June 16, 2016
Alliance Pointe at PDI 2016: Modernizing The Army’s Financial Management System Through ERP Strategy
When an organization needs to overhaul its financial management system, it often adopts an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that brings with it standardized business practices and the opportunity to boost auditability. Now imagine trying to modernize the financial management practices of an organization as immense as the U.S. Army.
Enter Alliance Pointe.
At the National Professional Development Institute (PDI) 2016 conference—the American Society of Military Comptrollers foremost educational event, which took place in Orlando, FL—AP team members John Boyce, Michael Allen Lake, and Charles O’Brien supported the unveiling of the Army Financial Management Optimization (AFMO) campaign plan to Financial Management (FM) leadership.
AFMO Zero Day
While officially the PDI conference ran from June 1-3, the marquee event for AFMO Task Force was held on May 31. PDI Zero Day featured a senior-level discussion on synchronization between Army FM leadership and representatives from the Army commands. From developing the AFMO Strategy and Campaign Plan to creating briefings to identifying key participants and topics, AP professionals were invaluable in facilitating this dynamic conversation. PDI Zero Day was critical not just for the commands to learn about the future of AFMO but for Army FM leadership and the AFMO Task Force to learn the strategic resourcing challenges the commands face on a regular basis.
According to Alliance Pointe Senior Analyst John Boyce, “AFMO is a pathway for transforming Army FM into an adaptive learning organization while preserving its status as the best possible steward of Army resources.” COL John Vogel, AFMO Task Force Director, and LTG Karen Dyson, Military Deputy to ASA(FM&C), expanded on that theme during PDI’s Army Service Day on June 1st. AP staff were responsible for creating an AFMO 101-style briefing and preparing a stakeholder survey. This briefing reached over 500 Army FM personnel.
Problem Solving for the Army
The Army recognized Alliance Pointe’s proven experience in providing strategic support for AFMO and tasked us with supporting the update of its FM organization structure, business processes, and operating practices to best support Army operations and readiness. Much like a Fortune 500-sized organization, the Army is facing an increasingly complex world. Unlike a private company, however, the Army remains consistently engaged in conflict and faces increasingly limited budgets. This calls for establishing standardized business practices that provide enhanced decision-making support to its commanders. For the experts at Alliance Pointe, the path forward was clear. Modernizing the Army’s FM organization and practices requires reframing a collection of stovepiped organizations into an integrated FM enterprise that engages all of its stakeholders and supports the Army’s missions worldwide.
Strategy for Holistic Change
Executing organizational transformation is twofold. Training the Army’s workforce in best practices is only one part of the solution. The other component involves standardizing the Army’s financial practices in response to external mandates, such as the Congressional requirement for the Army to be auditable. For change management to succeed, it’s necessary to foster an organizational change model that promotes efficiencies across the entire enterprise. Army FM needs to undergo wide-scale transformation to capitalize on its workforce and increase both its effectiveness and its efficiencies.
That’s where Alliance Pointe’s expertise in organizational change comes into play. To modernize the Army’s practices, we are strategically guiding the holistic transformation of its FM enterprise. AFMO is a holistic approach to change management that supports commanders by implementing organizational-wide financial management reform. Alliance Pointe is overseeing this initiative from inception to execution. We’re facilitating the transformation of a financial system that requires manual corrections into an efficient, web-based system that’s accessible for all users. Our efforts include the design and implementation of enterprise governance practices, codifying roles, and delegating responsibilities and relationships among the different elements of the enterprise with each other and with their key stakeholders.
The Way Forward
PDI 2016 marks the end of planning and the beginning of execution. Our team members will be instrumental in the design, stand up, and ongoing management of the cross-functional working groups needed to realize the plans and strategic objectives. For the first time in its history, the Financial Management community at the Army will be able to see itself and operate as an integrated enterprise of processes, organizations, and stakeholders. Alliance Pointe will continue to contribute our collective expertise in support of the Army’s ongoing efforts. In collaboration with Army leadership, commands, and stakeholders, we have developed and now support the implementation of a transformation strategy across the Army FM enterprise.