FI Consulting’s Tom Coleman published in NCMA’s 2020 article “The Well-Rounded Contracting Professional”

What makes a great contracting professional?  

FI Consulting’s Acquisition and Financial Management Practice Leader, Tom Coleman, explores this question and makes the case for acquisitions professionals to diversify their skills to benefit their organizations and career growth in a January 2020 National Contract Management Association (NCMA) article titled “The Well-Rounded Contracting Professional.”

In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell famously argued that mastering a discipline required 10,000 hours of dedicated practice. Traditional approaches to professional development in contract management align with this perspective, with the expectation that dedicated focus on poring over the Federal Acquisition Regulation, precedent contracts, case law, and certification courses will create professional growth and successful outcomes. This legacy approach to procurement training has diminishing returns and, in some cases, can hinder career development.

Tom’s article leverages real-world examples and case studies to assert that procurement “generalists” who diversify their professional experience with studies in customer domains and technology better serve their organizations while simultaneously expanding their own career opportunities. With federal agencies being required to meet increasing demands with smaller teams, understanding how to leverage technology and better collaborate with customers will be imperative to success in the next decade.

Download of a copy of the article in its entirety: The Well Rounded Contracting Professional

Please visit NCMA’s website for more information on the organization and to learn more about how they support best practices in the contract management profession.

Curious about how FI Consulting helps agencies leverage technology to improve their procurement and spend planning outcomes? Read more at or contact Tom Coleman at