FINDING YOUR PLACE IN THE STRATEGY: Cascading the Army Transformation Roadmap to Philippine Army Offices and Units
The cascading process will draw an interdependent relationship between the goals of the Army Transformation Roadmap (ATR) and the operations of the various PA offices and units. Accordingly, it will create focus and synergy instead of confusion in carrying out the functions of the PA offices and units. Moreover, it will result to the responsiveness of the Philippine Army as a whole to the long-term strategic direction.
Dramatic shifts in transformation occur on organizations which have exercised strategic focus and alignment in functions. These enable units to independently perform their tasks well and which when aggregated sum up to a high level of effectiveness seen and felt in the entire organization.
New models of leadership and management techniques point to the same direction – signaling a shift from control and supervision to autonomy and empowerment. Michael Irwin Meltzer, Louis Mischkind, and David Sirota assert that the [absolute] command and control style is a sure-fire path to demotivation.[i] While centralized decision-making guards the quality of work and results to a more consistent implementation of policies, this approach does not work on large-scale organizations with varied functions and operating in several geographical areas such as the Philippine Army (PA). Imagine if all the functions of the organization down to the hiring of civilian employees, the issuance of communications, and the publication of journals would have to be done by the CGPA, the number of decisions that must be made and the volume of transactions that must be acted upon will necessarily be compromised.
For this reason, functions must be distributed to a wide array of individuals who are more capable and knowledgeable in performing such tasks. In this way, the scope of responsibility will increase. And more decisions and transactions, of different concerns and kinds, will be made and acted upon by the organization.
While the distribution of functions has its own set of advantages, it however allows turf issues and areas of misalignment to arise. This is especially true for big organizations with clearly identified roles to portray. Their units may run the risk of operating in silos characterized by uncoordinated functions resulting to duplication of programs and projects as well as wastage of resources and time.
Organizations, therefore, are faced with the inherent need to find the right balance or mix between control and autonomy, and between supervision and empowerment. Several approaches have been adopted to spell the balance such as decentralization of authority and open door policy. These approaches empower middle managers to take a more proactive role in so far as the management of functions is concerned.
The same principle is carried and reflected in the Performance Governance System (PGS) particularly in the process of aligning the functions of the units of the organization. This process is known as CASCADING.
II. RATIONALE FOR CASCADING
The accurate description of the cascading process is as follows:
Cascading a balanced scorecard means to translate the corporate-wide scorecard (referred to as Tier 1) down to first business units, support units, or departments and then to teams or individuals. The end result should be focus across all levels of the organization that is consistent. The organization’s alignment should be clearly visible through the strategy.[ii]
Basically, cascading allows the organization to effectively manage its strategy by sharing the accountability to all units. It also enables greater focus, stronger integration, and synergism. Hence, the accomplishment of the strategic direction depends mainly on the ability of the organization to get everyone to work in realizing its vision.
The Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA) illustrated the strategy implementation gap between the organization’s strategy and its day-to-day operations through the following statistics:
- Only ten percent of organizations 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 organizations’ strategy. Furthermore, less than thirty percent of these senior managers believe their organizations’ strategy is effectively implemented.
- Only ten percent of employees surveyed can describe the key elements of their organizations’ strategy.[iii]
These statistics point to the low awareness level of the strategy and the absence of a link to the budget. Moreover, these suggest that the strategy is not institutionalized and the actions of the organization are not anchored on it resulting to difficulty in implementation.
Consequently, problems arise when dissociating to the strategy being implemented. If the strategy is neither explained nor handled well, then it can be divisive and can result to non-performance of some units. Often, a number of questions occur in the minds of the individuals associated with the strategy. These questions include:
- Am I involved in the vision?
- How does my work contribute to the vision?
- How about the other things that I am doing but that are not directly captured in the vision?
- Does this mean I have to drop them? Aren’t they equally important as well?
- Every unit will have their respective contributions at varying degrees; does this mean I can perform less?[iv]
The presence of these questions indicates the absence of alignment in the organization as well as the need to prioritize the alignment of the functions of the units. Achieving full alignment in functions through the cascading process will allow units to focus on the strategy in the light of performing their respective tasks – strategy as an integral component and not as an entirely different component.
The benefits of the full alignment in functions cannot be discounted. Apart from the impact it will generate through the setting up of performance standards, cascading will also solidify the base for the other mechanisms of alignment to take place and shape in the organization.
When the functions of the units of the organization are aligned to the strategy, the alignment in resources will be much easier. The choice of operational and strategic initiatives to be funded and implemented will be based on the identification of programs and projects that can bring about the expected positive results, likewise, can contribute to the attainment of the performance commitments agreed upon.
In the same way, the alignment in personnel incentives for performance can capitalize on the full alignment in functions. The second-level scorecards particularly the performance targets can be used as a reference for managing the performance of personnel. Cascading will set up one framework to uniformly guide the actions of all personnel in the organization.
The process of aligning the functions of the units of the organization to the strategy will increase the level of awareness of these units. Whether it is in a simple form of understanding the strategic direction or in a more detailed form of examining how the strategy works, cascading will bring about an alignment in message. It will only be through the effectiveness of the communication campaigns and the proper comprehension of the communication messages that the units can be able to build their scorecards.
As a result, it will be much easier for the organization to sell its brand due to a consistent and closely-tied strategic focus permeating all actions. And it will be much easier to align the expectations of the external stakeholders as they touch-base with the units of the organization.
These are the raison d’être behind the cascading process.
III. TYPES OF CASCADING
The full alignment in functions is achieved following the systematic process of cascading. As it is methodical in plan and procedure, cascading requires clarity of the first-level strategic direction which will be the basis for the second-level scorecards. The latter will be dependent on the quality of the first-level scorecard produced.
Second-level units are easily identified through the organizational chart. These units directly report to the head of the organization in which the latter exercises complete domain and supervision. Cascading the strategy to the second-level units, nonetheless, will depend on their classification. It is imperative for the organization to categorize these units in order to determine the type of cascading required and guarantee the accuracy and excellence of scorecard produced.
Usually, the classification of the second-level units is determined by their nature. The following are the areas to be considered in identifying the nature of these units:
- The structure and role of the organization;
- The primary mandate and functions of the units; and
- The expected outputs delivered by the units.[v]
Based on these areas, second-level units are categorized either as operating units (vertical cascading units) or as supporting units (horizontal cascading units).
Consequently, the classification of the second-level units will determine whether the organization shall follow a vertical or horizontal type of cascading. Organizations, though, are not confined with only one type of the cascading process. The vertical and horizontal types of cascading can co-exist at the same time. In fact, the PA is a good example of an organization with both types of the cascading process present.
A. Vertical Cascading
Vertical cascading applies to second-level units which directly share the mandate; likewise, perform almost the same functions as those of the first-level unit. These units are co-accountable with the first-level unit in producing the expected results and reaching the specified targets. In effect, these units mirror even the organizational structure of the first-level unit in order to deliver the same outputs as those of the latter.
The vertical cascading units of the PA are its operating units – the Infantry Divisions, the Light Armor Division, the Special Operations Command, the Engineering Brigades, the Army Artillery Regiment, the Army Reserve Command, the Army Support Command, and the Training and Doctrine Command. The commanders of these units are co-accountable with the Commanding General (CGPA) in guaranteeing that the organization is operationally ready to perform the missions and tasks by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Department of National Defense (DND). In doing so, the operating units also have their respective line staff.
In a vertical type of cascading, the second-level units adopt almost the same objectives and measures as those of the first-level unit. There are only minor revisions in format and probably little insertions to include the uniqueness of the geographical area being covered by the unit. For instance, the concerns of field units in Mindanao where internal security operations are adamant differ from the concerns of field units in other areas where aggression cases are minimal. The same holds true for field units in areas where political activities are heated and in areas that are coastal by nature. The uniqueness of the geographical area being covered by the unit can be captured by introducing new objectives and measures.
The usual approach to vertical cascading involves the creation of scorecard templates for the different levels of command (division, brigade, battalion, company, etc). The working sessions are carried out to do target setting which necessitates the approval at the executive leadership level.
The field units of the PA, however, have a distinct characteristic that is not found on the other second-level units of the organization: the presence of two first-level units – the PA and the AFP – to which they report to. The latter, which oversees all three major service commands, has the prerogative to hand down missions and tasks directly to these units especially if it shall require a joint and concerted effort with the other major services. In doing the vertical type of cascading, therefore, the demands of both the PA and the AFP must be taken into account.
B. Horizontal Cascading
Horizontal cascading applies to second-level units which have a different mandate as that of the first-level unit. These units cannot represent the organization for their functions are rather limited in scope and cannot be divorced to the first-level unit. In the process of creating value to the stakeholders, the outputs of these units form part of a continuum and are essential in achieving the strategic direction of the organization.
The horizontal cascading units of the PA are its supporting units – the General, Personal, and Special and Technical Staff of the CGPA. These units provide assistance, primarily in the fields of administration and logistics, to sustain the operating units of the organization. These units cannot represent the PA; nonetheless, their outputs are essential in carrying out the functions of the organization.
Unlike the vertical cascading process of using scorecard templates, the horizontal cascading process cannot be templated. The usual approach to horizontal cascading requires the clarification of the roles of the supporting units in order to come up with objectives that will match their functions alongside the objectives of the first-level unit. For instance, the first-level objective ‘responsive to the needs of the AFP’ is translated to ‘timely, accurate, and relevant Intelligence’ by OG2, PA; ‘operationally ready Army units’ by OG3, PA; ‘effective and relevant plans useful for the organization’ by OG5, PA; ‘relevant CMO policies’ by OG7, PA; and ‘well-educated and trained personnel and units’ by OG8, PA. Though different in scope, these second-level objectives play a significant role in enabling the organization to be the Army envisioned in the Army Transformation Roadmap (ATR).
A Special Study: Classifying the Objectives
From the discussions of both the vertical and horizontal types of cascading, it is apparent that the nature of the units affects how first-level objectives are translated to second-level objectives. The Institute for Solidarity in Asia has identified four kinds of objectives which include the following:
Identical Objectives apply when the second-level unit can directly and entirely own the first-level objective without altering its main purpose. Although the area of where the objective applies may be limited to where the second-level unit operates, the essence of the objective is still preserved. Often, identical objectives or shared objectives between the first and second level units are seen in the learning and growth perspective as well as the resource management perspective.
