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WORKING TOWARDS A SINGLE DIRECTION: Achieving Alignment Towards the Strong Execution of the Army Transformation Roadmap

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THE TASK OF TRANSFORMING THE PHILIPPINE ARMY MUST NOT BE SOLELY GIVEN TO ITS COMMANDING GENERAL. RATHER, IT MUST BE EQUITABLY SHARED BY THE CHAIN OF COMMAND AND THE REST OF THE ORGANIZATION. IN THIS WAY, THE TIMELINE OF TRANSFORMING THE PHILIPPINE ARMY TO A WORLD-CLASS ARMY THAT IS A SOURCE OF NATIONAL PRIDE CAN BE ACCELERATED FROM A CENTURY TO A PROPOSED EIGHTEEN-YEAR DIRECTION.

I.        INTRODUCTION

 The Philippine Army (PA) made a bold and strong resolve that is embodied in a long-term strategic direction expanding for three horizons or eighteen years. It envisions of becoming a world-class Army that is a source of national pride by 2028 – a PA that serves the people and secures the land dutifully, patriotically, and with honor. The principles of which are contained in what is now known as the Army Transformation Roadmap (ATR).

The eighteen-year strategic direction is received with mixed reactions, likewise, has garnered various comments when it hit the field. Some greeted the 2028 Vision with utmost enthusiasm rallying behind a strong desire to see genuine transformations unfolding in the organization. While others received the ATR with clouds of doubt, if not cynicism, coupled by a long list of criticisms. Questions such as ‘Can the PA achieve the status of being world-class as a separate entity? Can there be a world-class PA even if there is neither a world-class Philippines nor a world-class Armed Forces of the Philippines?’; ‘Can the PA achieve the 2028 Vision if at present it strives in winning over the current and the pressing challenges confronting the organization?’; ‘Is the ATR the ultimate solution to the problems of the PA?’; ‘Is there a need to transform the PA if it is not broken? Is there really a need for the ATR?’; and ‘Will this be the strategic direction that the PA in its entirety shall pursue or will this be just another program that co-exists and co-terminates with the current leadership?’ added to their doubts as regards the sustainability of this transformation endeavor.

While the ATR Team may have gained grounds in advancing the Roadmap Advocacy by creating greater awareness and understanding and by propagating the strategy and the vision to units across the regions and to divisions within the organization, comments such as these signal the need to further strengthen alignment in all aspects, functions, and levels of the PA. Bottom line:  ALIGNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINE ARMY TO THE ARMY TRANSFORMATION ROADMAP.

II.      ON ALIGNMENT

A.      The Cost Of An Absence Of Alignment In The Organization

Results of a recent study conducted by Drs. Robert S Kaplan and David P Norton[i] and presented before the international community during the 2010 Palladium Asia Pacific Summit[ii] reveal that alignment is among the hardest to achieve. This tops the list of issues facing organizations worldwide as they execute their respective strategies. On the average, organizations take around two to four years before strategic and functional alignment is achieved.

Best practice organizations spend a considerable amount of their time and resources (human and financial) perfecting alignment in all aspects simply because the cost of an absence of alignment outweighs the cost of doing alignment. This is accentuated by Drs. Kaplan and Norton in their book ‘ALIGNMENT: Using the Balanced Scorecard to Create Corporate Synergies’ in which they assert that:

Most organizations contain multiple business and support units, each led by highly trained and experienced executives, and staffed by talented employees. But too often, different units fail to coordinate: they work at cross-purposes and have conflicting goals. Results? Performance-sapping disagreements, lost opportunities, wasted resources, and a corporation whose value amounts to less than the sum of its parts. (2006: Cover Page)

The reality of an absence of alignment in the organization is as true here in the Philippines as it is in the rest of the world. Dr. Aniceto B Fontanilla[iii] presented staggering pieces of evidence on how organizations all throughout the world struggle in achieving organizational alignment. These proofs are as follows:

  • Only ten percent of companies surveyed can execute their strategy.
  • Less than fifty percent of senior officers surveyed work well together.
  • Less than sixty percent of senior managers surveyed believe they have a clear understanding of their organization’s strategy. Furthermore, less than thirty percent of these senior managers believe their organization’s strategy is effectively implemented.
  • Only ten percent of employees surveyed can describe the key elements of their organizations’ strategy.[iv]

The statistics become even more challenging as the size of the organization and the levels within it increase. The absence of proper alignment disables the different units to lock their accountabilities properly and to view their roles in the entire value chain process. As a result, these units compete for a greater share of the pie justifying the need to implement more projects (consequently, the need for more resources). It is not even unlikely to see the very same project implemented repetitively by the different units. Imagine the amount of resources lost and wasted on projects that are unmanaged and unsynchronized in terms of their implementation from units that are operating independently. This is the cost of an absence of alignment in the organization.

