Leadership Skills and Career Paths
Among other things, the article reminded readers that in “…2016, Congress adopted legislation reflecting many of the Academy’s recommendations, including the development of a formal job series and career path for federal program managers and a standards-based model for program management. This law, the Program Management Improvement Accountability Act, required the Office of Management and Budget to develop implementation guidance and required agencies to develop specific implementation plans. The OMB guidance was issued this past June, with a timetable for agency plans to be developed by the end of the year.”
Given that DoD Product Support Manager’s must possess many of the key leadership and management skills as DoD Program Managers, found myself wondering whether development of a formal life cycle logistics job series might be worthy of consideration.
While the department has established a comprehensive career path for Department of Defense Product Support Managers, there is not a single dedicated formal job series from which personnel enter these key DoD leadership positions, nor have key stakeholders identified this as a particular concern.
Life Cycle Logisticians, according to career field demographic data available on the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (A&S) Human Capital Initiatives (HCI) office, hail from a wide range of occupational series. For successful life cycle logisticians who demonstrate high potential for greater responsibilities, most are assigned to GS-0346 Logistics Management Series positions once they are designated as a PSM.
“This (0346) series covers positions concerned with directing, developing, or performing logistics management operations that involve planning, coordinating, or evaluating the logistical actions required to support a specified mission, weapons system, or other designated program. The work involves: (1) identifying the specific requirements for money, manpower, materiel, facilities, and services needed to support the program; and (2) correlating those requirements with program plans to assure that the needed support is provided at the right time and place. Logistics work requires: (1) knowledge of agency program planning, funding, and management information systems; (2) broad knowledge of the organization and functions of activities involved in providing logistical support; and (3) ability to coordinate and evaluate the efforts of functional specialists to identify specific requirements and to develop and adjust plans and schedules for the actions needed to meet each requirement on time.
Positions in this series require some degree of specialized knowledge of some or all of the logistics support activities involved. The paramount qualification requirement, however, is the ability to integrate the separate functions in planning or implementing a logistics management program. (Positions in which specialized knowledge of logistics support functions are the paramount requirement are classified to whichever specialized or general series is most appropriate.)”
OPM’s guidance for the 0346 occupational series goes on to indicate that “Logistics Management Officer” is an authorized title “for supervisory positions with responsibility for planning, organizing, and directing an overall logistics program. Such positions will be few in number and will typically be senior positions located at the headquarters level of a military department, command, and/or installation, or at the headquarters or regional level of a civilian department or agency.” Sounds remarkably like a high-level, generic description of a PSM position.
While arguably sufficient from a technical perspective, in view of the responsivities outlined in 10 U.S.C. 2337 and DoD Instruction 5000.02, Enclosure 6, does it in your mind in fact capture the breadth and depth of expertise, leadership skills, authorities, and responsibilities DoD product support managers must possess, fulfill, and achieve? From an academic perspective, I personally believe it does. More importantly though, what do you think?