Contributory Objectives apply when the second-level unit can indirectly contribute to the attainment of the first-level objective in the process of performing its inherent mandate and functions. However, the said unit cannot be made accountable for attaining the first-level objective.
Not Applicable Objectives apply when a particular objective that is prioritized and given utmost importance at the first-level unit cannot be implemented at the second-level unit. This arises due to the difference in mandate and functions between the first and second level units.
New Objectives apply when first-level objectives do not suffice to cover the entire operations of the second-level unit. These objectives are necessary for the second-level unit to address its concerns and to determine its effectiveness and efficiency. Nonetheless, these objectives are not organization-wide concerns.[vi]
The kind of objectives adopted by the second-level units depends on the latter’s nature of operations. Differences in concerns to be prioritized are understandable as first-level concerns transition to second-level concerns. This means that strategic concerns become more detailed, operational, and tactical when going down the organizational chart.
As a general rule, vertical cascading units adopt identical objectives and measures though their targets may be different depending on the area of jurisdiction. The first-level measure ‘overall operational readiness’ covering the five key measurement areas of equipment, facilities, maintenance, personnel, and training can be adopted by all field units. Conversely, horizontal cascading units can be accountable to a particular key measurement area only – overall equipment, facilities, and maintenance readiness by OG4 and OG6, PA; overall personnel readiness by OG1, PA; and overall training readiness by OG8, PA.
Concisely, the scorecards of the second-level units must capture their mandate and functions. More so, these scorecards must be in synch with the needs of the organization and must be contributory to the strategic direction.
IV. FACTORS AFFECTING THE CASCADING PROCESS
In as much as it is to the benefit of the organization to proceed with a full alignment in functions, the cascading process is not as easy as a snap of a finger. Results of a study presented before the international community during the 2010 Palladium Asia Pacific Summit[vii] reveal that alignment is among the hardest to achieve. On the average, organizations take around two to four years before a full alignment in functions is achieved. The following are the factors affecting the cascading process:
A. Openness of the Organization
Leadership support is essential in the cascading process. It calls for the buy-in and participation of all the leaders of the organization.
For the PA, the cascading process must be welcomed by all chiefs and commanders as they shall be accountable for whatever commitments and targets will be spelled out in the second-level scorecards. In effect, the resistance on the part of these leaders will derail the process.
As such, the guidance and participation of the CGPA will play a primordial role in shaping the commitment of the PA chiefs and commanders. Sans the buy-in and endorsement of the CGPA, the cascading process will not work.
B. Complexity of Operations
The extent of the cascading process depends on the complexity of operations, on the organization’s structure and functions. Take the case of the PA in which the second-level units are its operating units and supporting units. Both these types of units directly report to the CGPA.
On one hand, the operating units derive their mandates and perform critical missions both from the PA and the AFP. In creating second-level scorecards for these units, it is imperative to find the right mix that will consider both their contributions to the CGPA and the Chief of Staff, AFP.
On the other hand, the supporting units perform a diversity of functions covering personnel management, intelligence, operations, logistics support, civil military operations, education and training, resource management, etc. Achieving alignment in functions will demand guiding these units to come up with scorecards that shall reflect their contributions to the PA and shall consider the uniqueness of their functions as separate but coordinating units.
With these inputs, achieving functional alignment in the PA will demand more time and expertise. The cascading process requires a parallel initiative to cover both the operating units and the supporting units in the organization.
C. Size and Reach of Operations
Corollary to the complexity of operations is the size and reach of operations. Cascading to an office with ten people is definitely different from cascading to a big organization with hundreds of thousands of people. The difference is seen by the number of sessions that must be conducted and scorecards that must be produced which increases with the number of units created and the number of areas covered.
In the case of the PA, as the largest military service unit of the AFP and operating in all regions of the country, achieving full alignment in functions will take longer to complete and will require a stronger handholding process.
V. CHALLENGES TO THE CASCADING PROCESS
The PA is affected by these factors. It is faced with the enormous task of bringing information and creating stronger awareness on the ATR to units outside of the headquarters. Furthermore, the operations of the PA is characterized as inherently complex due to the size of the organization, the nationwide presence of the Army, and the composition of the organization – different units performing different functions. As a result, the limitations to the cascading process include:
A. Limitation in Resources
One of the biggest challenges to the cascading process is the availability of resources. Organizing cascading sessions would entail financing the administrative and logistical requirements of these activities, likewise, travel requirements of the individuals involved.
B. Limitation in Time
With the absence of an Office for Strategy Management (OSM) to take care of the alignment functions on a full-time basis, the PA finds it difficult to go full-swing with the cascading process as it would require spending time – both on the part of the individuals who will undertake the alignment functions and on the part of the second-level units which will undergo the cascading process.
Recalling the experiences of the PA in conducting working sessions, one of the problems it is faced with is requiring the presence of key personnel.
C. Limitation in Expertise and Manpower
Cascading follows a technical process as prescribed in the PGS, processes that are new to the PA. As such, it is natural for the organization to experience what is termed to as the ‘learning curve’. In effect, the PA has to build up its capability and competency in performing the inherent functions brought about by the scorecard framework.
Expertise and manpower requirements cover not only the demands on the cascading sessions but also the implications of setting up the scorecard infrastructure. The actual test of the usefulness of the scorecard lies on its accuracy as a guide in making real-time critical decisions. As such, it is imperative that the PA gains expertise in tracking the scorecards and in ensuring that each of the actual performance data is complete and precise so as to reflect the current state of the organization and substantiate assumptions. If on the average, the scorecard has twenty performance measures distributed in twelve strategic objectives, the technical requirement is multiplied by the number of scorecard that will be set up.
Therefore, the cascading process must consider both the realities of the PA and the limitations it is faced with. The consideration of the resources, time, and expertise and manpower requirements of doing the cascading will guide the organization in plotting the plan to achieve functional alignment. Because of the existing limitations, the PA must be selective and strategic in its approach of the units who will cascade first and the pace by which the cascading process will be undertaken.
VI. THE ARMY CASCADING PHILOSOPHY
The Army Cascading Philosophy pertains to the approach being used by the PA in aligning the second-level units to the ATR. In designing the cascading philosophy for the organization, four essential components are taken into consideration:
Impact, in which the PA must target units that will create a strong impact in the organization. In most cases, organizations are looking at high performing units which have the potential to create a strong effect in terms of outputs produced, likewise, to encourage other units in seriously pursuing their scorecards.
Contribution, in which the identification of units is referred to the Army Strategy Map, the CGPA Performance Governance Scorecard, and the ATR Strategic Initiatives. The PA must select units which will be directly accountable to the performance targets that shall be reached as well as the programs and projects that shall be deployed.
Willingness, in which the identification of units is based on their willingness to participate in the scorecard process. According to Malcolm T Gladwell, the individuals in the organization are often distributed following a bell curve – from willingness to unwillingness in accepting and implementing change. At one end of the spectrum are the innovators who lead in the change aspect and the early adopters who open the organization for change. At the other end of the spectrum are cavemen (constantly against virtually everything) who are totally against any form of change and laggards who need thousands of evidences before accepting change.[viii] On this regard, it is best for the PA to capitalize on units which display openness to the ATR and are readily available to contribute towards its success.
Control, in which the PA must target units that are within a strong control of the leadership so as to accurately gauge and track the success of the cascading process.
On the basis of these criteria, the ATR Technical Working Group headed by the Assistant Chief of Staff for Plans, G5, PA has selected twelve supporting units as the pilot units to undergo the cascading process because of four important considerations:
- First, In consideration of the parallel initiative of the AFP to undertake the PGS. It is best to wait for the AFP to set up its own strategy map and scorecard that shall also serve as reference in doing the scorecards of the operating units;
- Second, in consideration of the cost. It is best for the PA to cascade first to the headquarters which may not require greater administrative and logistical requirements so as to complete the necessary outputs.
- Third, in consideration of the extent of awareness and knowledge to the ATR. The twelve supporting units are selected given their prior exposure to and competent command over the ATR. Moreover, the ownership of the scorecard and the strategic initiatives are at the headquarters level.
- And fourth, in consideration to the impact that will be derived from the cascading process. Policies (i.e. how personnel are to be distributed, how missions are to be carried out, and how resources are to be distributed and maximized) which are implemented by field units emanate at the headquarters. Taking this into account, stronger impact is created when a strong alignment to the strategic direction within the headquarters is showcased and when policies are aligned with the ATR. And when it is the turn of the field units to cascade, these units can even work on the existing scorecards at the headquarters as basis for setting their strategic direction.
It is true that the cascading process is a long and arduous journey of setting the accountabilities among the second-level units of the PA. The journey will be even more difficult as it is envisioned for the alignment in functions to reach as far as the lower-level units and finally the personnel. However, the choice of the PA to go to the process of cascading is reflective of the relevance of the ATR to the organization.
The full alignment in functions may be among the most challenging tasks to achieve as literatures will describe it. Nonetheless, it is attainable as long as there is commitment and focus from all units and personnel of the PA.
[i] Lifted from the Why Your Employees Are Losing Motivation Article. Said article was published in the Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge for Business Leaders Forum on 10 April 2006.
[ii] Lifted from the Cascading Process Definition of the Balanced Scorecard Institute.
[iii] 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.
[iv] 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.
[v] Based on the discussions during the PGS Compliance Orientation Meeting participated by the staff of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia and the members of the ATR Technical Working Group.
[vi] Based on the Post Compliance Workshop Handouts for the PGS Partner of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia.
[vii] 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.
[viii] Based on The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference Book of Malcolm T Gladwell. Said book was cited by the Institute for Solidarity in Asia during the 2010 Associates Boot Camp held at Naga City, Camarines Sur.
Burton, T.T. & Moran, J.W. (1995). The Future-Focused Organization: Complete Organizational Alignment for Break through Results. New Jersey, USA: Prentice-Hall PTR.
