NCMA Strategic Plan
Our Mission, Vision, and Values
I. Our Mission
NCMA’s mission is to advance the contract management profession.
II. Our Vision for the Profession
Contract management will be viewed by all organizations—public and private—as an essential business management function that directly contributes to organizational success.
People will recognize contract management is a challenging and rewarding profession, and will prepare for and seek out positions in the profession.
Universities will provide undergraduate and graduate degree programs and courses designed to prepare students for entry into or advancement in the contract management profession.
III. Our Vision for the Organization
NCMA will lead in defining the standards and the body of knowledge for the contract management profession.
NCMA will provide tools that enable the entry, development, and advancement of all contract management professionals.
NCMA will be a model for not-for-profit individual membership organizations, recognized for innovation, effective and efficient operations, and agile responsible governance.
IV. Our Value Propositions
NCMA provides the tools, resources, and leadership opportunities to enhance each member of the profession’s performance, career, and accomplishments.
NCMA provides the structure, name recognition, and products directly and through chapters to contracting professionals worldwide.
NCMA provides employers ready access to skilled human capital, learning resources, best practices, standards, and metrics of the profession.
We enable other entities such as researchers, consultants, trainers, recruiters, advertisers, and universities to gain broad access to defined segments of our community of practice and our Body of Knowledge for the purpose of advancing the profession and fulfilling their individual goals.
V. Our Values
We are committed to:
- Principled professional conduct and achievement, as dictated by our Code of Ethics;
- An open exchange of ideas in a neutral forum;
- A culturally and professionally diverse membership;
- Excellence in everything we do, especially our service to our members and the contract management community;
- Continuing education, training and leadership opportunities through a network of local chapters;
- Remaining the preeminent source of professional development for contract professionals;
- Recognizing and rewarding professional excellence and superior individual achievement in support of the contract management profession;
- Demonstrated professional achievement through Certification;
- Quality volunteer leadership; and
- Members’ highly principled freedom of action and responsibility to the people and organizations they serve.
VI. Environmental Trends
In establishing the strategies and objectives we will pursue for the future of the profession and our association, we expect the following trends to impact the profession and the association:
1. The demand for contract management talent exceeds the supply. This has been the case since early 2000s, due to demands placed upon the acquisition workforce caused by significant increases in federal spending to deal with the wars on terror (2003–present), natural and unnatural disasters (ie. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the BP oil spill), and economic recovery investment (2008–present). Workforce demands have been further exacerbated by maturation and retirement of the baby boom generation, which is a key factor in the creation of the "bathtub effect"—a gap in mid-career talent. Morever, as there is no "front door" to the profession through traditional undergraduate degree programs that prepare individuals for entry into a profession, there is no ready stream of prepared talent to tap. Due to the extensive business process, legal and regulatory knowledge required to perform CM tasks, new entries in contract management take up to three years to become functional. In part too many of these human capital challenges, training budgets have increased since 2008, and there has been a proliferation of intern programs to accelerate development of new talent.
2. The people doing contract management work are defining “career” differently. Whereas once professionals viewed their career progression as a linear path, ladder or track, options for growth and advancement limited to within their field, they now view their careers as a non-linear, multi-dimensional web or net, with many more opportunities for professional growth and advancement by branching off into parallel or adjacent careers. This phenomenon is in part driven by generational expectations, globalism, and technology. Today workers move between as many as 5–6 careers over their life spans, as opposed to 5–6 jobs within a single career as in past generations. Workers are also redefining retirement, treating it as a transition to different, more interesting or less stressful roles, rather than a complete exit from the workforce. Workers are also redefining mentoring relationships, from age-based (ie. older worker mentors younger worker) to role and skill-based mentoring (ie. junior worker with web-based skills mentors senior worker). Workers are also increasingly mobile—geographically, interpersonally and economically.
3. Changes in the U.S. federal legislative, regulatory and budgetary environment will continue at a high pace for the foreseeable future. The volume of changes in legislation and regulations affecting the acquisition process has been extraordinary over the last several years, with major changes in the acquisition of major weapons systems, services, information technology, including the planning and budgeting processes, as well as oversight. Many of the legislative changes were in response to audits finding problems with program cost overruns and schedule slips, as well as the proper use of contract tools to manage and oversee risk. There also have been issues about managing a blended workforce, one in which the government must perform certain functions and also effectively manage work done by contractors. Congressional pressure to spend federal monies with increased transparency, accountability and oversight means agencies must provide better information faster. All of these factors are overlaid with global economic volatility, and emerging world events requiring faster mobilization of acquisition involving more complex technology and logistics.
VII. Objectives and Strategies
Responding to these external and internal forces, the association will strive to accomplish the following objectives during the succeeding five program years:
- Develop and institutionalize an effective advocacy and outreach program that provides a neutral forum for the profession. The desired outcomes for this objective are public recognition that contract management is an essential business management function, and public recognition that NCMA is the preeminent neutral forum for contracting professionals.
- Create standards for the profession that are widely recognized and adopted. The desired outcome for this objective is for NCMA's standards to be accepted across multiple domains (government, industry, academia) as a framework for best practices.
- Create programs and services to help people enter into and progress within the contract management profession. The desired outcome is for the contract management profession to be recognized as a career field in which education, professional development and advancement opportunities exist for long-term practitioners as well as recent entrants into the profession. NCMA achieves this by creating programs and services to help people enter into and progress within the contract management profession.
- Enhance and develop program delivery techniques to improve value for existing and potential members. The desired outcome for this objective is that NCMA will have multiple program and service delivery methods to maximize member value and engagement opportunities.