Army system measures readiness

In another example of the Army using information technology to aid its ongoing transformation, the service has selected a contractor team to automate the new Strategic Readiness System (SRS), which is designed to manage and measure the readiness of all areas of the Army, not just combat units.

SRS is based on the balanced score card methodology similar to that used with the President's Management Agenda, and it is designed to align strategic goals across an entire organization.

The Army score card is the focal point for SRS.

In March, Gen. Eric Shinseki, the Army chief of staff, approved the score card, which identifies the metrics of each readiness area. The score card helps to ensure that all levels of the Army align their operations to the service's enterprise vision and objectives, and it measures success in achieving those goals.

The Army score card readiness areas include:

* Status of the industrial base for military equipment and supplies.

* Well-being.

* Infrastructure of all Army installations.

* Status of federal, state and local transportation nodes in reference to their abilities to support deployments.

Thomas White, secretary of the Army, said that in the past, unit status reports measured the readiness of personnel, equipment and training of combat units, but SRS includes "the other three-quarters of the Army not currently formally measured."

Another key SRS benefit, White said, is that there are "no additional burdens on soldiers," because it takes advantage of existing systems.

The Army will continue to use unit status reports along with the SRS.

To ensure that the status of each score card is current, SRS uses an automated program that can reach into more than 5,000 Army databases to draw on up-to-date information and will not require commanders to fill out another report — a goal required by Shinseki.

Army Headquarters staff sections and major military commands started using the new system in June, and its use eventually will expand to divisions and separate brigades, officials said. The rest of the service will begin implementation of the system in October.

Booz Allen Hamilton is the prime contractor and IT integrator for SRS, having been awarded a nearly $17 million contract in April, said Bruce Tripp, SRS program manager at the firm. He added that the company selected two subcontractors — Balanced Scorecard Collaborative Inc. (BSCol) and Incisive Inc. — to help implement the system.

"We're working with the Army on the front end of the system to help them become a strategy-focused organization," said Laura Downing, senior vice president at BSCol. "We helped them develop the internal capabilities to develop and use balanced score cards as the cornerstone of SRS."

CorVu Corp., a provider of enterprise performance management solutions, was selected to automate the balanced score cards with its CorManage software, said Alan Missroon, vice president of sales at the company, which started work in early June and has already put the software in effect for the Army. CorManage, combined with CorVu's HyperVu and RapidScorecard, provides the Army with an integrated enterprise performance management solution, which includes business intelligence and the automated balanced score cards, Missroon said.

"We sit on top of the data warehouse, extract data and present it in cascading [score cards]" that are essentially cause-and-effect diagrams, he said. "Our tool is then used to drill into those score cards, navigate the chain, and do analysis and reporting of the action data."

Army Knowledge Online users can get more information on the new systems and the score cards at https://akocomm.us.army.mil/srs/.

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