News | Aug. 11, 2020

Agency launches leadership development program

By Tonya Johnson DCMA Public Affairs

Defense Contract Management Agency’s Total Force Directorate has a new program to prepare current and future leaders. Agency employees now have a centralized program to gain the leadership skills and the necessary tools needed for career advancement.

The DCMA Leadership Development Program was developed with a three-tier approach, and phase one recently kicked off.

“This effort is in line with the agency’s strategic goal 5, which is to enhance and strengthen the skills, readiness and effectiveness of the total workforce,” said Amy Jenison, the team lead in the Strategic Planning Division who manages the program. “The program targets Objective 5.1, which is to recruit and retain a talented and diverse workforce, and Objective 5.2, which is to meet the current and future mission requirements by strengthening workforce competencies, training and certifications.”

Jenison said planning for the program began last fall when Total Force sent out a tasking memo requesting volunteers from across the agency to participate on an integrated project team. Forty-two employees were chosen and then broken into groups to conduct research and work on the different components of the leadership development program. The team had its first virtual meeting in January.

“This project team represents a cross section of our entire agency,” said Michael Beaupre, the executive director of Total Force. “Every directorate, contract management office and individual benefits when our leaders work effectively.”

Phase one contains a Skillsoft guide to help employees find the right training based on the Department of Defense leadership competencies aligned to their role, whether as an individual contributor, team lead, new supervisor or experienced supervisor. Employees will use the guide to find courses, books and videos related to the competencies associated with their level of job responsibility. The Skillsoft training supports the ongoing performance discussions that employees should have with their supervisors.

“The IPT members are working very hard to create a robust, integrated leadership development program for DCMA,” said Jenison. “Our goal is to sharpen the focus on developing a leadership development program that will maintain and enhance our agency’s standard of success.”

Phase two is the revised DLEAD 201 course for new supervisors. Phase three includes resident courses once agency travel resumes, a coaching program, a formal mentoring program and an emerging leader program. Phase three also includes a developmental assignment program, a supervisory job aid, supervisory guided discussions and a new leadership development webpage.

“We are targeting each level, not just supervisors,” said Jenison. “We are linking everything to the DoD leadership competencies. Our intent is to have a leadership development program that is not just classroom training, but more experiential activities to include mentoring and coaching as well as developmental assignments and other opportunities.”

Several CMOs have their own Tier II leadership development programs. The agency-wide program will be centrally managed, providing one standard across the agency and be rebranded as “emerging leaders.”

“The IPT members researched current DCMA programs, as well as those throughout DoD and other federal agencies, to identify best practices,” said Jenison. “We want to develop leaders at every level and prepare them to effectively utilize resources in innovative ways to achieve success.”

Total Force is also partnering with the Defense Logistics Agency to gain best practices and tools for how that agency has conducted its leadership development program.

Beaupre said the program will benefit employees and the agency as it continues to evolve to meet warfighters’ expectations.

“The quality of our leadership provides DCMA a strategic advantage,” he said. “We owe it to our workforce, our fellow taxpayers and our military service personnel to maximize all our advantages for the good of the mission.

“All our policies, procedures and authorities mean nothing without the talented and dedicated employees executing the agency’s mission on a daily basis around the world. By training a new generation of leaders in the most effective manner possible, we honor the talents of all our employees by providing them the best we have to offer.”

Employees can register and view phase one courses at https://dcmatraining.skillport.com. Employees can learn more about the agency’s overall leadership initiatives at https://go.usa.gov/xf2j6 (login required).

In addition to participating in the new program, employees are still encouraged to apply for the agency’s Centralized Development Program. For more information, visit https://360.intranet.dcma.mil/directorate/PH-TF/TFD/CDP/SitePages/CDP.aspx (login required).