Introduction: Changing the Way the U.S. Department of Defense Does Business


Introduction: Changing the Way the U.S. Department of Defense Does Business

Thursday, November 17th, 2011 - 15:36
The U.S. Department of Defense is one of the largest and most complex organizations in the world, managing a budget more than twice that of the world’s largest corporation and overseeing millions of personnel operating worldwide.

To manage this very large and complex organization, DoD has developed and maintained some 4,150 different business processes and systems. Given the size and complexity of the department’s finances and operations along with the rapid pace of change, engagement in major military campaigns, and worldwide economic uncertainty, it is imperative that DoD create more agile, responsive, and efficient operations. To this end, DoD continues to pursue enterprise business transformation efforts. As Secretary Panetta1 noted in September 2011 Congressional testimony, the challenge of the defense budget relates to everything DoD does to fulfill its critically vital mission—protecting the U.S. and advancing U.S. national security interests.

To successfully achieve its mission in an era of fiscal constraint, the department has sought to reform many of its mission support functions, including core business processes and enterprise business systems, and to recast how it does business with the ultimate goal: to better support the urgent needs of the warfighter while ensuring taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly. Doing this will provide the best support and services for troops in the field and their families at home, and will enable the department to be a responsible steward of the nation’s resources.

Strengthening mission support performance through transforming business operations, while also ensuring accountability across the enterprise, continues to frame much of the DoD’s efforts. DoD leadership needs access to timely, relevant, and reliable financial and cost information to make informed decisions and ensure that resources are properly aligned to mission. Improving financial information for fact-based, actionable management decisions is a key strategic priority for the department, and rests on improving the operation and auditability of DoD financial activities. Another closely related strategic priority involves the transformation of DoD’s business operations, forging an enterprise approach that realizes efficiencies, eliminates duplication, and provides business operations that are adaptable, responsive, and supportive of the department’s core mission. How is DoD improving its business operations and systems? What is DoD doing to modernize processes to become more efficient and control costs? How is DoD improving financial information and audit readiness?

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