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News | May 3, 2024

Central Region hosts Resource Management and Workload Model Workshop

By Tonya Johnson DCMA Central Region Public Affairs

Army Col. Kenneth Darnall, Central Region commander, and his deputy commander, Cal Bailey, hosted a Resource Management and Workload Model Workshop at Defense Contract Management Agency Boeing St. Louis April 9-11.

“The purpose of the workshop was to review and discuss the Central Region’s (fiscal year) 24 and 25 workload estimations and resources supporting execution,” said Darnall. “We need to understand our workload and project our resource needs to support these efforts in advance of the work showing up. We also, as a region, understand the level of resources allocated to us and prioritize its use against the riskiest activities. Travel, a major non-labor resource, must be managed according to risk in supporting acceptance, delivery, and surveillance activities.”

Approximately 40 participants, including the Central Region’s contract management office commanders and some of their deputies, attended the event on site, while an additional 60-plus team members participated in the hybrid event via Microsoft Teams.

The workshop gave Central Region leaders a chance to review resources at the mid-year point and discuss DCMA Vision. Each CMO commander or deputy briefed the group on their office’s resource workload model, any challenges in recruiting and retaining personnel, and contract administration execution. 

Bailey asked the group to manage the use of “over hires” as they would potentially be needed to support DCMA Vision’s organizational structure changes. Bailey said the group needed to understand that FY25 would present the agency with the opportunity to embrace zero-based budgeting as a means, along with the Resource Workload Model, to align resource allocations. In addition, the group discussed the Product Data Reporting and Evaluation Program, also known as PDREP, and how it can be used in risk surveillance.

“The objective is to present our mission requirements and using the enterprise to help prioritize and assign resources to organizations with risk and impact systematically considered,” said Bailey. “It will not be business as usual with historical data and an inflation factor applied to determine resource allocation.”

Army Col. Leaf Hales, DCMA Chicago commander, discussed how his CMO was able to hire quality employees by offering remote positions, including in the contracting 1102 job series. Other leaders, including Army Col. Ryan Ocampo, DCMA Huntsville commander, echoed the sentiment that offering certain remote positions helped with recruitment and retention at their various CMOs. Amy Kozlowski, DCMA Detroit’s director, let the group know the updates related to DCMA Land — the new CMO that will stand up in June.

Nathan Scoggin, the deputy commander at DCMA Bell Textron Fort Worth, discussed the “paradigm shift” in which CMO leaders may need to adjust the hiring of personnel in certain billets, such as quality assurance specialists or engineers, based on the acquisition cycle and workload. The group also discussed best practices on how to fill specialized positions, including in engineering.

Central Region staff briefed the group on various topics, including AcqDemo, the performance-based tool for acquisition personnel. Stephanie Maenpaa, the program manager for AcqDemo and Department of Defense Performance Management and Appraisal Program, also known as DPMAP, discussed the performance rating statistics by CMO, trends, as well as lessons learned.

“We want the commanders to take the data and look at it,” said Darnall. “We need to make informed decisions. As we have turnover with quite a few of the CMO commanders soon, we want to make sure the deputy commanders lead the continuity and help the new commanders better understand AcqDemo and the way forward. The goal is to compensate and reward people for the workload they are doing, and each command should have a strategy on how to reward and motivate their employees.”

Darnall told the group to not “let their people fall behind.” He encouraged leaders to discuss with their employees their short-term and long-term career goals to better prepare for mission success and to help with retaining employees with the agency.

“We need to always think of how the lack of training could impact the agency’s future mission in two or more years,” said Darnall. “That is an important risk factor.”

Susan Allen, DCMA headquarter’s director of Foreign Military Sales and the DOD reimbursable division, gave an FMS reimbursable forecast and overview briefing to the group. She was also available for separate meetings with CMO leaders to go over their specific questions and concerns.

Other topics briefed during the workshop included projecting future workload in the region, which was spearheaded by Syma Hutchings, the region’s technical director, and John Teetsov, the region’s contracts director. Hutchings and Teetsov also led a session titled, “Metrics that Matter,” in which the two discussed PDREP in-depth. Both said their teams can offer training to CMO personnel.

“Data integrity is important. We want the workforce to embrace PDREP,” said Darnall. “I want CMO leaders to take our staff up on the offer if their employees would like more training on this initiative.”

At the end of the workshop, participants were given an assembly line factory tour at the Boeing plant to see various aircraft, including the F/A-18E-F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler, the autonomous MQ-25 Stingray aerial refueler, T-7A Red Hawk, and the F-15EX Eagle II.