By Linda Brock and Brittany Blue
Michael Shields, the Defense Contract Management Agency’s executive director of Quality Assurance, visited DCMA Atlanta July 24. During the visit, he met with senior leaders and employees to discuss the future demands of a changing workforce.
During the all-hands meeting, Shields presented a briefing focused on the agency’s transformation to a digital workforce.
“Globally, the pace of change is accelerating and will be shaped by four major trends —outsourcing of product development and manufacturing, automation, software and artificial intelligence, and education,” said Shields. “Technical professionals of the future need to possess deeper and broader expertise related to these trends. They need to learn more at a faster pace in order to be agile enough to influence DOD (Department of Defense) trends and contractors' performance, critical thinking and problem solving.”
Shields also spoke about increasing the percentage of women in the quality assurance career field.
“The push is to recruit more women in the 1910 job series,” he said. “Currently, women comprise only 12% of the QA workforce. The QA career field has changed, and the position requires employees to now focus more on data collection and analysis. The DCMA Technical Directorate and Human Capital created a QA women’s symposium to positively influence recruitment of women into the field.”
In addition, Shields encouraged senior leaders to continue to recruit and mentor younger employees. He praised DCMA Atlanta for its NexTIER Leadership Development Program. The program focuses on preparing employees for the four levels of the Executive Core Qualifications, which will teach employees how to apply for jobs within the Senior Executive Service. The program also incorporates lectures by senior leaders from both the public sector and private industry and promotes mentorship at the contract management office.
“CMO leadership foresees this program continuing to provide a path for individuals to grow and lead the agency towards the future,” said Navy Cmdr. Frank Miller, DCMA Atlanta’s commander.
During the supervisory meeting, Miller gave Shields an overview of the CMO’s Capabilities Achievement Tool, also known as CAT, which links the agency’s strategic goals and objectives to the Business Capability Framework and its contribution plans. Shields recommended the tool for a future agency pilot program.
“The CAT is a knowledge management tool that provides predictive analysis to drive results and integrates strategic goals and the Business Capability Framework to the organizational contribution plan,” said Miller.
“It generates briefing slides for our capability measurement plan, creates synergy and opens communication between the directorates,” he added. “It also provides real-time visibility for metrics and delivers a common operating picture for the CMO. The CAT answers the questions, ‘How are we doing and how do we know?’ The CAT gives us visibility on the performance and health of the CMO and stands as an internal control for many DCMA processes.”
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