Gladwell, M.T. (2000). The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference.USA: Little Brown.
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. & Rosansky, V. (1997). The Power of Alignment: How Great Companies Stay Centered and Accomplish Extraordinary Things. New York, USA: Wiley Press.
Pintor, J.A. (2010). Post Compliance Workshop Handouts for the PGS Partner. 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.
Zaens, C.P. (2011). Achieving Alignment Lecture. Philippines: Institute for Solidarity in Asia.
Balanced Scorecard Institute. Cascading Process Definition. www.balancedscorecard.org (Accessed March 2011).
Meltzer, M.; Mischkind, L.; & Sirota, D. (2006). Why Your Employees are Losing Motivation. http://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/5289.html. (Accessed March 2011).
WORKING TOWARDS A SINGLE DIRECTION: Achieving Alignment Towards the Strong Execution of the Army Transformation Roadmap
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.
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.
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THE ARMY TRANSFORMATION ROADMAP IS THE SHINING LIGHT GUIDING THE PHILIPPINE ARMY TOWARDS ITS 2028 VISION OF A WORLD CLASS ARMY THAT IS A SOURCE OF NATIONAL PRIDE.
The initiative to transform is not new to the Philippine Army (PA) as an organization. The PA has been receptive to various transformation initiatives designed to bring about institutional reforms in the organization. The Department of National Defense (DND) remains proactive in launching and enforcing these reforms that are conceived to effect dramatic changes on how military organizations conduct their business, likewise, move forward. The most noteworthy institutional reforms being championed by DND in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and its major services include the following:
- The continued implementation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program;
- The institutionalization of the Philippine Defense Reform Program; and
- The institutionalization of the Defense System of Management.
These reforms are aimed at addressing the various needs of military organizations by looking into their capabilities, conduct of missions, and critical processes.
Best practices require an examination of initiatives as a closely knitted approach towards carrying out the envisaged changes. Quoting directly from the Balanced Scorecard Collaborative (BSCol) Research[i] published in March 2006, “organizations with a formal strategy execution process in place DRAMATICALLY OUTPERFORM those without formal processes”.
Using these findings as a starting point for further discussions, it is therefore not enough that programs and projects (and even looking at their potential impact) have been identified.
These programs and projects must be situated and referred to using a common framework – a common platform – that ties the entire strategy execution process of the PA and all of its initiatives together. This is what the Performance Governance System (PGS) of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA) intends to bring into the PA – a single and unifying governance framework through which all the current and the envisaged initiatives of the organization will be anchored into.
A single and unifying governance framework for the PA will offer two significant benefits to the organization, namely focused governance communications and focused strategy execution.
FOCUSED GOVERNANCE COMMUNICATIONS
This will allow the PA to echo and cascade a single governance initiative. Also, this will allow the PA to accurately describe all of its initiatives as mechanisms to accomplish the said initiative that will cut across all units in the organization. In turn, it will be easier to galvanize the support of all units by referring to a single yet highly strategic governance initiative that will spell the direction of the organization.
FOCUSED STRATEGY EXECUTION
A single and unifying governance framework puts more focus in strategy execution as all units will look only into a single governance initiative. Activities and components of the PA will be anchored on the said initiative. Hence, the units need not be confused which of the initiatives must be given more attention. The PGS introduces a mechanism that will enable the units to see how initiatives are aligned to certain commitments and performance measures in the governance framework.
THE STRATEGY EXECUTION PROCESS
Relating the presence of a strategy execution process to the Philippine Army, a study was made by the Institute for Solidarity in Asia on this matter – referred to as the Strategy Focused Organization (SFO) Survey.[ii] The objective of the study was to benchmark the existing strategy systems of the PA to the five SFO Principles, namely:
- Mobilize change for executive leadership;
- Translate the strategy into operations terms;
- Align the organization around its strategy;
- Motivate to make the strategy everyone’s job; and
- Govern to make the strategy a continual process.[iii]
These principles are a compilation of the best practices spanning from an analysis of progressive private and public organizations around the world that have demonstrated breakthrough performances as a result of proper systems in strategy execution. Thus, a sincere response on the study will reveal the quality of the strategy execution systems of the PA vis-à-vis the successful strategy focused organizations in the world.
Quoting from the results of the SFO Survey conducted by ISA to the PA:
“The reported SFO Readiness Profile of the Philippine Army shows that in all of the five SFO Principles, the readiness is below the average… The impression on the presence of gaps on these areas is shared and observed across all ranks and composition of the organization who participated in the survey…”[iv]
ISA, however, mentioned that while the results may seem not ideal, these are common not only to organizations in the Philippines such as the PA but also to other organizations around the world.
In a study made by Drs. Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton[v], ONLY 10% of effectively formulated strategies are executed properly and successfully. This research validates why STRATEGY EXECUTION is considered the single most important issue facing organizations today, more than financial performance and risk management.
This highlights the need for a single and unifying governance framework that will see through the implementation of the Army Transformation Roadmap (ATR) and the cementing of its execution in the PA.
THE PERFORMANCE GOVERNANCE SYSTEM
The Assistant Chief of Staff for Plans and Policy, G5, PA conceptualized the Army Transformation Roadmap in compliance to the Command Guidance[vi] issued by the Commanding General of the Philippine Army. The ATR project is anchored on the Institute for Solidarity in Asia’s Performance Governance System for three reasons:
- The principles of the Army Transformation Roadmap are consistent with the principles behind the Performance Governance System.
- The envisaged benefits and changes through the Performance Governance System will magnify the gains of the Philippine Army following the governance framework.
- The success stories of other partners show the competency and the credibility of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia in terms of its command over applying the Performance Governance System to its partners.
Furthermore, the PGS of ISA is a recognized Philippine adaptation of the Balanced Scorecard (BSC). It has the same principles but with culture-sensitive practices. It is designed to help organizations execute their transformation initiatives that will bring about breakthrough results.
In determining whether the PGS is the best Strategy Execution Process that fits to the general requirements of the ATR, three considerations were made:
- What is the Performance Governance System?
- What does the Performance Governance System envision to accomplish?
- Why the Performance Governance System of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia?
WHAT IS THE PERFORMANCE GOVERNANCE SYSTEM?
The Performance Governance System emphasizes on three critical aspects needed by organizations such as the Philippine Army in this day and age. These are Performance, Governance, and System.
PERFORMANCE demands the delivery of the expected level of results from a clear set of measures, targets, and initiatives that serves as a yardstick for measuring and evaluating the success of the organization. The objective of performance is to veer away from a word-based reporting of progress towards a score-based reporting of progress that can easily be validated.
The establishment of a common scorecard system acceptable to the stakeholders will benefit the PA in two ways:
- This will allow the organization to be transparent in its conduct of business, in the same way, to be accountable to certain targets that are deemed valuable to the stakeholders.
- This will enable the organization to report on performance gains and on historical performance progression through objective scores and data that can be subjected to public scrutiny and validation.
In effect, there will be a common scorecard system to judge whether the PA is a highly performing organization or not.
GOVERNANCE gives greater emphasis on the institutions more than the personalities. Governance-practicing institutions adhere to the three principles of governance[vii] to which the PGS is built on. These governance principles are as follows:
FIRST AND FOREMOST: People have to be convinced that they cannot get good governance unless they complement it with responsible citizenship.[viii]
For governance to work in the PA, it is necessary that governance must be perceived as a responsibility of all units forming the organization: the top leadership, the senior officers, the field grade officers, the junior officers, the enlisted personnel, the civilian employees, and the reservists. Governance initiatives must be synchronized in which reforms are championed and shared in all levels in the organization.
The candles of governance must be lighted and seen in all levels in the PA to create pockets of success that will radiate ever so strongly and will continue to burn allowing the governance campaign to thrive. It is clear that GOVERNANCE IS NOT SOLELY THE CRUSADE OF THE TOP LEADERSHIP. IT WORKS BEST ONLY WHEN IT IS COUPLED BY RESPONSIBLE CITIZENSHIP.
SECOND: There is much more to good governance than simply giving and doling out various ‘goodies’ to constituents; there is also the corresponding duty of asking for civic participation and social involvement.[ix]
Governance calls for getting involved with the stakeholders. For public sector organizations, governance demands the organization not only to do acts of goodness but also to respond directly to its mandate – on the service to the stakeholders that it must produce.
For this to be attainable, it is inherently essential for the PA to work closely with the stakeholders in pursuit of such undertaking. The stakeholders can be effective governance partners of the organization. They can also perform a number of roles, such as:
- Being the best judge to know whether the Philippine Army is contributing to the society or not;
- Providing data and information that will serve as good inputs to the strategy development process;
- Serving as watchdogs to guard the execution of programs and projects and to see through the continuity of the governance strategy;
- Being co-owners of the governance strategy; and
- Serving as gate-openers of opportunities that will make possible the attainment of planned targets.
THIRD: Words, slogans, and rhetoric are great but only if they are connected with and lead to corresponding actions that provide the desired outcomes.[x]
In other words, governors and governed as well as public officials and responsible citizens must observe a system by which they can translate their common aspirations for their community to specific commitments and initiatives. These must aim at targets which are measured, regularly assessed, and duly reported for the information of all.[xi]
The Institute for Solidarity in Asia advocates a culture of governance promoting responsible citizenship in all aspects and in all levels in the organization. The culture of governance is attuned towards building synergistic partnerships with the stakeholders to drive aspirations and performances through a clear set of commitments and initiatives coupled by an action-based plan.
The culture of governance will bring about these transformations:
Governance, therefore, transcends personalities with focus on institutions. As the PGS aspires to become the governance framework of the PA in active partnership with the stakeholders, it focuses on programs and projects that can continue beyond the current leadership and can survive the changes in the command. These programs and projects can be mechanisms to build a better and stronger PA.
In effect, perspectives are changed from short-term to long-term resulting in the creation of proactive strategies that address interconnected issues and not of reactive tactics that address mainly a single issue.
