What the Army Needs to Know to Align Its Operational and Institutional Activities

Executive Summary

by Frank Camm, Cynthia R. Cook, Ralph Masi, Anny Wong


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Transformation of the Army’s operating force is well under way. The Army must also transform its institutional activities to (1) align them with operating forces in ways that improve support, and (2) release resources from institutional activities that the Army can use to add new brigades and weapon systems. This document is the executive summary for MG-530-A, What the Army Needs to Know to Align Its Operational and Institutional Activities, which describes a way for the Army leadership to negotiate and establish performance goals for institutional activities that give the Army effective control over the alignment of its operational and institutional elements while preserving flexibility and initiative within institutional activities to choose how to meet these goals. It assesses value chains to map how the institutional Army transforms resources into outputs that it delivers to the operating force to support desired outcomes, and also illustrates how to evaluate value chains relevant to three representative institutional Army activities: medical services, enlisted accessioning, and short-term acquisition. It then derives implications for (1) integrating such an approach with the Army’s ongoing Strategic Management System and Lean Six Sigma initiatives, and (2) identifying the additional empirical data needed to allow such integration.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    The Institutional Army and Its Place in the U.S. Army

  • Chapter Three

    The Information Requirements of Effective Alignment

  • Chapter Four

    Evaluating Value Chains to Support Effective Alignment

  • Chapter Five

    The Way Forward for Policy

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The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Army and conducted by the RAND Arroyo Center.

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