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News | May 4, 2017

Business Capabilities Framework captures DCMA’s return on investment

By Ryan Kivett, DCMA International DCMA International

Over the past couple of years, the Defense Contract Management Agency has been striving to develop the most effective method for providing acquisition insight that matters while supporting and developing the workforce and strategically positioning the agency to meet its goals. 

DCMA developed the Business Capabilities Framework to better capture the agency’s return on investment to a more integrated model focusing on the organization’s products, including acquisition risk reduction and transaction support. 

The strategic environment DCMA faces today has changed since its establishment. In examining the environment, agency leaders addressed the question, “What value does this agency add to the acquisition process?” In the future, the framework will align the agency’s strategic plan, instructions, performance assessments and program objective memorandum submissions.

“The core concept here is to focus on what adds value — increasing the value of the products and services we provide to the customer and eliminate the distractions and non-value added work,” said Pam Sutton, director of the Strategic Analysis Division. “The Business Capabilities Framework has to account for all of the dollars and all the effort of the agency, both our direct mission efforts and the enabling efforts that support them. Using the framework allows DCMA to explain and demonstrate how we deliver capabilities to the warfighter.”

By adopting a Business Capabilities Framework, DCMA’s governance organization and strategic planning become clearer. To address governance, DCMA has established management boards. Each board is chaired by a senior leader with team leads from the operational units and functional areas. 

DCMA is following the Department of Defense’s Joint Chiefs of Staff best practices to establish the management boards, including the purpose, membership, required inputs and outputs, and battle rhythm. After identifying the inputs and outputs of each management board, the agency’s battle rhythm is synchronized to make sure the director’s decisions are implemented.

Within the Business Capabilities Framework, the activities of the five primary capability working groups are the key mission elements whose products provide value. Those products include contract demand letters, pre-award surveys, technical support to negotiation and contract modification. According to Sutton, it’s important that each team is comprised of employees from multiple job series and all DCMA organizations to participate and share data. 

Each management board is also incorporated into the agency’s senior leadership council's battle rhythm to collaborate and coordinate an integrated approach to planning and programming. The capability managers are responsible for ensuring that proposals and initiatives generated under their purview are reviewed, coordinated and vetted with appropriate stakeholders for action and implementation. In addition, the capability managers are responsible for execution plans, initiatives, measures and performance objectives assigned to them or their components through the strategic plan. The DCMA director has the final decision-making authority in the agency. 

“Collaboration is critical to effectively execute this model,” said Sutton. “We must interact as a community of professionals with one mission.” 

Editor’s Note: Future articles will discuss the Business Capabilities Framework's integrating and enabling capabilities.