SYSTEM requires situating all activities and components of the PA as mechanisms in reinforcing the strategic direction that the organization intends to pursue. This necessitates:
- Looking at the strategic direction of the Philippine Army and relating it to the organization’s current operations;
- Linking all the systems of the Philippine Army to work on the strategy; and
- Allowing the long-term strategy of the Philippine Army to determine the short-term direction that will be pursued by the organization.
Deliberating through systems will increase the awareness on how the PA and its elements must be analyzed drawing on a stronger command of the cause and effect relationship among the elements of the organization – Core Values, Mission, Vision, Strategy Map, Governance Scorecard, Units and Offices, Internal and External Stakeholders, Strategic Priorities, and Performance Reports. This is best seen by looking at the various perspectives governing organizations in general:
Concisely, the Performance Governance System 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.
WHAT DOES THE PERFORMANCE GOVERNANCE SYSTEM ENVISION TO ACCOMPLISH?
MAIN THING, the Performance Governance System envisions to bring about breakthrough results in good governance and responsible citizenship in the Philippine Army. This is possible through the various systems that will be installed in the organization as a result of using the governance framework.
The benefits of the PGS are distributed on the four-stage Governance Pathway, namely: Initiation, Compliance, Proficiency, and Institutionalization. Each of these stages contributes to the continuing initiative to formalize the governance culture that is being envisaged for PGS partners.
THE PGS INITIATION STAGE kicks off the process of the governance culture in the organization. The PGS provides the infrastructure for public officials and citizens to work together in pursuing long-term goals. Embedded in the PGS is a system of scorecards, a tool for monitoring the organization’s progress.[xii]
At the first stage of the Governance Pathway, the strategy will be translated into a clear set of objectives and targets on a balanced perspective of constituency and stakeholders, organizational learning and growth, finance and resource management, and internal processes and infrastructures. The visual representation of the interconnection of the objectives forms part of the Strategy Map which is directed towards achieving the vision. The Strategy Map is guided by the Governance Scorecard which tracks the performance of the organization relative to its commitments.
At the PGS Initiation Stage, the PA aims to accomplish the following objectives:
- To allow the Philippine Army to review its strategic direction – Core Values, Mission, and Vision – taking into account the inputs of the stakeholders;
- To translate the strategic direction into objectives considering a holistic view of the organization;
- To draw the relationship of the objectives that will capture the strategy of the Philippine Army; and
- To produce objective indicators and measures of success that will gauge the progress of the organization.
Initiation, in effect, will cement the long-term strategic direction of the PA that will be the basis of all commitments and initiatives of the organization.
THE PGS COMPLIANCE STAGE builds on the strategic direction formed at the PGS Initiation Stage. With the direction in place, the second stage of the Governance Pathway intends to galvanize and to align units and processes to the strategy.
At the PGS Compliance Stage, the PA aims to accomplish the following objectives:
- To align the units of the Philippine Army to the strategy through a common scorecard system with clear accountabilities;
- To form a committed group of external stakeholders determined to see the Philippine Army transform and realize its vision; and
- To enable the full-functioning of the strategy by linking the budget of the Philippine Army with those of the strategic initiatives.
Alignment is crucial in ensuring the success of the strategy. The process translates the organization-wide commitment into clear accountabilities by the units, which when summed up, attains the organization-wide commitment.
Compliance, in effect, will facilitate the sharing of accountabilities to the units of the PA until the strategy reaches all units down to the individual level as the organization continues to progress in the PGS Governance Pathway.
THE PGS PROFICIENCY STAGE sets the platform for successful strategy execution. With the strategy cascaded to the units, the third stage of the Governance Pathway features a thorough analysis and examination of the actual execution. The critical components in the PGS Proficiency Stage are the mechanisms to document and to evaluate the performance of the organization as inputs to the further planning and enhancement of the strategy. The various mechanisms installed are aligned to such functions.
At the PGS Proficiency Stage, the PA aims to accomplish the following objectives:
- To formalize a unit that will perform the tasks of the Office of Strategy Management committed to see through the execution of the strategy as well as to oversee the coordinated implementation of the Performance Governance System in the Philippine Army;
- To develop systems that will institutionalize the review of the strategy in the Philippine Army; and
- To install mechanisms for reporting on the performance of the Philippine Army.
Through the constant organization and performance review process, similarly, the constant infrastructure build-up to align units and individuals, partners in the PGS Proficient Stage are envisioned to document breakthrough results from the continuous implementation of the PGS.
THE PGS INSTITUTIONALIZATION STAGE sees evidence of breakthrough performance in most of the measures specified in the scorecard. Two other crucial expectations are: that the PGS is linked to the performance appraisal of the individual employees and that some form of outreach to propagate the PGS has been done by the organization through its OSM that is expected to evolve into a Center for Leadership at this stage.[xiii]
At the PGS Institutionalization Stage, the PA aims to accomplish the following objectives:
- To document breakthrough results in the Philippine Army after a successful implementation and execution of the strategy;
- To create mechanisms that will enable an alignment to the Performance Governance System down to the individual level;
- To formalize a culture of governance in the Philippine Army with the Office of Strategy Management taking on the functions of the Center for Leadership; and
- To become advocates and champions of governance as well as to propagate the advocacy of governance and the use of Performance Governance System to other organizations.
Through these mechanisms, the cultures of governance and performance will be well-institutionalized in the PA. The breakthrough performance that the organization is expecting to realize demonstrates the close association between governance and performance. Formalizing a culture of governance will result to the cultivation of a culture of performance in the PA.
Therefore, the identified benefits derived from using the Performance Governance System is consistent with the objectives set forth in the Army Transformation Roadmap, namely:
- To determine the organizational and capability gaps, issues, and other challenges that affect the accomplishment of the Philippine Army’s vision, mission, and strategic goals;
- To establish and set the Philippine Army’s strategic direction by reviewing and validating its current vision, mission, and core values as well as by defining its strategic goals and desired capabilities;
- To develop the Philippine Army’s institutional strategy that will provide the overarching framework to bring the organization from where it is now towards its vision for the future;
- To formulate the implementing plans that will translate the broad objectives to specific actions and will enable the Philippine Army to realize its vision and to perform its functions; and
- To institute a monitoring and evaluation system that will ensure that the plan is implemented accordingly.[xiv]
WHY THE PERFORMANCE GOVERNANCE SYSTEM OF THE INSTITUTE FOR SOLIDARITY IN ASIA?
The Institute for Solidarity in Asia was established in December 2000 with the primary purpose of pushing for comprehensive and systemic reforms at both the national and the local levels. As it envisions to become the leading public governance reform institute in East Asia by 2015, it advocates a paradigm shift from short-term to long-term perspective, from tactics to strategies, from an individual issue problem-solving to interconnected issues problem-solving, and from personalities to institutions.
Since the Performance Governance System of ISA was first launched in 2004 to a select group of local government units, the system is currently being used by a varied set of public sector organizations, local government units, and national government agencies including government owned and controlled corporations. These institutions have benefitted from implementing the system. To date, more than forty five institutions are making their journey on the four stages of the Governance Pathway including more than thirty local government units from metro giants such as Iloilo City, Marikina City, and San Fernando City to small municipalities such as Bani and Sta. Fe; public sector organizations such as the Accountancy Profession Association and the Nursing Profession Association; national government agencies such as the Philippine Military Academy and the Philippine Navy; and even government owned and controlled corporations such as the National Electrification Administration.
The PGS partners have spread their wings soaring mightily and reaching greater heights. Two of the most successful partners of ISA include the City of San Fernando and the City of Iloilo.
The City of San Fernando was awarded the Galing Pook Awards when they entered the PGS, hence, making governance a shared responsibility. Successful breakthrough results include raising a total of Php1.6B of funds outside the City Government Accounts, a satisfaction rating of ninety nine percent, and an improvement in business permits and licensing from two weeks to two hours among others.[xv]
The City of Iloilo proved to the world that Filipinos can be good strategy executioners when it bagged the prestigious Balanced Scorecard Hall of Fame for Executing Strategy given to a few and select institutions world-wide. It demonstrates breakthrough results by having twelve Business Process Outsourcing Locators from initially having none, billions of additional investments in the manufacturing industry, high National Achievement Test Averages, and Billion-mark City Government Income (one of the few cities outside Manila with such income).[xvi]
Because of the success of the PGS in local government units, it is used by the National Government – through an order issued from the Office of the President dated July 2009 – as the governance framework in pursuing the Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact Status. The Malacañang Palace saw the potential of the PGS to reform and to transform institutions mandating its adoption to the six national government agencies. These include the Department of Education, the Department of Health, the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Department of Transportation and Communications, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, and the Philippine National Police
In effect, the PGS is elevated as a policy improvement project of the Government of the Philippines. The Philippines is listed as a Compact Status Partner of the Millennium Challenge Corporation and is due to be given grants.
Most importantly, the PGS of ISA has guided military and uniformed institutions in identifying and implementing their own strategic initiatives. It enabled the Philippine Military Academy to craft their own Roadmap and the Philippine Navy together with the Philippine Marines and the Philippine Fleet to craft their own Sail Plan. Even the Armed Forces of the Philippines expressed their interest to create their own roadmap but is asked by the Department of National Defense to defer such undertaking. It is because the DND is closely being considered among the next batch of national government agencies to adopt the PGS which also include the Bureau of Customs, the Civil Service Commission, the Department of Budget and Management, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Development Academy of the Philippines, the National Economic Development Authority, and the Presidential Management Staff.
As such, the Army Transformation Roadmap is anchored on the Performance Governance System of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia.
THE PERFORMANCE GOVERNANCE SYSTEM AND THE ARMY TRANSFORMATION ROADMAP
The discussions on the Performance Governance System of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia put emphasis on three points:
- The Performance Governance System is neither a short-term solution nor a quick fix on how things are approached. Rather, it is an institutional governance initiative aimed at transforming organizations.
- The Performance Governance System banks on a transparent and verifiable performance reporting of initiatives, measures, and targets that are set and accomplished in partner with the stakeholders and the constituents.
- The Performance Governance System is not a single program or project that can be championed and executed by one unit only. To be more precise, it is a governance initiative championed and executed in all aspects and in all levels in the organization.
