Unclear organization & ownership

SDC observed that many offices own their particular part of the PPBE processes but no single office or team is in charge of coordinating enterprise-wide PPBE-related systems. This fragmented approach is highlighted by many of the PPBE Commission’s findings, such as inconsistent Justification Book (J-Book) writing applications. CHARRTS, for example, is a central program for assigning Congressional requirements to their respective offices within DoD. Once assigned, however, each office manages their processes separately and outside of CHARRTS. Internal to DoD, everyone is in charge of their own data and processes which leads to inconsistency across the Department.

Congress also lacks unity, splitting work across committees, parties, and chambers. This split manifests itself in many ways. Different committees use software or processes that no other committees use. The House and Senate use different terminology for the same programs or budget items and host numerous instances of the same software program. This divide is so deep that staff in different chambers cannot even look up each other’s email addresses.

Additionally, DoD and Congressional systems are built and managed by disparate teams. Within the current environment, an enclave has no clear owner and no one is ultimately responsible for its success or failure. Our study participants, regardless of background, stated that improving the PPBE process is everyone’s problem and therefore no one’s problem. Without dedicated resources, leadership, and authority, no one will be accountable for the outcome and the enclave will likely fail.


DoD will need to leverage existing tools and contracts to make the enclave a functional tool. Though this project will be expensive and time consuming1, it will ultimately improve how the DoD manages data enterprise-wide for itself as well as for Congress. Currently, enclave pilot efforts appear to be funded through Advana though their future funding is unclear. Individual tools such as CHARRTS have no clear budget. Because the enclave has no direct budget and necessary data is pulled from systems managed by others throughout the DoD, it is possible that the enclave will fail, or be deprioritized. The enclave needs a leader, senior support, and clear prioritization

CDAO has built multiple instances of Advana which creates separate development and support efforts for each of these instances. In general, DoD could greatly improve efficiency and cost savings through better contracting and consolidated management. Theoretically, Advana is a good place to start consolidating programs and resources, as it has with security approvals. In practice, however, Advana is unnecessarily replicating technology, effort, and costs while creating inconsistency. Based on the lack of traction gained by the enclave pilot program, the Advana team should stop its current efforts and reconsider its approach to software development, data management, and Human-centered Design.

  1. The Commission has estimated these changes will take between three and five years to implement. The overall cost estimate is unknown and would require additional research to determine. 

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This site was last updated on 12 MAR 2024.