All 43 of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Deputy District Engineers for Programs and Project Management (DPM) met in San Antonio, Texas, on October 20 for a two-day forum coined "The DPM Forum Top 6."
DPMs gather twice yearly to share best practices, tackle the past year's challenges, and develop strategies that best move the organization ahead.
Several representatives from USACE Headquarters, including the 55th Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lt. Gen. Scott Spellmon spoke to the group about all the incredible work the Corps is doing nationwide. The commander also touched on expressing capabilities, work acceptance, design maturity, and telling our story.
Also participating in the event were Director of Civil Works Edward Belk, SES; Director of Military Programs Dr. Christine Altendorf, SES; Headquarters Engineering and Construction Chief Pete Perez, SES; Program Integration Division Chief and Programs Integration Division (PID) Deputy Tab Brown, SES; Jeff Anderson; and Military Programs Integration Division Chief Stacey Hirata, SES.
In addition to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Michael Connor stopping by to express his gratitude for the DPMs, Forum Co-Chair and Memphis District DPM Donny Davidson also commented on the forum’s continued success year after year.
"The DPM Forum was founded in 2015 and continues to grow stronger year after year through active membership and involvement, and excellent support from our headquarters team and incredible USACE leadership," Davidson said. “The overwhelming attendance and active participation at the San Antonio DPM Forum ensured we made significant headway towards CHARTING THE COURSE!," Davidson continued. "It is imperative as we strive to shape enterprise-wide improvements to project delivery and partnership."
Throughout the remainder of the gathering, the DPMs focused on finalizing actions associated with their "Top 6" priority areas: Workload/Workforce, Project Delivery Business Process, Affordability, Technology Challenges, Recruitment/Retention, and "Just Stop," which are things the group no longer needed to focus on.
Furthermore, each subgroup synthesized talks and information into summarized documents for the Chief of Engineers to use at a later time.
This information will be formally presented to the commander at the upcoming senior leader meetings. Such meetings will include civilians and military leaders and typically involve high-level decisions about the organization's future.
The DPMs will continue monthly virtual meetings up until the next DPM Forum scheduled for spring and planned to take place in Memphis.
"The recent DPM Forum in San Antonio was highly productive and an excellent investment for aligning DPMs with enterprise priorities and sharing PDBP and organizational leadership best practices," St. Paul District DPM Karl Jansen said. "As a new DPM on the team, the forum was invaluable for forging productive relationships with my new peers, hearing directly from USACE senior leaders, and learning from our seasoned DPMs. The forum is a powerful accelerator for winning as a team."
Soon to retire, San Francisco District DPM Stu Townsley also noted, "I have seen in my time as DPM that these meetings are becoming increasingly important to the health of the enterprise to seek continual improvement and continuity through command changes."
Jacksonville District DPM Howard (Howie) Gonzales, Jr. further remarked, "Participating in the DPM Forum provided me the opportunity to share experiences with my fellow DPMs and capitalize on lessons learned to help me best lead the Jacksonville District."
Lastly, Charleston District's DPM Lisa Metheney noted, "I look forward to every DPM Forum. I come away from each one with at least 3 new ideas, a better understanding of my colleagues’ challenges, and a reinvigorated spirit that together we can accomplish any mission. "
This executive meeting is critical to the enterprise's success in delivering vital engineering solutions for the nation's most demanding engineering challenges.
USACE thanks its participating civilian leaders for positively contributing to critically important missions that USACE executes for the nation.