B.      Alignment Defined

The previous section showcased why alignment is a powerful concept that must be given due attention: alignment provides a strong base for strategy execution to take place. The denotative meaning of alignment – being in line, being in correct relative position to something else[v] – provides a good input on understanding the concept of alignment.

The concept of alignment is best illustrated using the analogy of the human body and its organ systems. Our science lessons tell us that the human body is made up of cells grouped together to form tissues, organs, and organ systems that are performing different functions. This parallels the organizational structure made up of people grouped together to form departments, divisions, and units.

The resources (food, oxygen, water, etc.) passing through the human body must be evenly distributed to its organ systems to optimize the performance of the human body, similarly, to maintain the state of equilibrium in which the different organ systems are functioning at their best. While these organ systems relate to one another in so far as how they operate, they function differently and interdependently based on a mandate that is clearly spelled out.

Try cutting alignment in the picture in which all of the organ systems of the human body would have their own minds, would produce their own outputs that are unsynchronized with those of the other organ systems, and would get all of the nutrients for their own use. Definitely, the state of equilibrium will not be attained resulting to the poor performance, or worse, the non-performance of certain organ systems. When this occurs, the human body would suffer from imbalance and sickness. Consequently, the productive activities of the person will be curtailed

The same holds true for organizations which suffer from losing their productive activities (not given due importance because of limited resources) as a result of the non-alignment of functions and the lack of synergy among units.

Therefore, alignment provides a strong perspective of placing units in areas that can provide a strong impact to how strategy is managed. Processes and systems of the different operating units are arranged and synchronized to create a strong value chain that will contribute towards the realization of the strategy.

III.    ON ALIGNING THE PHILIPPINE ARMY TO THE ARMY TRANSFORMATION ROADMAP

A.      The Rationale For An Aligned Philippine Army

Why do we need to align the Philippine Army to the Army Transformation Roadmap? The answer is simply because transforming the PA – a national military organization operating in all regions of the country – is a responsibility that one superhuman head may be able to accomplish but in a hundred years time. But as no superhuman head will run the PA for more than a century and as the state of leadership usually expires after a year or two, time and continuity are huge risk factors in this transformation endeavor. Hence, it is to the best interest of the organization that the task of transforming the PA must not be solely given to its Commanding General. Rather, it must be equitably shared by the chain of command and the rest of the organization. In this way, the timeline of transforming the PA to a world-class Army that is a source of national pride can be accelerated from a century to the proposed eighteen-year direction.

One of the biggest challenges facing organizations today including the PA is the continuity of the direction due to the many changes occurring at the highest echelon. Given the hierarchical organizational culture in which the direction emanates from the top, leaders are indeed in a strong position to influence how their organizations move.

In most, if not all, government and public sector organizations, leaders are equated with the projects they are able to spearhead and to implement. This is often the basis in defining whether the leadership is strong and successful, and whether it has contributed to the growth of the organization.

This is completely understandable. However, as leaders seek to improve their organizations and to give back to their organizations a legacy in which they will be remembered, the continuity of the direction is not an easy thing to attain. Besides, nobody wants to be remembered as the leader who is just good at continuing what has been started.

Moreover, the lack of continuity of the direction can be viewed using the physics concept of inertia contained in Newton’s Laws of Motion and Equilibrium. Following the law of inertia, the object is at rest unless it is acted upon by a force that is stronger enough to cause the object to move. The amount of force applied and the direction of the force cause any of the five situations to occur:

  • The object will move and will continue to move in a constant speed and direction unless it is acted upon by an equal or an opposite force.
  • The object will stop and will reach a state of equilibrium if it attained a net force of zero – both in speed and in direction. Elaborating further, if the object is applied with an equal amount of force but with a direction that runs contrary to the direction of the force in motion, it will stop as a result of a balance of forces on opposite directions.
  • The object will slow down if the opposite force applied to it is not as strong as the force in motion. When faced with a force coming from a contradictory direction, an equal amount of force (with that of the opposite force) is required to push back the effect of the opposite force that will result to a state of equilibrium as presented in the second scenario. The speed of the force is now equal to the net force.
  • The object will move faster when applied with any force that has the same direction. Depending on the amount of force exerted, the object will move faster at a rate that is reflective of the combined power of the two forces sharing the same direction.
  • The object will change direction when applied with a stronger force from a contradictory direction.

