My goal is to continue sharing the 5 P's with everyone at Aberdeen Proving Ground. What are the 5 P's' It's a way of thinking and working that you may find valuable. I define them as people, places, purse, processes and products. It's a framework, which allows me way to accomplish the mission and maintain focus.

Last week, we talked about places and before that people. Now, I want to talk about purse. This is how we define purse within the Research, Development and Engineering Command: Develop and execute a balanced portfolio of resources and maximize delivery of capabilities and engineering facilities and equipment.

We are obligated to the Army's senior leaders to deliver capabilities with the money with which they entrust to us. It is imperative we execute our budgets with proper forethought and diligence because we must be good stewards of the taxpayer's dollars.

I would suggest we get more "bang for the buck" by collaborating on common projects. All of us here on this installation have supporting and supported relationships with each other. Our missions are complementary.

If all of us come together with common requirements, we would pool our monies against common efforts and add clarity to our purpose.

I'd like to share with you an example from American history. In 1867, farmers in the Midwest formed a fraternal organization known as the National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry. The "Grangers" held educational events and social gatherings, but the group evolved into a powerful friend of the American farmer.

By the 1870s, Grangers organized cooperative purchasing ventures to use the power of the collective to get lower prices on farm equipment. They pooled money and actually formed the first credit unions in America.

I'm looking for the grange, the farm grange, where we only buy one tractor because it will plow all of our fields, sharing the costs of what it takes to do our job.

Money is a good way to define capabilities in terms of the ability to integrate and support each other in what we're doing. We could spend monies on common places, or we could spend money on common education processes to strengthen our workforce. I believe it would be a good investment for the whole community.

But, it goes broader than being able to leverage the power of money collectively across organizations. What's happening at APG is incredible because of the complementary relationships between organizations that are already here and those that are coming here. It's allowing us to do things that have never been done before. It is literally a force multiplier for each of us to have that collective power, and it's the power of money focused on common effort.

I often speak of our mission to empower, unburden and protect the Warfighter. The power of the purse follows that same structure. It empowers all of us, especially collectively. It empowers us to work together toward common goals. Working together unburdens us fiscally and creates the power of synergy. It also empowers us to do many more things that we don't have the opportunity to do right now.

In today's economy and the drive toward spending smarter, I would suggest we do more to seek efficiencies and partner when it makes sense. It's the power of the collective. We all have the obligation to focus on the Warfighter. You have to ask yourself, is the money we are spending focused on empowering, unburdening and protecting the Warfighter'

Next week we're going to talk about another pillar of the 5 P's: Processes. Army Strong!

Page last updated Mon November 1st, 2010 at 00:00