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News | Feb. 16, 2024

Capability group hosts summit to kick off process improvements

By Elizabeth Szoke DCMA Public Affairs

Defense Contract Management Agency stakeholders recently hosted a Contractor Effectiveness Capability Summit in an effort to modernize surveillance business practices to be more agile and data driven across the organization’s footprint.  

Agency Capability managers Dr. Juanita Christensen, Technical Directorate executive director, and Mary Sheridan, Cost and Pricing Regional Command’s deputy executive director, facilitated this collaboration to revise the agency’s existing surveillance manual known as Manual 2303-01.  

Employees currently rely on this manual to ensure consistent surveillance execution across different job functions with offices located around the world, while still maintaining the organization’s mission to deliver high-quality and affordable defense systems. The Contractor Effectiveness Capability team understands that the manual’s current version poses different challenges across the various functional areas and are committed to addressing those concerns.  

“It’s our responsibility to develop guidance that educates the workforce, integrates functional areas and makes managing the risk easier across the agency,” said Sheridan. 

Fifty-six people attended the summit in person and 126 people tuned in remotely, determined to drive positive change to these processes. 

Presenters addressed discrepancies and challenges between the current surveillance manual and how functional experts across the organization were inputting data into the agency’s record system, commonly known as the Product Data Reporting and Evaluation Program, or PDREP. Capability stakeholders used the agency’s data to assist revising Manual 2303-01 by identifying areas that require modifications or updates to enhance the quality of DCMA’s deliverable work products.  

“It’s essential to bring together all stakeholders to communicate key project information to the team, set a positive tone and clarify project objectives,” said Niclas Chavez, DCMA’s engineering and analysis director, who is also a co-lead on the capability team. “The summit gave attendees an opportunity to ask questions live, which reduced the odds of miscommunication and ensures everyone starts the project from the same place.” 

Stakeholders also discussed tools, training and how to rewrite content to support the new organizational structures established by DCMA Vision. The summit included different breakout sessions to allow attendees to begin brainstorming upcoming changes.  

“The new structure will have an overarching surveillance manual that applies to all functional areas, which is similar to the current manual, and volumes for each functional area will include step-by-step guidance on how to execute the surveillance,” said Sara Smith, a senior staff quality assurance specialist, who also serves as the manual manager for the capability team. “This approach eliminates the need for guidebooks, desk guides and other resources outside the manual, making it a one-stop-shop for surveillance.” 

The updated manual will consist of the following volumes: Contracts, Technical, Quality Assurance, Aircraft Operations, Cost and Pricing, and Earned Value. 

“This structure will align with the DCMA Vision Framework and will provide the necessary information to accomplish mission requirements,” Smith said. “The target completion is the beginning of this fall, an unprecedented, but attainable goal. If successful, this manual could blaze a trail for future publications.” 

The Contractor Effectiveness Capability group encourages DCMA team members to visit the its Sharepoint (login required) for more information and updates.