These points, alongside the other points mentioned in the discussions, are the reasons why the Performance Governance System is the framework and the platform to which the Army Transformation Roadmap builds into. Using the three points raised draws a closer look at the said project.
FIRST, the Army Transformation Roadmap is a long-term initiative. It is not a quick fix. It entails assessing and understanding the Philippine Army as well as uprooting and disabling the issues plaguing the organization to realize its direction. The governance advocated by the Institute for Solidarity in Asia is the same kind of governance the Philippine Army needs to truly launch its institutional governance initiative.
SECOND, the Army Transformation Roadmap can be self-serving. The results of which can be easily questioned by a scrutinizing public that speaks little of government organizations.
With a governance scorecard and a measuring tool deeply ingrained in the system, this will enable the Philippine Army to track its progress after executing the Army Transformation Roadmap. The results of these will be objectively reported as the system embeds three essential components:
- The scores itself are verifiable. The scores as well as the definitions of the scores are well established and are in place.
- The scores and the measures are available and are open for the public to verify.
- The system is installed with external stakeholders through whom the Philippine Army holds accountable.
THIRD, the task of transforming an organization is not easy. Not only will the Army Transformation Roadmap demand so much time in terms of its execution, the project cannot be solely championed by one office or unit. Transforming the Philippine Army entails transforming the biggest service unit of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. As such, it is just but logical to see that the transformation must come across all units in the organization. The Performance Governance System, thus, will provide a mechanism for all units forming the Philippine Army – the top leadership, the senior officers, the field grade officers, the junior officers, the enlisted personnel, the civilian employees, and the reservists – to work together in carrying out the Army Transformation Roadmap.
To conclude, the Philippine Army envisions to become a world-class Army that is a source of national pride by 2028. This strategic direction charts the destiny that the Philippine Army will pursue in the next three horizons or eighteen years. The Performance Governance System of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia contains all the essential ingredients that will enable the success towards the attainment of the envisioned future in the Army Transformation
[i] The Balanced Scorecard Collaborative (BSCol) Research published in March 2006 was partaken in by big firms including the Fortune 500 Companies.
[ii] The study involved the PA stakeholders. This was participated in by senior officers, field grade officers, junior officers, enlisted personnel, and civilian employees of the organization.
[iii] Lifted directly from the Strategy-Focused Organization Handouts of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia.
[iv] Lifted directly from the Strategy Focused Organization (SFO) Survey Results of the Philippine Army.
[v] 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. The Balanced Scorecard started mainly as a performance measurement tool. After its initial introduction, the Balanced Scorecard evolved to become a communication tool, a strategic enabler, and a management framework. The 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 as well as in transitioning from a clientelistic institution characterized by patronage to an institution with an innovative and professional culture. It has the potential to increase accountability, efficiency, responsibility, and transparency by developing a strategic plan and by opening lines of communication both within agencies and to the public. And it provides an integrated approach to reforms involving all major constituents – bureaucrats, politicians, and citizens.
[vi] The Concept Paper on the Development of the Philippine Army Transformation Roadmap (2011-2016) reported that the guidance and the pronouncements of the Commanding General of the Philippine Army during his visits to line units was to think and to plan for the Philippine Army in a post 2010 scenario.
[vii] The three principles of governance are presented in the Institute for Solidarity in Asia’s Governance Framework.
[viii] Lifted directly from the PGS Governance Pathway Brochure of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia.
[ix] Lifted directly from the PGS Governance Pathway Brochure of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia.
[x] Lifted directly from the PGS Governance Pathway Brochure of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia.
[xi] Lifted directly from the PGS Governance Pathway Brochure of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia.
[xii] Lifted directly from the PGS Governance Pathway Brochure of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia.
[xiii] Lifted directly from the PGS Governance Pathway Brochure of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia.
[xiv] Lifted directly from the Concept Paper on the Development of the Philippine Army Transformation Roadmap (2011-2016).
[xv] These are based on the Institute for Solidarity in Asia’s Corporate Brochure
[xvi] These are based on the Institute for Solidarity in Asia’s Corporate Brochure
Estanislao, J.P. (2010). Guideposts for Governance: Indispensable Values for Individuals, Corporations, Institutions, and Government Units. Makati City, Philippines. Institute for Solidarity in Asia.
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.
The Army Transformation Roadmap 2028
A Journey Towards Good Governance and Performance Excellence
For the past years, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was plagued with controversies such as allegations of corruption, military adventurism, human rights abuses, and revolving-door policy affecting its leadership. This year, the military institution is once again at the limelight of media and public scrutiny with the ongoing Senate inquiries on the “pabaons” of its former chiefs of staff. This is further aggravated by the unexplained wealth of past AFP comptrollers. The issues have highlighted the systemic problems which have long beset the military institution. And these have placed to the fore the need to come up with a sustainable solution to these problems, likewise, to institute good governance and performance excellence.
The Philippine Army (PA) believes that there is indeed a need to reform the organization and to enhance the critical systems within it. Furthermore, the PA has been very supportive of the various reform initiatives of the defense department especially the Philippine Defense Reform (PDR) Program, the Defense System of Management (DSOM), the AFP Modernization Program, and the AFP Capability Upgrade Program (CUP). In fact, in order to sustain and institutionalize these initiatives, the PA has formulated a transformation program anchored on the Performance Governance System (PGS). The PGS is an adaptation of Harvard’s Balanced Scorecard Framework into the local circumstances of the Philippines.
Using a Governance Framework to Realize Army Transformation
The PA transformation program is aptly referred to as the Army Transformation Roadmap (ATR). The primary purpose of the ATR is to transform the PA into a better, more dynamic, more responsive, more capable, and more professional Army committed to its mandate of serving the people and securing the land. It aims to provide a rational and long-term basis for the organizational and capability thrusts of the PA; to establish and synchronize the various reform initiatives; and to advance and institutionalize good governance and performance excellence.
Long-term and Strategic Approach to Governance
Similar to other successful and sustainable transformation initiatives, the ATR focuses on the long-term strategic direction of the PA. The ATR has adopted an 18-year horizon which should be long enough for the transformation it envisions. Given the frequent changes in leadership, the long-term approach will provide stability to the policies and programs of the PA and will serve as reference and guide for the strategic priorities of the Commanding General, Philippine Army (CGPA). In this way, the broader, institutional, and long-term interests of the PA would neither be sacrificed nor relegated into the background in favor of the narrower, personality-driven, and short-term interests.
However, the emphasis on the long-term perspective will not adversely affect the current operational requirements and the day-to-day operations of the PA. This is due to the fact that the ATR is primarily a transformation program based on the PGS. As such, it also serves as a constant reference and guide for decisions and actions taken on an everyday basis. Consequently, the ATR promotes performance excellence by ensuring that these decisions and actions are directed towards a clear vision which will help provide coherence, inner consistency, and proper alignment between them. It secures balance among the many initiatives, programs, and projects that need to be undertaken. Likewise, it galvanizes the entire PA towards breakthrough results that build on top of each other, such that in the end all the strategic priorities are met and the vision is realized within the time horizon specified.
In this regard, the ATR as a governance document is oriented towards performance, largely because of the system of alignment that it imposes. Its power is ultimately measured by the results it actually delivers.
On the Road to Transformation
The ATR was developed in partnership with the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA), a non-government organization advocating good governance and responsible citizenship in national government agencies and local government units through the PGS. The concept was initiated in August 2009 but the initial draft of the ATR was formulated in April 2010 by a small but select group of current and future Army leaders representing the senior officers, field-grade officers, junior officers, non-commissioned officers (NCOs), reservists, and civilian employees through open and sometimes heated discussions and deep introspections during an intensive five-day working session facilitated by ISA in Tagaytay. The initial draft of the ATR was validated on 03 May 2010 by a Revalida Panel composed of the top Army leadership headed by the CGPA and a select group of civilian stakeholders led by Dr. Jesus P Estanislao, the Chairman of ISA. On 19 July 2010, the ATR was approved by the CGPA for implementation. An HPA Letter Directive was issued containing the policy guidelines and the concept of implementation.
In light of this, the PA has begun its journey towards the four-stage Governance Pathway that ISA has designed for its partners. After a few months of committed and serious efforts in adopting the PGS, the PA was publicly recognized by the ISA to have passed the first stage of the four-stage Governance Pathway. On 23 September 2010, the PA received the PGS Initiated Status Award before an audience composed of local and international experts in governance and strategy as well as Balanced Scorecard Hall of Famers during the Palladium Asia-Pacific Summit and Hall of Fame for Executing Strategy Awards at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza.
First Step of the Governance Journey
As a PGS-Initiated institution, the Army has already adopted the critical steps in adopting PGS into its systems and instituting good governance. Firstly, the PA has set its strategic direction for the next 18 years by defining its governance charter, which articulates the Army’s core values, core purpose, mandated mission, and finally the vision that the PA seeks to realize by 2028. Secondly, the PA has provided more flesh and given more heft to this governance charter by having crafted a strategy map, which outlines identifies the specific goals of the ATR and defines the interrelationships among these objectives. These objectives are organized into the five strategic perspectives of stakeholder support, logistics and finance, human resource, internal process, and constituency, and the three strategic themes, namely: good governance, organizational excellence, and operational excellence. Thirdly, in order to ensure that the Army vision is realized and the ATR strategic objectives are accomplished, the PA has developed a governance scorecard that translates the broad objectives into measurable and actionable details that facilitate strategy execution, monitoring, and evaluation. The scorecard highlights the performance measures and targets, which assess and track the success of the PA in attaining the ATR goals. Finally, the PA has already defined and identified the strategic initiatives and priorities, which when implemented, will deliver the expected breakthrough results and lead to the realization of the PA vision and the desired transformation.
Defining the Army’s Strategic Direction
The long-term strategic direction of the PA is aptly captured in the Army Governance Charter, which is composed of two major elements, namely: the core ideology and the “big, hairy, audacious goal” (BHAG) or the vision. The core ideology defines the enduring character of the PA and provides the bonding glue that holds the organization as it grows and moves forward. The Army Core Ideology expresses the fundamental ideals and principles that the Army believes in and stands for through the Army Core Values and highlights its reason for being through the Army Core purpose.
