Program offers acquisition career roadmap
March 15, 2012
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- Officials here have developed an Acquisition Workforce Civilian Leadership Development Program offering contracting professionals a structured, detailed roadmap for career management.
Initially created for the Mission and Installation Contracting Command workforce, officials from the Army Contracting Command exploring a similar program promptly recognized the value of the development program as not only vital to the success of the MICC but the broader Army acquisition community.
"The Army is committed to replenishing and growing our professional acquisition workforce through the enhancement of career development programs and training opportunities," said Brig. Gen. Stephen Leisenring, the MICC commanding general. "Professional development serves as a powerful tool in defending this nation and provides the processes to acquire needed capabilities."
The overarching objective of this program is to build a cadre of acquisition workforce members through various tools and developmental opportunities for future leadership roles, said Wiley Cox, a procurement analyst with the MICC Acquisition Workforce Development and Training Branch. Fashioned after the Army Workforce Development Roadmap for the Contracting and Acquisition Career Programs, he said an assessment of the organization revealed a gap in aligning the workforce with professional development.
"We realized there was a disconnect between individual aspirations and decision makers who can match individuals to opportunities," added Cox, who drew on his previous Air Force experience as one of the architects of the MICC program. "The acquisition workforce development and training team designed a program within the MICC that will develop our future leaders."
The program entails a four-phased approach and begins with establishing career development roadmaps.
"Contracting career field members who elect to participate will now have the unprecedented ability to directly communicate their career aspirations to senior leaders who will then provide a strategic perspective on individual career paths," Cox said. "This new avenue of communication will serve to identify future leaders and also arm individuals with recommendations that allow them to maximize their growth potential."
Members who complete a roadmap should highlight functional competencies and significant business, professional and leadership skills. Senior leaders will review the roadmaps taking into consideration technical competencies, business acumen, leadership skills, and training and education accomplishments encouraged at the tactical, operational and strategic levels.
The second phase entails completion of a contracting career development plan that consists of an employee's present and past experience as well as short- and long-range goals, according to Lorraine Massie, the MICC Contract Operations Division chief. This step also includes an assessment and recommendation by an individual's supervisor.
Following completion of the roadmap and submission of a development plan, the third phase entails a review by the Acquisition Workforce Civilian Leadership Development Board. The board will consist of a panel of senior leaders who will analyze experiential and educational accomplishments as well as immediate supervisor input using specific criteria and a structured feedback approach to ensure consistency. Cox said the board will provide at least one follow-on assignment recommendation along with training and educational recommendations in a structured feedback taking into account individual accomplishments, career goals and attributes that may lead to continued professional growth and career progression.
The final phase of the Acquisition Workforce Civilian Leadership Development Program is a match of development opportunities based on recommendations by the board, also serving as tool for succession planning, Massie stated. Managing the development program for MICC members is the MICC Contract Support Plans and Operations Directorate's acquisition workforce development and training team.
The program was originally scheduled to launch in March; however, adoption by ACC for implementation across the higher headquarters level will lead to a program roll-out later this spring.
Following the launch of the program, officials from the MICC and ACC will continue to work closely to ensure individuals in the non-acquisition workforce are also folded into the career and leadership development process in the near future.