PPBS is the process that produces DoD's portion of the
President's Budget. It was originally introduced by Secretary of Defense
Robert McNamara in 1962, and is unique to the DoD. It is a 14-16 month cyclic
process with three distinct but interrelated phases, planning, programming,
and budgeting. These phases provide a formal, systematic structure for making
decisions on policy, strategy, and the development of forces and capabilities
to accomplish anticipated missions. The objective of PPBS is to provide
operational commanders with the best mix of forces and support in view of real
The Deputy Secretary of Defense manages the PPBS with the advice and
assistance of the Defense Resources Board, which he chairs. The Defense
Resources Board includes the four Under Secretaries of Defense (i.e., for
Acquisition, Technology and Logistics; Policy; Comptroller; and Personnel and
Readiness), the Director, Program Analysis and Evaluation, the Chairman and
Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), and the Secretaries of the
Army, Navy and Air Force.
A brief description of each segment of the PPBS follows:
Planning. This phase is the responsibility of the Under Secretary of Defense (Policy). Planning starts in the fall (around October) and ends in the spring (March) with publication of Defense Planning Guidance.
Programming. This phase is managed by the Director, Program Analysis and Evaluation. It
is the bridge between planning (with broad fiscal guidance) and budgeting
(which meticulously prices each pro-gram element). It begins when draft
Defense Planning Guidance come out early in the year and ends with the
submission of the Military Departments and Defense agency Program Objectives
Memoranda (POMs) in early summer (May-June). POMs, are based on Defense
Planning Guidance, are requests for resources to accomplish assigned missions.
Budgeting. The Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) is responsible for this
phase. After the Defense staff reviews the POMs, budget estimates are prepared
and forwarded (in September) to the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller).
Military Department and Defense agency budget estimates are reviewed by the
Defense staff, and the final DoD budget then goes to the White House Office of
Management and Budget to become part of the President's budget submission to
Congress in February, thus ending the budgeting phase.
The following table summarizes the responsible agency
and key product of each PPBS segment.