Army Core Values
- Honor, which we define to include integrity, discipline, personal dignity and self-worth;
- Patriotism, which for the PA resonates as love of country and manifests as loyalty, courage and allegiance to the Constitution; and
- Duty, which is expressed through professionalism, excellence, resourcefulness, dynamism, dedication and commitment to our sworn duty.
These three sets of values as understood by the PA and defined through their attributes are those that anyone would expect out of a professional army. However, coming up with the core values was not easy. In fact, the process was very challenging because of the intense open exchange among senior, field-grade, and junior officers; NCOs; and civilian employees which is a proof of the ardor and commitment of the PA in the formulation of the ATR.
Army Core Purpose and Mandate
This sense of dedication to the institution and country is also expressed through the Army Core Purpose, which is “serving the people, securing the land.” As part of the AFP, the PA already has a clear mandate mission as a force provider, which is “to organize, train, equip, deploy and sustain ground forces in support of the AFP mission.” The articulated Army Core Purpose goes beyond our legal mandate and digs deeper into the real reason for our existence as an Army. It also provides focus to what it should always aspire to do. The PA exists to serve the people, and it does so principally by securing our native land. This core ideology captures what we stand for and why we exist as an organization.
In essence, the Army Core Purpose and Mandate capture what we stand for and why we exist as an organization.
The Army Core Ideology also serves as a strong foundation that can be used as our launching pad for the future, for our desired destination, our BHAG. As the PA is pursuing a long-term transformation program, which starts in 2010 and ends in 2028, it envisions itself to “be a world-class army that is a source of national pride” by 2028. However, as the PA ascends towards its envisioned future, it has set up four base camps along the way that must be achieved to get closer to the 2028 Vision. By the end of 2010, the PA intends to lay the foundation for a successful transformation program. By 2013, its intermediate goal is to become “a disciplined and motivated Army capable of addressing all internal security threats.” After six years, by 2016, it expects to become “a well-equipped Army that has established a respectable image in Southeast Asia.” By 2022, its 12-year intermediate goal is to become “a modern and respected Army in Asia.” And the end-goal for 2028 is to become “a world-class army that is a source of national pride.”
Army Governance Charter
On the whole, the Army Governance Charter defines and sets the strategic direction that the PA wants to pursue. It starts with the clearly defined and easy to remember core values of “Honor, Patriotism, and Duty.” It acknowledges our mandated mission which is “to organize, train, equip, deploy, and sustain ground forces in support of the AFP mission.” And it provides a sharper edge to our mission by stating our core purpose which is “serving the people, securing the land.” On such foundation, it sets forth a vision that the PA is committed to actualize: “By 2028, to become a world-class Army that is a source of national pride.” However, in order to ensure the realization of this big, hairy, and audacious goal, it also identifies intermediate base camps as discussed.
Developing the Army’s Strategy Map*
The PA knows it has to transform in order to realize its intermediate vision by 2016 of becoming “a well-equipped Army that has established a respectable image in Southeast Asia” and that it will have to sustain its transformation process to actualize its vision by 2028 of becoming “a world-class Army that is a source of national pride.” Its recognition of such an imperative led the organization to craft a transformation roadmap, which for all practical purposes is its long-term strategy map defining the ways and means by which the envisioned transformation will be realized.
Strategic Perspectives and Questions
To be able to craft a strategic roadmap that will help the PA attain its desired end-state, the Command considered five strategic perspectives through which to assess its current challenges and future prospects as it travels towards realizing its vision in 2028. Moreover, it asked a key question in considering each of the five strategic perspectives. The following are the strategic perspectives and the strategic questions that served as a guide in the crafting of the strategic roadmap:
- The first perspective is Stakeholder Support. If by 2028 the PA will be a “source of national pride”, then it has to work hard to win the hearts and the minds of the people as well as to earn the support of the stakeholders. Hence, the question is: How can we effectively encourage stakeholder support?
- The second perspective relates to Finance and Logistics. Obviously, the PA will need more resources both financial and logistical as it works its way through towards its vision. Hence, the question is: How can we generate and effectively manage our financial and logistical resources?
- The third perspective is Human Resource which is the most important resource the PA must have. The question in this regard is: How can we develop and enhance our human resource?
- With the stakeholder support it can win and the financial, logistical, and human resources it can obtain, the fourth perspective for the organization is Internal Processes. It poses the question: What critical systems and processes must we excel at?
- And once the internal processes perspective has been duly and fully considered, the fifth perspective which is Constituency surges forth. It raises question: How can we best serve the people and attain the Army’s vision?
By raising this question, the PA shows its deep commitment to its vision: there are no ifs and buts for the organization. There is no way other than the road that leads it to its vision which is nothing less than becoming “a world-class Army that is a source of national pride” by 2028.
The answers to these strategic questions basically highlight the thirteen strategic objectives (SO) that the PA must actively, aggressively, and effectively pursue. Broadly, the following are the answers to these strategic questions:
- For the Stakeholder perspective: “How can the Army effectively encourage (and win) stakeholder support?” Two clear answers came out, and these are: to “develop and communicate a brand image consistent with the Army’s core values” (SO1) and to “engage and partner with key stakeholders” (SO2). The core values of “Duty, Patriotism, Honor”, which it had chiseled into its governance charter are to be taken seriously to a point where they shape and develop the Army’s “brand”. Moreover, the PA recognizes the imperative of reaching out and “engaging” key stakeholders.
- For the Finance and Logistics perspective: “How can the Army generate and effectively manage its financial and logistical resources?” The PA proposes the following: to “institutionalize good governance” (SO3), and to “adopt best practices in resource management” (SO4). These proposals bespeak of openness to adopt good and effective practices already proven and tested in other organizations and institutions. Moreover, there is explicit recognition that “institutionalization” of governance practices is the sure and tested way towards achieving sustainable breakthrough performance under all the strategic perspectives.
- For the Human Resource perspective: “How can we develop and enhance our human resource?” This question elicited three answers. They are as follows: to “recruit and retain the best and the brightest” (SO5); to “continuously build and develop the character and competence of our personnel” (SO6); and to “motivate our personnel through effective and efficient management” (SO7). All these three answers speak for themselves; but the second one does need to be highlighted since it speaks of a continuous program for raising the levels of competence as well as for shaping the character of Army personnel in line with the Army’s core values, which help develop its “brand”.
- For the Internal Processes perspective: “What critical systems and processes must we excel at?” This is the question that elicited the most answers. Four strategic objectives have thus been put forward and identified. They are: to “adopt and institutionalize best practices in management, operations and support systems” (SO8); to “build and modernize mission-essential capabilities” (SO9); to “excel in ground operations” (SO10); and to “actively support in nation-building” (SO11). The first three are crucial and are expected; the fourth needs underscoring, since it articulates the essential, positive, and subsidiary role that the PA has in nation-building. It recognizes the need to reach out to many other sectors of society, whose initiatives in nation-building it “actively supports”, and in the case of civilian authority, whose mandate for public governance it obeys.
- Finally, for the Constituency perspective: “How can we best serve the people and attain the Army’s vision?” Two answers are presented: to be “responsive to the needs of the AFP” (SO12), and to become a “professional army loved by the people” (SO13). It is clear that the PA serves the nation through the AFP, of which it is a major component; but in serving the nation, the PA imposes the added priority of being “loved by the people”. By succeeding in this, it ensures success in achieving its vision both in 2016 and in 2028.
Army Strategy Map
After providing the answers to the questions raised under each of the five strategic perspectives it considered, the PA proceeded to lay out the strategic objectives in a way that immediately shows their close interconnections as illustrated in the chart following.
At the onset, the two strategic objectives under the perspective of “stakeholder support” are shown at the bottom, with immediate connection to the two strategic objectives under the second perspective of “finance and logistics”. In this way, the PA wishes to show that its pursuit of the strategic objectives of “engaging with key stakeholders” and “developing a brand image consistent with the Army’s core values” would facilitate the efforts it will be exerting towards “institutionalizing good governance” and “adopting best practices in resource management” for the purpose of generating sufficient financial and logistical resources. With sufficient funds, the PA will then be able to enhance its human resources by “recruiting and retaining the best and the brightest”, “motivating its personnel through efficient and effective management”, and “continuously developing the character and the competence of its personnel.” By clearly pointing to the close connections between several strategic objectives, the Army comes up with its strategy map.
The strategy map is further drawn by indicating the connection between the other strategic priorities under “human resource” and the first strategic priority under “internal processes”. The Army shows its conviction that by “motivating its personnel” and by “continuously developing the character and competence of its personnel” it would be led to “institutionalizing best practices in management, operations and support systems”. This, in turn, would help it to pursue the three other strategic objectives under the “internal processes” perspective, namely: “build and modernize mission-essential capabilities”; “excel in ground operations”; and “actively support nation-building initiatives” of other sectors. Thus, even the strategic objectives within the same perspective can—and do—support each other; they positively reinforce each other such that success in one can lead to eventual success in pursuing the other strategic objectives as well.
The Army also shows in its transformation roadmap that success in pursuing all the strategic objectives under the first four priorities would help bring about success relative to the two remaining strategic objectives under the topmost perspective, “constituency”. It is by actively pursuing the 11 strategic objectives under the four preceding perspectives that the PA can look towards succeeding in becoming “responsive to the needs of the AFP” and in being “loved by the people”. This is what the transformation road map does: it sends very clear signals that by focusing on the 11 strategic objectives and by vigorously pursuing them, the Army can best serve the AFP and the entire nation. In the process, it would end up becoming a “professional Army loved by the people”. This final strategic objective may at first look too ideal to be within grasp even by 2028; but the transformation roadmap gives some assurance that difficult as the road ahead may be, still it is not impossible to travel on it and eventually reach the final milestone since the different strategic objectives, by their connection, present many opportunities for a domino effect: succeed in one or a few, and success in other objectives would be much easier to achieve.