The imbalance of forces affecting the object determines its speed, movement, and direction. The same principle follows at forces – both internal and external, and both formal and informal, – that are operating in organizations such as the PA.

When a new project is developed, the strong force for its implementation causes the project to start moving, especially when it is championed by the head of the organization who demonstrates the strongest force. As the term of office of the head of the organization ends, his force decreases, and emerging forces are identified causing a slowdown in the movement of the project. As the new head of the organization takes his place, the thrusts of the new leadership will determine the fate of the project. His decision to carry on the project will cause it to move further (depending on the amount of importance given to it). But the project may completely stop when a strong opposition is given and when the direction changes as a result of the strong force applied.

Often, the change in the importance given to the project is affected by the following opposite forces deterring its success:

  • The direction of the project has not been properly spelled out that the organization is in no position to assess its movement and success.
  • The information is centralized. It is contained at the leadership level or known to a select few. As such, either the information is lost during the transition of power leaving the organization incapable of continuing the project or the absence of information will cause the project to fail brought about by the organization’s inability to maximize its strengths.
  • The link between the project and the activities of the various units is not clear. As such, implementing the project means an additional workload to the units.

Thus, the alignment of the PA to the ATR will strengthen the force applied to consistently and tirelessly move the organization on the road towards its envisioned transformation.

B.      The Strength Of An Aligned Philippine Army

The Compliance Stage of the Performance Governance System (PGS)[vi] intends to align the Philippine Army to the Army Transformation Roadmap. Should the PA be successful in its quest, it will result in four positive improvements:

FIRST: A single and focused strategic direction that is clear and understandable to a wide base of PA stakeholders

The alignment of the PA to the ATR will become the basis of how its various units and offices shall function and operate. Alignment will entail consistency in all undertakings. Accordingly, the ATR must reflect how the PA plans, handles its operations, and relates to its stakeholders.

Involving the different stakeholders can be accomplished through a strong communications plan. This will create awareness that shall translate into the involvement of both the internal and the external stakeholders of the PA. As such, alignment will further define and break down the ATR to create greater understanding and to identify potential areas of collaboration between the PA and the different organizations and sectors it closely works with. In this way, the ATR will become clear and focused, thus, creating a platform for proper execution.

SECOND: Commitment and participation of all PA units, offices, and personnel to the ATR

 The PA made a bold move of expanding the base of participation in formulating the ATR. The Workshop on the Crafting of the Army Transformation Roadmap[vii] enabled a broad base participation of stakeholders in the process: from civilian employees, to enlisted personnel, to junior officers, to field grade officers, and to senior officers. This brought a wide array of experiences and perspectives.

In the same way, the success of the ATR requires an active participation from all PA units, offices, and personnel. Alignment will enable the various units, offices, and personnel to place themselves in a spectrum and to define their contributions to the ATR – finding the right balance among the roles that each play and aligning these roles vis-à-vis the 2028 Vision. In the process, it will integrate the existing activities and projects that are spearheaded by the PA units, offices, and personnel. And in identifying the roles that each plays, opportunities open for committed units, offices, and personnel to participate in putting the 2028 Vision to reality.

THIRD: Accountability, Transparency, and Fairness in all PA Units, Offices, and Personnel

Alignment will not only allow the PA units, offices, and personnel to identify their contributions to the direction of the organization but it will also concretize these contributions through measurable quantities that can be validated and verified. As such, performance accountabilities will be well-defined in the process as all units, offices, and personnel shall have their corresponding answerabilities and identified contributions to make the ATR attainable and successful.

The Executive Director of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA)[viii], Mr. Christian P Zaens, has said countless times that “the scorecard is more than just a report card”. The scorecard is not only a historical chart and a set of indicators that track the performance of the organization with regard to the score sheet. Rather, its presence also signals a change in culture, into one that centers on performance and governance.

