Army Enterprise Developing Through Process Improvement
May 21, 2008
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, May 21, 2008) - The Army's top uniformed budget officer stressed the importance of transforming the service to a capability-focused Army Enterprise during the Army Leader Forum at the Pentagon Tuesday.
Lt. Gen. David Melcher, military deputy for budget, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management and Comptroller), illustrated why it is necessary to adapt and transform the Institutional Army during his presentation Tuesday.
The Army should run more like an enterprise to better develop and maintain a force in a period of extended conflict, he said, in which demands exceed sustainable resources. He predicted even tighter resources over the next few years, especially with a trend of smaller supplemental budget bills to finance the war on terror.
"We have enjoyed levels of spending over the last few years that are unprecedented in the Army's history...and may be the high-watermark for the Army's budget," he said.
Melcher said an Enterprise Management Task Force has been proposed to help implement business transformation across the Army. Though still being conceptualized, he said the task force may be managed by a three-star general and a senior executive service deputy.
It is necessary for an "enterprise approach" to counteract consumption-driven behaviors present in today's Army, Melcher explained. Efforts to adapt the Army's current structure focus on continuous process improvement through programs like Lean Six Sigma, Enterprise Resource Planning, leadership training in enterprise management, and the revision of General Order #3.
General Order #3 assigns functions and responsibilities to organizations in Headquarters, Department of the Army. Though still in revision, the order is predicted to guide the Army Enterprise, Melcher said, and will support the Army's transformation.
The Army will grow from the business transformation stage to a Lean Six Sigma-centered institution before reaching the enterprise end-state. Lean Six Sigma is a process improvement program which helps to eliminate unnecessary steps while improving output quality, and Melcher said it has a key rolei in transforming the Army into an enterprise.
"Lean Six Sigma is as much common sense as anything else," Melcher said.
The process will be "evolutionary rather than revolutionary," taking place over an extended period of time, he said.
By the spring of 2011, Melcher expects the Army will have established accountability metrics and mechanisms, instilled stewardship of resources as an Army value, and have established an effective governance structure and culture that supports the capability-focused Army Enterprise, he said.
"This is about thinking things through in a proactive and meaningful way," he said.