Moreover, the strategy map points to three strategic themes under which the most closely interconnected objectives across the different perspectives can be grouped. Six of the eleven objectives under the first four perspectives can be grouped together under the strategic theme, “organizational excellence”. On the other hand, six of the same eleven objectives can be grouped under another strategic theme, “good governance” while eight of the same 11 objectives can be grouped under another strategic theme, “operational excellence”. Consequently, it is clear that a few of the eleven objectives are included in more than one strategic theme. For instance, “developing a brand image consistent with the Army’s core values” and “continuously developing the character and the competence of its personnel” are in two strategic themes while “institutionalizing best practices in management, operations, and support systems” is included in all three strategic themes.
The completed Army Strategy Map shows that all eleven strategic objectives under the first four perspectives lead to the top-line strategic priorities of being “responsive to the needs of the AFP” and becoming a “professional Army loved by the people” under the “constituency” perspective. Furthermore, the first of these falls under the “operational excellence” theme, and the second under all three themes of “operational excellence”, “organizational excellence”, and “good governance”.
Ensuring Strategy Execution
The Army Strategy Map visually captures the principles and goals of the transformation program of the PA. It identifies the critical factors and the key questions that must be addressed. Conceptually, it illustrates the cause-and-effect relationship of the strategic objectives and describes the story on how the PA will be able to realize its vision to become “a world-class Army that is a source of national pride” by 2028. However, in order to make certain that the PA attain its goals, the PA developed its own performance governance scorecard.
Performance Governance Scorecard
The Army’s Performance Governance Scorecard is a performance measurement mechanism translating the strategic objectives into measures, targets, initiatives, and milestones. It is composed of performance measures which assess and track the success of attaining the strategic objectives; performance targets which outline the level of performance or the rate of improvement needed; and the strategic initiatives which are key programs and projects that must be implemented to attain the strategic objectives and eventually the vision. It will ensure the execution of the strategy map and will advance the principles of good governance and performance excellence because of the following:
- It will be enable objective monitoring and reporting of performance based on the specified goals, indicators and targets, which can be validated publicly.
- It will promote transparency and accountability in the fulfillment of its mandate and the performance targets the PA has committed to reach.
Performance Measures and Targets
Under the PA’s performance governance scorecard, 21 measures are used outlined in order to monitor and evaluate the success of the PA in attaining the goals underscored in the ATR. Organized by strategic objectives, they are as follows:
- For SO1 – “Develop and communicate a brand image consistent with the Army’s core values”, the measure is “Net Trust Rating” which monitors the level of perceived trust the general public has on the PA. This rating indicates whether the PA is able to live up to its core values, thus, is able to get the trust of its constituencies. The target for 2028 is a “Net Trust Rating” of 80%.
- For SO2 – “Engage and partner with key stakeholders”, three performance indicators are used. These are the “growth rate of formalized partnerships with key stakeholders”, the “growth rate of completed projects with key stakeholders”, and the “growth rate of resources generated through partnerships with key stakeholders.” These measures indicate the progress by which the PA is able to positively and constructively work with its stakeholders. The target by 2028 is to grow by three-fold the engagements and the outcome of these engagements.
- For SO3 – “Institutionalize good governance”, the performance measure is the “number of COA negative findings.” This indicator reflects the success of the PA in encouraging good governance practices and in following accounting and auditing requirements. The PA intends to continuously reduce the “number of COA negative findings” to 6 by 2028.
- For SO4 – “Adopt best practices in resource management”, three measures are used. First is the “absorptive capacity” which pertains to the ability of the PA to timely obligate and utilize programmed funds, thus using available resources effectively and efficiently. By 2028, the PA seeks to increase its “absorptive capacity” to 99% from 98.35% in 2010. Second is the “percentage of supported activities out of the General Appropriations Act.” The ability to financially support the PA’s activities out of its budget shows best practices in resource management. The PA aims to increase the percentage of supported activities out of the General Appropriations Act” to 99% by 2028. Thirdly, the Army will develop the “Logistics Performance Index” which measures the ability of the PA to immediately respond to the logistical needs of PA units. It has the following parameters: right quality and right quantity at the right place and at the right time. The target for 2028 is a “Logistics Performance Index” of 3.5.
- For SO5 – “Recruit and retain the best and the brightest”, two indicators are used. Firstly, the PA will adopt the “Quality Recruit Index” which intends to quantitatively measure the general quality of those entering the Army. The 2028 target is an average QRI of 95% by 2028. And second is the “attrition rate of competent personnel” which measures percentage of qualified and competent who are voluntarily leaving the service. For 2028, the target is to reduce the “attrition rate of competent personnel” to 1%.
- For SO6 – “Continuously build and develop the character and the competence of our personnel”, one measure for competence and another measure for character are used. For competence, the performance indicator is “Individual Training Readiness” (ITR) which assesses the level of preparedness of the individual vis-à-vis the required competencies of his current position. The PA hopes to attain an ITR of 98% (R1) by 2028. As for character, the measure is the “percentage reduction of disciplinary cases” which will indicate the overall state of discipline in the Army. The PA hopes to see by 2028 a 90% reduction in the number of disciplinary cases from the 1,785 disciplinary cases in 2010.
- For SO7 – “Motivate our personnel through efficient and effective management”, the measure is “Personnel Satisfaction Index”. This measure monitors the level of perceived satisfaction of personnel with regard to compensations, placements, promotions, non-monetary benefits, awards and recognitions, and schoolings and trainings. The target for 2028 is a Personnel Satisfaction Index of 4.5.
- For SO8 – “Adopt and institutionalize best practices in management, operations, and support system”, the performance indicator is the “Doctrine Development throughput time” or the total amount of time spent in developing a doctrine (from conceptualization to promulgation of manuals). The efficiency in doctrine development will facilitate the adoption and institutionalization of best practices in management, operations, and support system. By 2028, the PA seeks to reduce the doctrine development throughput time to 365 days from 3,248 days in 2010.
- For SO9 – “Build and modernize mission-essential capabilities”, the measure is the “percentage of battalions which completed the Battalions of Excellence (BOE) Program.” The BOE Program seeks to build-up and modernization of mission-essential capabilities of Army battalions. Thus, chosen indicator will measure will enable the PA to assess the success of its modernization program. The PA aims to have 100% of its battalions to undergo the BOE Program.
10. For SO10 – “Excel in ground operations”, the PA is measuring this by looking at the “operational readiness of combat and combat support units.” By 2028, the target operational readiness for these units, which are primarily involved in combat operations, is 95% (R1).
11. For SO11 – “Actively support nation-building”, the PA is measuring this by looking at the “operational readiness of engineers” as well as the “personnel and training readiness of ready reserve units”, who are considered as agents of peace and supporters of nation-building. For both measures, the target for 2028 is an operational readiness of 95% (R1).
12. For SO12 – “Responsive to the needs of the AFP”, the measures are “Overall Operational Readiness”, which will show the level of preparedness of the whole PA, and “Performance Evaluation Rating”, which will point out the effectiveness and efficiency of the PA in the performance of its mandated tasks. By 2028, the PA intends to attain a 95% (R1) “Overall Operational Readiness” and a 96% “Performance Evaluation Rating”.
13. Finally, for SO13 – “Professional army loved by the people”, the performance measure is “Net Satisfaction Rating”, which monitors the level of perceived satisfaction the general public has on the PA’s quality of service. A higher “Net Satisfaction Rating” shows the dedication, passion, and professionalism of the Army in providing effective, efficient, and excellent service to its constituency, which will consequently improve the relationship between the Army and the Filipino people. The target for 2028 is a Net Satisfaction Rating of 80%.
In essence, the afore-cited performance measures and targets will help to monitor and assess the progress of the PA in achieving the thirteen strategic objectives and in realizing the envisioned 2028 end-state. In order to ensure that these goals are attained, however, the PA identified the following fifteen strategic initiatives as the priority programs and projects to be implemented for the next medium-term (2011-2016):
- Army Capability Development Program – This strategic initiative intends to come up and to institutionalize a capability planning system that addresses the capability development needs of the Philippine Army. This initiative will be anchored on the Defense Department’s Defense System of Management as it intends to develop a medium-term capability development plan. The expected deliverables of this project are the following: a strategic assessment and planning framework for the Army; a capability assessment framework; a force structure development framework; a proposed force structure for the Army for the next medium-term; and a proposed capability development plan incorporating the current Capability Upgrade Program.
- Enhancement of the Army Logistics System – This strategic initiative intends to develop an effective, efficient, responsive, and timely logistics support system. Also, this initiative intends to improve not only the logistics process but also the logistics structure. In addition, this initiative intends to develop the Army Logistics Performance Index that will facilitate the assessment of the effectiveness, efficiency, responsiveness, and timeliness of logistics support to field units.
- Institutionalization of the Army Resource Management System – This strategic initiative aims to establish an effective resource management system that will not only promote efficient planning, programming, and budget execution system but will also promote accountability, fairness, and transparency. This initiative also seeks to institutionalize the implementation of the Defense Resource Management System under the Defense System of Management in the PA. Further, this program will find ways and means of generating additional funds, over and above the General Appropriations Acts, in order to support the implementation of the programs and projects needed to attain the 2028 Vision.
- 4. Enhancement of the Doctrine Development System – This project seeks to improve its capability to develop the needed doctrines to support its operational requirements. In this light, it will pursue the improvement of the doctrine development process, the completion of its Doctrine Development Roadmap that intends to update and to prioritize the list of doctrines that need to be developed, and the organization of an Army Lessons Learned Center to enhance the organization’s doctrine research capability. Furthermore, this initiative seeks to transform Doctrine Center from an administrator of project management teams to a research capable unit with competence in the conduct of different research methodologies that will speed up the doctrine development throughput time.
- Enhancement of the PA Education and Training Management System – This program intends to establish a responsive education and training system capable of building and developing the competence of PA personnel and units comparable to Southeast Asian Armies. This initiative intends to raise the overall training readiness of the institution for both individual training and unit training. This initiative will involve making substantial investments in education and training equipment and facilities.