Setting up the second-level scorecard infrastructure in all PA offices and units will promote a culture of transparency. Through the scorecard, performance will be regularly monitored and updated, hence, increasing the awareness of a standard that must be constantly met and surpassed. The auditing mechanism embedded in the scorecard will guarantee the integrity of the results and will provide an accurate picture of how the PA as a whole is performing.

The PA offices and units, however, perform different mandates and contribute in different ways to the organization. But this is not to say that one must perform less than the others as it contradicts what the PGS is espousing: governance that delivers performance.

Often, with the presence of a strategic direction that does not directly mirror the operations of a specific office or unit, these offices and units are confronted with the following questions:

  • Am I involved in the PA 2028 Vision?
  • How does my work contribute to the PA 2028 Vision?
  • How about the other things that I am doing but are not directly captured in the PA 2028 Vision?
  • Does this mean I have to drop them? Aren’t they equally important as well?
  • Every office and unit will have their contributions at varying degrees. Does this mean I can perform less?[ix]

These questions suggest that even though the Strategy Map and the Performance Governance Scorecard will determine the success of the PA, it should not be misconstrued as the only yardstick that shall measure its various offices and units. As such, a number of indicators that are rightfully owned by the PA offices and units strategically contribute to the strategic leap in performance at the first level.

The human body serves as a perfect example. The effectiveness of the human body is evaluated based on how it is able to do its functions well. One indicator is the wellness of the body, on how it keeps itself away from sickness and on how it performs its everyday activities. For the body to be effective, all organ systems must completely run their processes well – the circulatory system must circulate all body fluids and nutrients to all body functions; the digestive system must break down intakes into smaller particles for easy absorption; the excretory system must cleanse the body and dispose the body wastes; the respiratory system must take in oxygen and dispose of carbon dioxide; etc.  The measures on the effectiveness of the different organ systems are not singled out to spell the success of the human body.

Therefore, it is not fair for the PA to force measures to its offices and units which are not directly reflective of their mandates. As such, creating second-level scorecards will close the gap as it shall define and break down the ATR and shall farm out accountabilities equitably to suit the functions of the PA offices and units. The performance evaluation component of the second-level scorecards will promote not only excellence in executing the ATR but also fairness through striking the balance between optimum performance and equitable contribution.

FOURTH: Effectiveness and Efficiency of all PA Units, Offices, and Personnel

By increasing awareness in the functions of the PA units, offices, and personnel; coupled by accountability, fairness, participation, and transparency in all units, offices, and personnel; and by building a culture of performance-based governance; alignment will bring about effectiveness and efficiency of all PA units, offices, and personnel.

Alignment will raise consciousness that regardless of how big or small the role of a unit, office, or personnel seemed, it must be performed with utmost effectiveness and efficiency as it shall contribute to the 2028 Vision aspired for by the PA. The second-level scorecards will become the standard of performance.

As a result, all the activities and the projects of the PA units, offices, and personnel will be designed to ensure the attainment of the target level of performance through the creation of mechanisms and systems that shall support the implementation of the ATR.

IN SUMMARY: An aligned PA to the ATR will demonstrate a strong dedication to implement the eighteen-year strategic direction in order to attain the 2028 Vision. Alignment will enable the PA to define the ATR and to translate it into clear and understandable messages that shall encourage commitment and participation of all units, offices, and personnel in which accountabilities will be defined as well as effectiveness and efficiency will be upheld.

Achieving alignment through the PGS will make possible the proper management of the PA in the light of good governance and will bring about breakthrough performances and responsible citizenship of its various units, offices, and personnel. As seen in the Advanced PGS Partners nationwide and in the Hall of Famers Balanced Scorecard Partners worldwide, alignment provides a way by which organizations can respond to their strategies in the best way possible.

C.      The Mechanisms To Align The Philippine Army To The Army Transformation Roadmap

In a recent survey conducted by the Palladium Group, sixty-nine percent of the respondents considered alignment as the most important component of strategy execution yet the hardest to achieve[x]. In the work plan of the Compliance Stage of the Performance Governance System provided by the Institute for Solidarity in Asia, four critical areas of alignment are necessary for strategy execution:

Alignment in Message

The low awareness of the long-term strategic direction being pursued by organizations cripples them of maximizing the contributions and the talents of their members. Communications, hence, play a vital role in getting the organizations to see the direction that must be pursued.

