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News | Nov. 24, 2015

Workforce ideas fuel Agency's march toward excellence

By Thomas Perry DCMA Public Affairs

Hoping to provide Defense Contract Management Agency team members with an opportunity to draw upon their innovative minds and improve the organization’s warfighter support ability, the agency’s Continuous Process Improvement division launched the Policy and Process Improvement Suggestion Program eTool in February 2010.

“The program’s objective is to provide a forum for submission and review of suggestions for the betterment of the agency,” said Erica Frasier, a Continuous Process Improvement member. “Its express purpose is to encourage agency personnel at all levels to submit any ideas or suggestions they believe will actively enhance or contribute to DCMA’s affordability, efficiency, effectiveness and work environment.”

Agency Director Air Force Lt. Gen. Wendy Masiello signed DCMA Instruction 592 reissuing and updating the program May 29, 2014. The policy and eTool called the Continuous Improvement Idea Identification System are now commonly referred to as the suggestion program.

“One thing I’ve learned over my many years in government service is that senior leaders don’t have a lock on good ideas,” Masiello said. “In fact, our best ideas come from the people who work the issues every day … those from the factory floor to the front line. I view the program as our avenue to the talent we have across our agency... a way to include everyone in our DCMA journey of excellence.”

To date, the program has received more than 1,206 ideas. Over 135 suggestions have been accepted and implemented, improving eTools such as corrective action reports, Electronic Data Warehouse and Wide-Area Workflow, according to Frasier. Submissions have also directly led to agency savings.

Frasier said that every idea is reviewed and considered by the appropriate subject matter expert, and team members receive a personal response within 30 days of submission.

Jose Irizarry received one of those responses. The aircraft industrial specialist with Aircraft Integrated Maintenance Operations Oklahoma City, drew upon his experience when he identified a need for a standardized tool where industrial specialists could track over and above required documentation.

“Industrial specialists are required to ensure there is adequate funding to approve over and above work,” wrote Irizarry, in his write-up he submitted through the agency’s online suggestion box. “Also, there are multiple aircraft in work under the same (contract line item number). A database that is visible to the administrative contracting officer and industrial specialist would show real-time fund availability. The tool should show total amount of hours approved or rejected and reason. Also, it should track repetitive tasks in order to be incorporated into the contract. The database should be easy to use by inputting aircraft tail number and the job order number.”

Irizarry’s proposal will be implemented within the Process Working Groups’ future actions, and will one day help administrative contracting officers and industrial specialists better support the warfighter.

Interested team members can click here to submit an idea or can find the quick link to the suggestion box at the bottom right hand corner of the DCMA home page.