Skills to Enter the Profession

Job Task Analysis Survey is Open (Closes November 26)

NCMA is conducting a job task analysis (JTA) survey to test the knowledge and frequency of the job tasks identified in the Contract Management StandardTM (CMS). All materially affected and interested parties are invited to participate.

JTA is a carefully constructed survey, used to determine the body of knowledge that a segment of a profession’s workforce needs to know to competently perform their jobs, and typically, a JTA is the basis for developing a credentialing examination.

If you are a buyer or a seller, we ask that you complete all four sections of the survey. The sections align with the CMS Guiding Principles and Life Cycle Phases (pre-award, award, and post-award). If you fall into the General category, please review the job tasks and provide feedback in the comment boxes at the end of each competency.

With over 130 job tasks to be tested, it may take 40 minutes to complete the survey.

The survey will remain open until 12:00 p.m. ET on November 26, 2018.

Access the survey here.

What skills do I need to enter the profession?

A contract manager's skills are developed through continuing education and practice. A successful contract manager has developed skills in three main areas: technical, conceptual, and human relations. Almost 44% of NCMA members have a general business background; other common areas of studies include law, contracting, liberal arts, accounting, STEM courses, public affairs, management, and more. Contracts are created between buyers and sellers.  There are contract managers on both sides of the table.

Technical skills are demonstrated by competently performing the tasks required, such as: 

• preparing and issuing solicitations,
• preparing bids and proposals,
• preparing or analyzing terms and conditions, and
• analyzing procurement requirements and supplier capabilities.

Training for these skills can be accomplished in degree, certificate, professional continuing education, or specialized programs.

Conceptual skills relate to the manner in which the contract manager visualizes the contract's organization in terms of the agency's or company's goals. These skills involve the ability to see and use the "big picture" for greater organizational and personal success.

Human relations skills focus on the "people" aspect of contract management. Effective performance requires the cooperation of many others over whom the contract manager has little or no organizational control. Dealing with government and contractor representatives from a diverse range of disciplines requires strong relational and communication skills. Many contract managers consider competency in human relations to be the most important skill for the future of their jobs and careers.