In analyzing the different areas of alignment, the alignment of message serves as the foundation in which the others can rest on – a prerequisite towards ensuring and guaranteeing that the other areas of alignment become successful. Essentially, the Philippine Army must develop a comprehensive communications plan that will propagate greater awareness and commitment to the Army Transformation Roadmap.

In communicating the ATR, four principles of communications must be taken into consideration. These principles are as follows:

FIRST: The message must be clear and compelling.

 The PGS follows the best practice methodology of storytelling which simplifies how things are and how messages are transmitted. For the ATR to leave a strong mark in the minds of the PA stakeholders especially to those who will play crucial roles towards its implementation, Mr. Ferdinand Joseph T Escobal[xi] has given the standard of how it must be communicated. The ATR must be understood even by your sons and daughters.

The ATR, however, must not only be understandable. It must also be compelling. In communicating the ATR, it must reflect the reason why the PA needs to transform. In this way, the PA stakeholders will be provided with the whole spectrum of the ATR – the rationale behind it that will ignite passion to those who shall share in the transformation advocacy.

SECOND: Although consistent, the communications message must fit the target audience

For the communications message to be effective and useful, it must take into account the different target audience and how the message will be received by them. Marketing management principles use the concepts of market segmentation and of tailor-fitted messages to create a strong image that will make the audience receptive to the message that shall be put forward.

Market Segmentation, defined as the identification of portions of the market that are different from one another, allows the firm to better satisfy the needs of its potential customers.[xii] The ATR must be communicated in a way that will address the needs of the PA stakeholders. To the soldiers fighting in far-flung areas, the message must resemble the call for transformation which will provide for more arms and equipment that shall aid in performing their missions. In this way, the vision of a World-Class Army will become relevant. To the potential fund partners, the 2028 Vision must be packaged not as the destination but as a means for the PA to do its functions. In this way, the same vision will address the philanthropic needs that the different organizations may find their interest in. And another kind of message must be prepared for the executive team who looks into the PA through all of its facets.

THIRD: Communicate in more than many ways possible

A successful communications campaign must be varied and present. Communications must take many forms, likewise, must be situated in areas that are visible. ISA noted best practice examples from organizations that are doing the PGS:

  • The Grandstand of the Philippine Military Academy provides a towering reminder of the three core values that the organization holds dear – Loyalty, Integrity, and Courage.
  • The 2020 Vision of the Philippine Navy is emblazoned at the front of its headquarters for everyone to see.
  • The Integrated Transformation Program Audio Visual Presentation of the Philippine National Police is repeatedly played in between conferences.
  • The charter statement, strategy map, and performance governance scorecard are posted on the website of the six National Government Agencies.
  • The large tarpaulins displayed on the various offices of the City Government of Dipolog contain the strategy map of the city.
  • The vision statement is placed on the identification cards of most of the LGU partners.
  • The vision statement is recited during the flag ceremonies of most of the LGU partners.[xiii]

Thus, there are many ways by which the ATR can be communicated depending on the need and the understanding of the PA stakeholders.

FOURTH: Feedback completes the communications loop

Communications activities must be tracked and monitored. Regular testing, through feedback mechanisms, will guarantee that the communications strategy that shall be used by the PA will remain faithful to the ATR and will be generating the expected results. This will provide an objective analysis of the activities that must be continued and of those that must be stopped.

Alignment in expectations and support mechanisms

Public sector organizations are institutions of public trust. They are always being subjected to media attention and to public scrutiny with the different stakeholders determining their success in fulfilling their mandates. This is reflected in the Morong 43 Incident in which the PA was at the limelight of controversies after allegedly detaining a group of volunteers performing medical missions. Though some of the detainees affirmed their affiliation with the leftist movement, the lack of information and support from the external stakeholders has adversely affected the organization.

As such, the external stakeholders can gauge the effectiveness of the PA. An essential portion of the success of the organization will depend on its ability to rally the stakeholders and to build partnerships with them that shall enable the PA to advance its advocacies and to move forward with its vision.

