PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. - The Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center is the recipient of the Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award in the category of government, the award committee announced Jan. 29.

The Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award is the association's most prestigious award for planning. The award recognizes organizations for their strategy initiatives and practices and helps stimulate innovation in the strategic planning process.

ARDEC is the first Department of Defense organization to be recognized for the award.

ARDEC staff members submitted a 16-page formal application that details ARDEC's three-phased approach to strategic planning - pre-planning, planning and post-planning - to develop the most effective strategies to benefit the warfighter.

The award criteria are rigorous and each submission is assessed on the level of organizational excellence in the strategy formulation process, use of customer analysis, innovation, implementation and performance management in determining the success of its strategic plan, according to the award committee, according to Kathryn Martin, the award committee chairwoman.

A robust strategic planning process is essential in anticipating customer expectations, new partnering opportunities, workforce development, technological developments and changes in customer segments, said Brad Sampson of the ARDEC Strategic Management and Process Office here.

ARDEC Director Dr. Joseph A. Lannon said the award again shows that "our workforce is our greatest asset and is driven to this level of achievement by our need to support our warfighters who sacrifice so much for us."

Sampson explained that by making long-term commitments to its key stakeholders, which include customers, the workforce and partners, ARDEC focuses on the future to improve itself and to satisfy the needs of the Soldier in the most effective and efficient manner.

Each applicant is judged on seven main criteria to include process or competency in strategy, industry analysis, customer analysis, implementation, learning, innovation and performance management.

The award is given on behalf of the Association for Strategic Planning and recognizes the recipients as leaders in the business community.

Association for Strategic Planning officials will present the award to ARDEC officials during their annual conference in San Diego later this month.

The association provides an independent assessment of the organization's strategic planning process and is judged by a panel of highly-qualified strategists in the academic and business communities.

There are three major categories for the award to include large business, small business and government or non-profit organizations.

Dr. Richard Goodman was an expert in organizational strategy and innovation and a professor of management at the prestigious University of California, Los Angeles. Goodman died in 2004 after serving on the faculty at UCLA for 37 years.

Goodman served on the ASP's planning board of directors and helped create the annual award that was named after him.