Spotlight on Success: Kathy Lytle

By October 29, 2018Career Development
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Kathy Lytle

Title: Product director for Stryker Production and Variant Management

Command: Program Executive Office for Ground Combat Systems, ­Project Management Office for Stryker Brigade Combat Team (PMO SBCT)

AAW Certifications and Qualifications: Graduate of the Defense Acquisition University Senior Service College Fellowship (DAU-SSCF), Graduate of the Program Manager’s Course (PMT 401), Civilian Education System Senior Level Education Equivalency Credit, Graduate of the Advanced Program Management Course (PMT 302), Member of the Army Acquisition Corps; Level III certified in program management and in life cycle logistics

What program or courses did you participate in?

Defense Acquisition University Senior Service College Fellowship (DAU-SSCF)

Program Manager’s Course (PMT 401)

Advanced Program Management Course (PMT 302)

When did you start and graduate?

DAU-SSCF: July 2016 – May 2017

Program Manager’s Course (PMT 401): August 2016 – November 2016

Advanced Program Management Course (PMT 302): January 1998 – April 1998

What were your perceptions of the DAU-SSCF program before starting, and did any of that change upon graduation?

My initial perceptions were that it was going to take a great deal of time, but it would be worth it in the end, and that it was going to be difficult for me to spend time with my mother (88 at the time) during SSCF, due to the time requirements. My initial perceptions were correct regarding time: the course was very intense and I spent the majority of my time for the 10-month course on class-­related activities.

My SSCF mentors—Kevin Fahey, then-­Cypress International Inc. vice president of combat vehicles and armaments, and Dr. Thomas Bagwell, then-deputy program executive officer for Ground Combat Systems—helped me with my coursework for SSCF, and my husband, Tom, took care of most everything at home. While I was attending SSCF, my mother broke her hip and had to have surgery. My husband, sister-in-law and friends all helped out with my mother’s care until I graduated. And, yes, it definitely was worth it in the end—I gained tools that I can use professionally and personally for the rest of my life.

In addition, I also gained a network of SSCF graduates, including the close bond I share with the fellows from my class: Paul Coles, Mobile Protected Firepower; Mike Fraley, PMO SBCT branch chief, logistics engineering; John Gates, branch chief, AMC [Army Materiel Command] Legal Center – Warren; and Chad Stocker, Product Director for Army Watercraft Systems.

What were your top three takeaways?

  • Critical thinking.
  • Embracing and leading change.
  • Reflection is important for learning.

What skills or knowledge from the course do you apply most in your job or life? 

Critical thinking in my professional and personal life.

How has this course shaped your acquisition career? 

I became more competitive for a board-­selected position and was selected for my current position as product director for Stryker Production and Variant Management.

This Spotlight on Success appears is in the October 2018 DACM Newsletter With these spotlights, the Army DACM Office highlights talented AAW professionals who have used their training and experience to launch themselves along their career path.

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