The external stakeholders can provide a number of benefits to the PA, such as:

  • Providing data and information that will serve as good inputs to the ATR;
  • Giving advice and suggestions on how best to implement the ATR;
  • Being gate-openers of opportunities that will make possible the attainment of the strategic objectives and ultimately the vision as outlined in the ATR;
  • Being co-owners of the ATR;
  • Serving as watchdogs to guard the implementation of the ATR and to see through its continuity; and
  • Being the best judge to know whether the PA is successful in executing the ATR and in cementing the PGS through the conduct of quarterly strategic performance report reviews.

Therefore, partnerships with the different stakeholders will allow the PA to leverage on their strengths and to use these strengths as additional force that shall push the ATR forward. In more concrete terms, the external stakeholders will satisfy the following areas of concern:

  • To educate the public on the role that the PA plays, the issues it is faced with, and the milestones it has attained at the course of implementing the ATR through the academe and the media;
  • To lobby for greater government support in undertaking the transformation endeavor which may require budgetary backing and policy reviews through the executive and the legislative branches of the government; and
  • To expand monetary and non-monetary support as well as to allow partnerships and synergies that will advance the PA in fulfilling its 2028 Vision through the business and the international community.

Alignment in Functions

One of the common reasons for failing to execute the strategy is the non-alignment of functions in the organization. A clear and compelling vision statement requires everyone to work towards attaining the strategy. The units within the organization, however, ask the following questions when faced with a new strategy:

  • Am I involved in the vision?
  • How does my work contribute to the attainment of the vision?
  • How about the other things that I am doing but are not directly captured in the vision statement?
  • Does this mean I have to drop them? Aren’t they equally important as well?
  • Every unit will have their contributions at varying degrees. Does this mean I can perform less?[xiv]

These questions arise due to the absence of alignment that will connect the organization’s strategy to how units perform their day-to-day operations. This creates a seeming division between the direction and the functions which should not be the case. If the vision statement sets the strategy governing the overall direction of the organization, it logically follows that as units perform their functions, they contribute to and accomplish the vision.

In order to create focus and synergy instead of confusion in carrying out the functions of the various PA offices and units, their day-to-day operations must be synchronized with that of the ATR. The alignment of functions will address this gap through a process known as cascading.

Cascading will bring the ATR to all PA offices and units. The process of cascading will adhere to the following principles:

  • It acknowledges that the 2028 Vision is a factor of all PA offices and units. The task of implementing the ATR cannot be shouldered by the Commanding General alone.
  • It assumes that all PA offices and units can have well-defined contributions comprehensive enough to cover their mandates.
  • It assumes that all PA offices and units can initiate their own projects that will address the issues they are faced with.

Cascading, hence, will draw an interdependent relationship between the ATR and the operations of the various PA offices and units so as to be responsive to the long-term direction while at the same time to be focused on the functions that must be performed. At the course of aligning the functions, all PA offices and units must address these questions:

  • What is the 2028 Vision telling my office / unit to be?
  • Who are my clients and how can my office / unit best serve them?
  • What is the primary function of my office / unit in the PA? What is the role of my office / unit vis-à-vis the other offices / units in the PA?
  • What are the key deliverables or outputs of my office / unit as mandated?
  • What are the critical tasks that only my office / unit can deliver and perform?
  • Relative to the 2028 Vision, what are the unique tasks that only my office / unit can deliver and perform?  What is the role of my office / unit in the ATR?
  •  What are the issues that my office / unit is faced with?[xv]

The milestone of the cascading process is the creation of second-level scorecards. The second-level scorecards will balance the roles of the various PA offices and units to the ATR. These will also reflect the objectives and the measures that shall determine the effectiveness of the various PA offices and units.

Alignment in Resources

Based on the Balanced Scorecard Framework, the strategy is implemented by implementing the initiatives. Initiatives –defined as key action programs required to reach the target – close the gap between the current and the desired performance (performance gap).[xvi] As such, the selection of the ATR initiatives is crucial to ensure the attainment of the 2028 Vision.

Initiatives, in general, are action plans or strategic projects. To distinguish initiatives from objectives, initiatives require an expense and have a clearly defined start and end dates. Budget and timeliness are the basis in evaluating how the initiatives are being managed. There are two classifications of initiatives depending on the scope of importance:

  •  Strategic Initiatives are not business as usual initiatives. These are projects that define new ways of doing things. These are championed at the leadership team level in order to reach the identified target.
  • Operational Initiatives are championed by second-level units. These are projects that units must continue to do so as not to decrease their performance level. These are projects that can enhance, maintain, and regularize operations or projects that can affect only the second-level units.[xvii]

Whether strategic or operational, implementing the ATR initiatives will be to the benefit of the PA. To make sure of their implementation, the ATR initiatives must be programmed and budgeted. This will guarantee the availability of resources needed to get these projects running.

