An examination of technical product knowledge of contracting professionals at Air Force system program offices
Gallagher, Jr., James P.
Rendon, Rene G.
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The acquisition process for the Department of Defense has recently seen acquisition setbacks characterized by cost overruns, schedule delays, and products that do not meet standards. Part of this problem has been attributed to deficiencies with the acquisition workforce to include contracting professionals. A partial remedy has recently been to hire more contracting professionals to the acquisition workforce along with a revision of training requirements. But what if the government is not training contracting professionals properly Are contracting professionals receiving the right education and training to obtain the requisite skills to contract successfully Research indicates that commercial purchasing professionals must possess certain skill sets in order to be successful purchasing professionals. One of these skills is product knowledge, or knowledge of the product or service for which they contract. Because the government does not provide training or opportunities for contracting professionals to gain product knowledge, they are incapable of performing their job to the maximum potential. As a result of this shortcoming, there are adverse effects on the organization such as a less motivated and more stressed workforce due to the lack of knowledge. This research exams academic theory, commercial practice, government application with regards to the level of product knowledge contracting professionals currently have and its effect on an government organization.
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