This article was originally published March 17, 2020 on WashingtonTechnology.com The primary impact is that everyone involved in Federal procurement – acquisition professionals, Federal contractors, and others – is busy rearranging personal affairs. Making sure you, those you love, and everyone in your community is safe is what should be the primary concern. But once the dust settles, the short- and long-term impacts will become apparent. Predictions and Best Guesses While we can’t predict the full extent of the impact at this time, change is happening. Some best guesses: Procurement delays: Upcoming procurements are slipping to the right, whether that means RFP release or due dates. These delays are due to the Government focusing on emergency acquisitions as well as the loss of productivity as employees work and/or recover from illness at home. Travel: Non-essential travel is banned as are large gatherings. The Government cannot host in-person industry days, site … Continue reading COVID-19: What Can Federal Contractors Do?
Most requests for proposal (RFPs) ask you to define past performance in terms of relevant size, scope and complexity. The term size is easy to understand because it is numeric. Size refers to the dollar value of the contract, the number of staff, the number of users served, the number of locations served, etc. Scope is also easy to understand too. We simply compare how well the requirements in the RFP’s statement of work or align with those of our past performance reference. For example, in the case of a help desk, does the help desks deliver the same tiers of service, support the same equipment, or use the same tools and processes to perform their jobs? However, the term complexity is vague. Complexity could involve many factors including the: Involvement of many teams or stakeholders Numerous moving parts Numerous schedule dependencies Aggressive project timelines Budget / restraints Work in … Continue reading Five Tips for Describing Complexity
This article was originally published January 10, 2020 on WashingtonTechnology.com Proposal color team reviews don’t work. Why? In many cases, proposal reviewers make two critical mistakes: They read the proposal as if it was a novel, instead of scoring and rating it according to the evaluation criteria. They get tired of arguing about their comments, so they come to consensus—which really means they succumb to groupthink. These mistakes often result in a proposal that not only fails to offer a value proposition rich in discriminating strengths, in some cases it is non-compliant. Your proposal is not a novel Internal color team reviewers often derail your win because they don’t fully understand how the government evaluates and scores the proposal. They think the proposal should tell a story, and they comment on the merits of that story. In reality, government evaluators have a scoresheet to complete based solely on evaluation factors … Continue reading Beware the dangers of groupthink
This article was originally published January 10, 2020 on WashingtonTechnology.com By now, we are all familiar with Category Management, an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) initiative to “eliminate redundancies, increase efficiency, and deliver more value and savings from the Government’s acquisition programs”. Based on government-wide spending analysis, the General Services Administration (GSA) mapped Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) reported spending to Product Service Codes (PSCs) and developed 10 procurement categories. Understanding SUM and BIC The latest OMB Memorandum (March 20, 2019) directed agencies to spend more wisely through a Spend Under Management (SUM) approach and execute plans to increase use of contract solutions designated as Best In Class (BIC). There are 41 BICs across the 10 categories of spending. SUM is the percentage of an agency’s spending that is actively managed according to Category Management principles. SUM only applies to obligated transactions that fall under an applicable business tier: … Continue reading Best-in-class vehicles are rising but agency contracts still rock