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News | May 29, 2019

Agency personnel bring expertise to strategic council

By Craig Bennett DCMA Technical Directorate

Defense Contract Management Agency personnel participate in a variety of groups to offer acquisition insight to contractors and customers.

DCMA is a member of the Joint Strategic Quality Council, which was founded in January and is a group that enables the agency and its partners to work together to discuss and implement detection to prevention initiatives. JSQC members are senior-level employees of government agencies, industry groups and corporate contractors.

“The council collaborates in developing and validating novel and innovative acquisition insight and oversight concepts,” said Michael Shields, who is the council chairperson and DCMA’s executive director of Quality Assurance. “The concepts are aligned with the agency’s strategic direction and improving industry best practices such as virtual remote oversight, model-based mission assurance, augmented reality and blockchain technology.”

The council makes sure its objectives are focused on meeting customers’ needs, specifically warfighters, and saving them money.

“As we look at our objectives and find ways for improvement, we will no longer focus on retaining duplicate performance data,” he said. “We are transitioning to collaborate on analysis using contractor data, independent third-party performance data, business systems, and process certifications to identify and mitigate risk to reduce oversight costs.”

According to Shields, the council works with the Department of Defense to understand the priorities and to let others know how DCMA, industry groups and the defense contractors can help them.

“The overall JSQC objective is to increase DCMA, industry and contractor support to the customer with an efficiency goal focused on eliminating non-value activity, mitigating risk, and providing insight to the fullest extent possible,” said Shields. “The JSQC helps to incorporate proven concepts within industry standards and DCMA policies.”

The council meets bimonthly to review current and upcoming projects and to develop charters and concepts to be validated at the working-level groups within DCMA’s contract management offices. The initiatives’ progress and challenges are reviewed monthly at the Executive Quality Council strategy meetings, which is a JSQC subcommittee. The measure of a project’s success focuses on various factors, including reducing costs, improving delivery of quality products by eliminating non-value added processes, reducing cycle times and reducing errors by focusing on resources earlier in the acquisition value stream.

Shields makes sure his staff in the DCMA Technical Directorate at headquarters understand their role when participating in the JSQC or other working groups.

“The Technical Directorate’s objectives are to assure contractors’ business systems conform to contract requirements and their processes are capable to meet design and production requirements,” he said.

“Also employees should verify contractors’ testing and inspection results are credible and provide adequate evidence to perform government acceptance. Both the JSQC and EQC provide a platform for government and industry employees to develop strategies and validate concepts that help customers get quality items at a reasonable cost.”