A couple weeks ago, I saw a comment by Jaime Gracia over in our Young Acquisition Professionals (YAP) group regarding the Contract Management Leadership Development Program (CMLDP) for up and coming contracting stars. So I asked Jaime if he could share a bit more about it so that more potential applicants could throw their hats in the ring. Check out the interview below.
1 – What is the CMLDP and who administers it?
The Contract Management Leadership Development Program (CMLDP) is a program administered by the National Contract Management Association (NCMA). It is designed to help develop the next generation of contract management leaders through an intensive yearlong educational experience. Program participants will receive 180 hours of top quality training in fundamental leadership, NCMA governance, and contract management. The program is quite relevant to contract management professionals regardless of their employer, location, or industry.
2 – How did it get started…and how has it evolved over the years?
The contract management workforce is facing one of its greatest challenges ever-the workforce is aging and retiring at a pace faster than the next generation is replacing them. This has created a gap of sorts-in supervisory, middle management, and executive level positions-across the entire profession. There are simply not enough high-quality contract management professionals to meet today’s needs-and the outlook for the future remains challenging. The CMLDP is designed to quickly close the gap in leadership progression by accelerating the preparation of a select group of contract management professionals. Candidates will have demonstrated a level of commitment to their professional development unmatched in the field and, as a result, will carry with them a unique, meaningful credential that will open doors to new challenges and professional opportunities.
3 – How many people do you accept each year?
The program normally receives 120-140 applicants, with about 20 accepted per year.
4 – Got any success stories of current or past participants?
Many of the CMLDP graduates continue to serve in leadership functions cross the NCMA. Markesha McCants, a CMLDP 2010 graduate, was recognized as one of the 2009 Greater Knoxville Business Journal’s “Top 40 under 40” award recipients! The “Top 40 under 40” award recognizes 40 outstanding rising leaders under the age of 40 who are shaping their region. The recipients are chosen based on their contributions to their business and community. Over the years, regional business journals have honored a vast array of young professionals, ranging from entrepreneurs to nonprofit volunteers.
5 – What are the 3 trends you see in contracting that will impact emerging leaders?
The use of technology to improve productivity in contract management Acquisition workforce, and the need to train emerging leaders to fill skill and capability gaps as retirements continue, and subsequent loss of institutional knowledge Need to have more advanced skills in requirements development, contracting, program management, and leadership. Emerging leaders will need to have a greater focus on business advisory roles.