- Battalion of Excellence Program – The BOE Program seeks to improve the operational capability of Infantry and SOCOM Battalions. Since these units are the PA’s cutting-edge units in internal security operations, pursuing the BOE Program will have a great impact on the operational readiness of the PA and on the success of the ATR. The PA seeks to train nine Infantry Battalions and three SOCOM Battalions within the next six years and to transform these units to be combat proficient; doctrine-based; equipped with mission-essential equipment, relevant unit and individual trainings, and sustainable mission essential systems; and manned by suitable personnel.
- Enhancement of the Army Inspector General System – This strategic initiative aims to improve the way the PA monitors and evaluates the readiness and performance of its operating units. Further, it intends to formulate, review, and revise the existing directives, policies, and regulations as well as to acquire mission-essential equipment for all Inspector General Offices.
- Army Character Development Program – This program intends to enhance the state of discipline in the PA. This initiative will require the advocacy on respect for human rights; the creation of Integrated Counseling Committee and Military Values Education Program; the development of a Mentoring and Character Development Manual; the enhancement of military discipline through the Military Justice System; the institutionalization of gender and development awareness as well as promotion of gender equality; and the uniformity in the interpretation and implementation of policies pertaining to discipline, law, and order.
- Enhancement of the Army International Defense and Security Engagement (IDSE) Program – The PA needs to actively reach out to its international allies and partners. In view of this, this strategic initiative aims to have purposive engagements with the institution’s foreign allies and partners, to optimize the benefits from these engagements, and to develop a medium-term PA IDSE Program. Consequently, the expected deliverables of this initiative are the following: the establishment of engagement plans for ASEAN, Asia-Pacific, and beyond Asia-Pacific Armies; and the formalization of partnerships with ASEAN, Asia-Pacific, and beyond Asia-Pacific Armies.
10. Stakeholders Engagement Program – This strategic initiative intends to actively reach out and to engage its stakeholders through an effective communication plan and a proactive stakeholder engagement framework in order to generate critical support from the PA’s internal and external audiences. In light of this, the ancillary initiatives include the formulation of an ATR communications plan, the development of a proactive stakeholders plan, and the administration of surveys which will serve as tools in measuring the institution’s performance in civil military operations and contribution to nation-building.
- 11. Army Intelligence Capability Development Program – This program aims to develop and enhance the intelligence capability of the PA in order to effectively respond to the operational needs of the institution. This initiative will cover the acquisition of intelligence mission-essential equipment, the development of competent and highly motivated leaders and personnel, the development of intelligence doctrines, the enhancement of organizational structures, and the improvement of intelligence facilities.
12. Enhancement of the PA Health Service Support System – This strategic initiative intends to develop a responsive health service support system that will uplift the morale of personnel especially those in the field. Furthermore, this initiative aims to upgrade the capabilities of medical and dental treatment facilities, formulate a doctrine for the PA Health Service Support System, develop an effective and standard recruitment program for health service personnel, and develop a comprehensive mental health program.
13. Network Infrastructure Development Program. This initiative seeks to improve the information systems infrastructure in order to enhance the various management and operations processes and systems of the Philippine Army.
14. Enhancement of the Reserve Force Development Program – This program seeks to institutionalize a comprehensive Reserve Force Build-Up in line with the goals of the ATR. This initiative will focus on the development of the Reserve Manpower, the enhancement of the Reservists Management and Information System, and the improvement of the Reservists Capability and Pre-Reservist Training Centers.
15. Expansion of the Army Housing Program – This program intends to uplift the morale and welfare of personnel by expanding the PA’s on-base and off-base housing program. Moreover, this initiative intends to provide a total of 951 units for on-base housing and 17,879 lots for off-base housing by 2016; solicit funds worth Php 889,450,000.00 for the construction of 17,879 Kawal Kalinga housing projects; rationalize the policy on the selection of beneficiaries of the housing program; and increase the housing allowance of personnel.
Overall, the elements of the Army Performance Governance Scorecard discussed above establishes the inter-relationship between the principles, concepts and aspirations defined in the governance charter and the strategy map with the specific operational details and actions required to realize and bring to fruition those goals and aspirations. By adhering to its roadmap and governance scorecard, the Army should be persevering and systematic in implementing its strategic initiatives that will enable it to meet all the targets it is setting as it seeks to transform itself into a “world-class Army that is a source of national pride”.
Implementing the Army Transformation Roadmap
Being a comprehensive transformation program, pursuing the ATR has not been a walk in the park. It has been a great challenge. It requires determination, hard work, and perseverance to implement changes in the PA. However, because of active and continuous advocacy, the ATR has gained the commitment and support of the Army leadership as well as majority of the PA’s internal stakeholders. Through the conduct of the following activities, the ATR has obtained enough traction to push for the desired changes:
- Organized the ATR Technical Working Group (ATRTWG) comprising of representatives from the key staff of the CGPA. The ATRTWG is a mechanism to enhance the coordination among the program directors and the various staff of the Headquarters Philippine Army (HPA) in order to hasten the successful implementation of the ATR. The ATRTWG also serves as the subject-matter experts in regards to the PGS and the ATR.
- Conducted various seminars and workshops in strategy development, strategy implementation, project management and performance measurement involving the members of the ATRTWG and selected personnel of the HPA functional staff.
- Participated in important HPA-sponsored fora like the Battalion Commanders Symposia, Company Commanders Seminars and NCO Leaders Symposia in order to promote greater awareness on the ATR and generate support for its implementation.
- Took part in the crafting of the PA support plan to the AFP’s Internal Peace and Security Plan, the formulation of the Army’s Annual Operating Program, and the development of the 2011 operating budget.
- Developed the draft project management plans of the identified 15 ATR strategic initiatives to ensure that these key projects are carried out well.
- Conducted a cascading workshop for the key HPA staff in order to align their respective functions and goals to those underscored in the ATR, develop secondary governance scorecards as well as advance greater understanding and appreciation of the ATR.
- Conducted a workshop to initiate the organization of a multi-sector governance council, a mechanism that will advance the principles of transparency and accountability and help promote the continuity and sustainability of the ATR.
As a result of these activities, the PA gained enough momentum to pursue the Army’s goals and aspirations highlighted in the ATR. Specifically, the PA was able to publish policy directives to guide the execution of PGS in the PA and implementation of the ATR; hastened coordination among HPA staff in regards to ATR implementation, and developed the competencies of personnel involved in the ATR. More importantly, the initial implementation of the ATR enabled the alignment of the current operational priorities with the medium-term capability development priorities and long-term strategic direction of the command as outlined in the ATR. It has also facilitated the execution and institutionalization of defense reform initiatives like the PDR and DSOM. Furthermore, through the ATR-related activities conducted, the PA was also able to develop a program and budget that supports the transformation initiative and focuses on the implementation of the identified strategic priorities.
Sustaining and Institutionalizing the Army Transformation Roadmap
In light of the foregoing, it is apparent that the ATR has gained a significant ground in so far as its formulation and initial execution are concerned. 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.
To guarantee the successful and sustained implementation of the ATR, the PA intends to undertake the following:
- Pursue the PGS Compliance Stage, the second stage of the four-stage Governance Pathway, in order to attain alignment in the goals and thrusts of the ATR with the expectations of the various PA internal and external stakeholders;
- Finalize the second-level scorecards of the HPA staff and institutionalize its adoption and execution by involving the Army Inspector General in the monitoring of these governance scorecards;
- Conduct ATR Cascading Workshops with major subordinate units to generate second-level scorecards and initiatives, promote greater awareness and understanding of the ATR, and ensure that the effects of the ATR implementation will be felt by every soldier in the field;
- Execute the ATR strategic initiatives and link these initiatives to the planning, programming, and budgeting process of the PA;
- Pursue the ATR advocacy and information campaign in accordance with the ATR Communications Plan in order to generate wider appreciation, understanding, commitment, and support for the ATR;
- Pursue the establishment of a Multi-Sector Governance Council which will help the PA to promote the continuity and sustainability of the ATR and to encourage shared responsibility in the success of the ATR;
- Install mechanisms and systems to monitor the implementation of the ATR and the performance of the PA, manage the performance governance scorecards, and supervise the execution of the ATR strategic initiatives;
- Build-up the capacity of the PA to execute the ATR through the establishment of a dedicated office or unit that will manage and supervise the implementation of the ATR and the adoption of the PGS in the PA, which can come in the form of an “Office for Strategy Management’; and
- In light of the recent guidance of the new Chief of Staff, AFP to institutionalize genuine reforms through the formulation of the AFP Transformation Roadmap, the Command shall actively participate in the development of the said roadmap and shall link and align with the ATR the proposed AFP roadmap.
Faced with the challenge of rebuilding a more cohesive military institution attuned to good governance and performance excellence, there is no more opportune time to start the transformation than now – to build a world-class Philippine Army that can truly be a source of national pride for all Filipinos.
The PA has put countless efforts in crafting the Army Transformation Roadmap. However, the completion of the transformation framework is only an indication that the real work is just starting. The entire process of completing one loop that will bring about reaping breakthrough results takes at least three to four years in practice. Hence, a lot of things have to be done and everyone has to do their own share in promoting good governance and performance excellence and in attaining good the 2028 Vision.
In sum, the Army Transformation Roadmap is a governance framework that seeks to transform the current systems and processes, and integrate and synchronize our current programs and activities in order to attain our desired end-state or vision to be a “world-class Army that is a source of national pride” by 2028. The ATR provides focus to all our activities in relation to our new vision. Since our vision is quite bold and ambitious, it challenges us “to do the right things the best way we can.” However, we recognize that implementing the ATR and PGS is a very great challenge. In order to realize the Army 2028 vision, we need the commitment not only of the Army leadership but also the strong support of our key external and internal stakeholders.
- A substantial portion of this article is based on a series of articles featured in the Manila Bulletin’s Swimming Against the Current column of Dr. Jesus P. Estanislao and published in the January – June 2010 issue of the Army Journal. In fact, the section on “Developing the Army Strategy Map” of this article is a direct quote from Dr. Estanislao’s article. The author has obtained the expressed permission of Dr. Estanislao for these quotes.
- This article is also largely based on the presentations, outputs, and discussions of the various working sessions of the ATRTWG and those facilitated by the Institute for Solidarity in Asia.