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News | Feb. 20, 2020

DCMA reaps benefits from Atlanta future leaders

By Kelly Fender, Brittany Blue and Vernon Lewis DCMA Atlanta

Recent graduates of a new leadership program here could soon be credited as being the key employees who produced an effective tool for senior leaders throughout Defense Contract Management Agency.

The graduates created a desktop guide on how to distribute the Capabilities Achievement Tool to the agency’s contract management offices.

The CAT provides easy access to relevant performance data and greater transparency of CMOs overall health to senior leaders. It displays performance priorities, metrics and goals relating to the DCMA Strategic Plan and is organized in accordance with the DCMA Business Capabilities Framework and the National Defense Strategy.

The development and deployment of the guide was just one element of Atlanta’s NexTier leadership program. The program’s curriculum is engineered to strengthen enrollees in the core competencies required to apply for, and succeed, in senior executive service, known as SES, positions within the federal government by enhancing the skills and effectiveness of the participants.

Graduates of the course devoted 10 months to developing their leadership philosophies and styles. They met with government and private industry leaders, hosted outside entrepreneurs, and cultivated discussions about leadership through seminars.

Cory Rosenberger, DCMA chief of staff, spoke at their graduation ceremony Jan. 16 and commended DCMA Atlanta for developing the leadership program. He said a strong organization is built upon caring for its people.

“At the end of the day, people drive results,” Rosenberger said.

The cohort cultivated each other’s strengths and fashioned ways to rectify their individual weaknesses, all while working together to improve processes within the Atlanta office with a two-part capstone project.

The first step was the development of the desktop guide to distribute the capability tool.

The second step resulted in improved accessibility to the CMO’s concept of operations document. The document explains what each workgroup does, and their role within the CMO. In its previous form, the document existed as a cumbersome 83-page PDF file. Graduates successfully digitized the contents, which greatly improved accessibility.

The digital copy is accessible to all Atlanta CMO employees and leaders. They are able to edit and customize the content to clarify information and standardize their operations across functional areas. It provides a common operating picture and a blueprint for the entire agency by laying out the linkages and interdependencies of the various processes and systems, encouraging cross-functional collaboration.

“Due to the standout success of the program’s first year, I’m excited to say that the 2020 cohort will be expanded to 12 participants,” said Nicole Bragg, NexTier program manager.

Bragg is part of a group of agency leaders planning the agency-wide leadership development program.

“I’m passionate about building strong leaders throughout all levels of the organization. To that end, I’m partnering with leaders across DCMA to seek ways to expand Atlanta CMO’s success agency-wide,” said Bragg.

NexTier capitalizes on its added value by having graduates serve on upcoming boards and contribute to curriculum planning, leadership seminars off-site visits, and mentor programs.

A new cohort will be selected during the second quarter of 2020.