IV.    CONCLUSION

The Army Transformation Roadmap is slowly gaining ground on the Philippine Army. It has obtained the commitment and the support of the PA leadership. It is also used as a basis for the proposed Army Medium-Term Program to the Department of National Defense, the PA Support Plan to the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Internal Peace and Security Plan, and the PA Annual Operating Plan 2011. But with these come more and tougher challenges of seeing the ATR through.

The ATR has gained a significant ground in so far as its formulation is concerned through the involvement of the various stakeholders representing the cross-section of the PA – from civilian employees, to enlisted personnel, to junior officers, to field grade officers, and to senior officers. The challenge, however, is to make sure that the ATR will not remain on paper only but will be realized as the bible of strategy execution for the envisioned PA-wide transformation.

But with a batting average in which ninety percent of organizations fail to execute their strategies well (system failure)[xviii], strategy execution is indeed a concern. Much of the failure to execute the strategy is a result of the absence of alignment in the organization.

For the PA to attain the 2028 Vision, therefore, it must be aligned to the ATR. Alignment must exist in four aspects namely: message, expectations and support mechanisms, functions, and resources. Through alignment, all PA units, offices, and personnel will work towards implementing the ATR.

The purpose of aligning the PA to the ATR is simple: it just aims to make everyone realize that they have roles to play in attaining the 2028 Vision. By doing their roles well and by keeping a long-term perspective of the ultimate goal that is being pursued, then they will become better performing offices, units, and personnel enabling strong accountability, fairness, and transparency in the organization. And in the process, they will become instruments in attaining the 2028 Vision – a World-Class Army that is a source of national pride by 2028.


[i] Drs. Robert S Kaplan and David P Norton are the creators of the Balanced Scorecard Framework based on a series of research conducted to various organizations worldwide. Their main idea is that strategies must be translated into actions and measures that concisely communicate the vision to the organization. The Balanced Scorecard is useful in planning and implementing reforms, likewise, in transitioning from a clientelistic institution characterized by patronage to an institution with innovative and professional culture. It has the potential to increase accountability, efficiency, responsibility, and transparency by developing strategic plans as well as by opening lines of communication within agencies and the public. And it provides an integrated approach to reforms involving all major constituents – bureaucrats, politicians, and citizens.

[ii] The 2010 Palladium Asia Pacific Summit with the theme: Strategy Execution and Governance for Achieving Breakthrough Performance in the Next Decade was held at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila on 22 – 23 September 2010. Said activity brought thought leadership and practical experience from around the world as well as contributions from Dr. David P Norton and Dr. Jesus P Estanislao.

[iii] Dr. Aniceto B Fontanilla is the Philippine’s Balanced Scorecard – Performance Governance System Guru. His expertise includes Performance Management (including Balanced Scorecard, Activity-Based Costing / Management, and Value-Based Management), Strategic Management, and Predictive Analytics. Dr. Fontanilla led the Philippine Army in formulating its strategy map and performance governance scorecard.

[iv] Lifted directly from the Performance Governance System: Using the Balanced Scorecard Framework Lecture of Dr. Aniceto B Fontanilla. Said lecture was presented during the Workshop on the Crafting of the Army Transformation Roadmap.

[v] Lifted directly from the Alignment Definition of the New Webster’s Dictionary

[vi] The Performance Governance System is a recognized Philippine adaptation of the Balanced Scorecard. The PGS is a management process that guides strategy execution. It meets the good governance and responsible citizenship needs for performance breakthrough results; for governance that is institution-focused, long-term, strategic, and interconnected; and for system that has continuous and sustained efforts with quarterly assessments and recalibrations.

[vii] The Workshop on the Crafting of the Army Transformation Roadmap was held at the Sunrise Holiday Mansion, Royale Tagaytay Estates, Alfonso, Cavite, Metro Tagaytay on 19 – 23 April 2010. 49 participants composed of 11 members of the ATR Technical Working Group and Workshop Secretariat and 38 members of the Army Consultative Group attended the said activity. The outputs of the activity were the following: the Army Charter Statement composed of core values, core purpose, and vision; the Army Strategy Map composed of strategic objectives, perspectives, and themes; and the CGPA Performance Governance Scorecard composed of measures and targets.

