By Dwayne Bennett
DCMA Quality Assurance Directorate
FORT LEE, Va. - Everyone deals with change on a daily basis, so we are not unique at the Defense Contract Management Agency.
One saying we hear regularly is, “The only constant is change.” What does that mean exactly? It means that in order to stay viable, one must be willing to adapt to a new construct. We must wrap our minds around the new processes or assimilate information on the fly as progress moves us in new directions. This constantly changing progression of movement could actually become a headline here at DCMA, “This is your life.”
As an offshoot of the Defense Logistics Agency, the Defense Contract Management Command endured the changes of a fledgling organization that had to improvise and adapt. Born out of the necessity to reduce redundancy and save federal tax dollars, we became a command within DLA.
Working as an agent for the military services and the desire to have an independent set of eyes and ears on the job necessitated us to be removed from DLA and become our own agency. Changes over our entire history, as a command and as an agency, have caused us to become good at being flexible to meet budget and mission requirements.
We are supposed to be change agents again today, where wars are ending and budgets are tightened as we face pressures to become more efficient with the funds allocated to our agency. Why is it important for me to tell you this? Change will continue to be a constant. The most important thing is whether you choose to view it as a positive or negative.
I choose to be a positive change agent because DCMA is made up of a diverse workforce that is home to some of the most talented people that work in the federal government. Although not unique to other organizations within the federal or public sector, we have our faults. But if you check our track record, we are awesome and have done pretty well for ourselves and the taxpayers. You are the reason why we have been successful.
We face challenges every day and tomorrow will be no different. Recently, Air Force Lt. Gen. Wendy Masiello, our director, shared an important change that will affect our agency because we are slated to take on a 25 percent reduction at headquarters and other reductions through delayering efforts and on-going budget pressures.
Is it a time to hole up and wait until the storm passes? It might be for some, but not for us at DCMA. Even before the director’s news, we had people acting as catalysts for change throughout the agency. The progress of constant change identified volunteers to come forward to provide their ideas and knowledge on the Process Working Group, Policy Writing Team Training Working Group, Detection to Prevention team and other initiatives.
This agency, like most businesses, relies on these types of courageous folks, known as change agents, to help them through challenging periods. You can be a change agent that can help us gather good ideas, willing to take DCMA’s successes to further heights and build on the successes of our vision, “one team, one voice delivering global, acquisition insight that matters” from the field to headquarters sharing the vision at all levels. I have no doubt we will persevere. We will be successful because our men and women at DCMA never give up and never surrender.
Are you up to the challenge to be an agent for change?
Editor’s note: We’ll be featuring additional articles from Dwayne Bennet and the Quality Assurance Directorate in the coming months focusing on embracing change, and how individuals can contribute to the agency’s success.
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