”
The ABMP identifies three strategic priorities. First, the Army will reinvest time, money and manpower savings into higher priorities such as Project Convergence, the Army’s effort to accelerate joint, multi-domain operations.
Second, the service will continuously change and adapt its business practices, similar to the way companies evolve in the private sector, Swan said. The Army will streamline its business practices, reduce costs and become more responsive to stakeholder interests.
Third, the Army will enable a rapid, agile and effective response to evolving business needs by looking for opportunities to reduce administrative tasks and regulatory requirements, Swan added.
“The private sector improves their business-related processes every day and in doing so, they improve their bottom line,” Swan said. “And our bottom line is providing that trained and ready force at the time and place where it’s needed. The environment changes every day; we have to be agile and flexible and adaptive to changes in those environments.”
The Office of Business Transformation led the effort to create the plan and chose a range of subject-matter experts from the Army Staff and across the force. Each of the Army commands had a representative in the drafting of the plan, which was then approved by senior leaders. The ABMP replaces the Army Business Strategy as the foundational guidance for business operations.
Mootz then hosted framing sessions, where a committee identified potential challenges and fielded input from each command.
“We can’t reform the Army without building the capability and capacity to do that in our workforce,” Mootz said. “So when people and processes supported by data and information are working together toward the same end state, when these components of our management system are integrated, we can reform our business operations.