[viii] The Institute for Solidarity in Asia is a collaborative network of sector leaders, public officials, and citizens committed to good governance and responsible citizenship in all aspects and in all levels in the society. It uses the four-stage Governance Pathway as a mechanism to institutionalize performance-based governance and to allow organizations to be responsive to their mandates and to the people, which in turn will build stronger organizations. The Institute for Solidarity in Asia is the Philippine Army’s consultant in institutionalizing the Army Transformation Roadmap and the Performance Governance System in the organization.

[ix] Based on the Achieving Alignment: Aligning the Organization to the Strategy Lecture of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia. Said lecture was presented during the ATR Cascading Workshop for OG5, PA.

[x] The study was presented by Dr. David P Norton during the 2010 Palladium Asia Pacific Summit.

[xi] Mr. Ferdinand Joseph T Escobal has over twenty-five years of strategy and reputation management experience with leading conglomerates in Asia, international management consultants, and international development institutions. In 2007, he founded the True North Strategic, a pioneering guide service in Asia for CEOs and their non-profit equivalents as they attempt to transform themselves based on the concepts of Jim Collins’ books “Good to Great” and “Built to Last”. Mr. Escobal led the Philippine Army in identifying its core ideology, core strengths, and strategic direction.

[xii] Lifted directly from the Market Segmentation Definition of the NetMBA Business Knowledge Center.

[xiii] Based on the Interview with Mr. Jeremy John A Pintor, the Program Officer of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia.

[xiv] Lifted directly from the Achieving Alignment: Aligning the Organization to the Strategy Lecture of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia.

[xv] Based on the Achieving Alignment: Aligning the Organization to the Strategy Lecture of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia.

[xvi] Lifted directly from the Achieving Alignment: Aligning the Organization to the Strategy Lecture of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia.

[xvii] Based on the Achieving Alignment: Aligning the Organization to the Strategy Lecture of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia.

[xviii] Based on the Performance Governance System: Using the Balanced Scorecard Framework Lecture of Dr. Aniceto B Fontanilla.

REFERENCES

Burton, T.T. & Moran, J.W. (1995). The Future-Focused Organization: Complete Organizational Alignment for Break through Results.  New Jersey, USA: Prentice-Hall PTR.

Harvard Business School (2005). Managing Change to Reduce Resistance. Boston, Massachusetts, USA: Harvard Business School Press.

Kaplan, R.S. & Norton, D.P. (2006). Alignment: Using the Balanced Scorecard to Create Corporate Synergies. Boston, Massachusetts, USA: Harvard Business School Press.

Kaplan, R.S. & Norton, D.P. (2004). Strategy Maps: Converting Intangible Assets into Tangible Outcomes. Boston, Massachusetts, USA: Harvard Business School Press.

Kaplan, R.S. & Norton, D.P. (2001). Strategy Focused Organization: How Balanced Scorecard Companies Thrive in the New Business Environment. Boston, Massachusetts, USA: Harvard Business School Press.

Kaplan, R.S. & Norton, D.P. (1996). The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action. Boston, Massachusetts, USA: Harvard Business School Press.

Labovitz, G.H. & Rosansky, V. (1997). The Power of Alignment: How Great Companies Stay Centered and Accomplish Extraordinary Things. New York, USA: Wiley Press.

Fontanilla, A.B. (2010). Performance Governance System: Using the Balanced Scorecard Framework Lecture. Philippines: Institute for Solidarity in Asia.

Pintor, J.A. (2010). Achieving Alignment: Aligning the Organization to the Strategy Lecture. Philippines: Institute for Solidarity in Asia.

Basic Anatomy – Tissues and Organs. http://web.jjay.cuny.edu/-acarpi/NSC/14-anatomy.htm (accessed December 2010)

Definition: Market Segmentation. http://www.netmba.com/marketing/market/segmentation/. (accessed December 2010)

Newton’s Laws of Motion and Equilibrium. http://www.britannica.com/newtons-laws-of-motion-and-equilibrium.htm. (accessed December 2010)

Newton’s Laws.  http://www.zonalandeducation.com/mstm/physics/mechanics/forces/newton/newton.htm. (accessed December 2010)


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