The Agile Manifesto talks about people, communications, the product, and flexibility. With respect to people, Agile practitioners value individuals and interactions over processes and tools. It takes a team to produce a winning proposal, and they must work together effectively through productive interactions. This does not mean that processes and tools are not important, but simply that the interaction between people on the team is more important. Team efforts to explore the requirements, work through solutioning, ghost the competition, and clearly identify corporate strengths is better accomplished through personal communication, brainstorming, and collaboration than by email, spreadsheets, documents, or automated analysis tools. Consider today’s tools that can generate the compliance matrix for you. When I use one, I still prepare my own compliance matrix, and often have another person do the same to compare our interpretations, cross-check each other, and to ensure complete comprehension. As you adopt an agile, Scrum approach … Continue reading Agile Proposal Management – Proposal Team Roles
I was recently asked if I have used agile for proposal management on a bid to the Federal Government. This individual was working on a proposal where the targeted contract provides agile software engineering services for a major Federal Agency’s mission support systems. The individual was considering the application of agile principles to the proposal process itself—a great way to demonstrate corporate commitment to agile philosophies! This is an idea I have considered for almost 4 years but have yet to find the right environment/opportunity to put completely into practice. I am a Certified Scrum Master and work on many bids that involve agile methodologies as part of the solution. I suggest the principles of agile and scrum provide opportunities to improve our processes and the outcome of our proposals—that is, improve our win rates. The Five Scrum Values—applied to proposal management In this and future articles, I’ll explore the … Continue reading Agile proposal management—team values
In the past year, two major Government Wide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs), Alliant Small Business and CIO-SP3 Small Business, had major on-ramps. On February 14, 2018, the General Services Administration (GSA) announced it awarded 81 vendors small business contracts. On February 28, 2018, the National Institutes of Health Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC) made a Pre-Award Notice to 40 Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) vendors for the Chief Information Officer-Solutions and Partners 3 (CIO-SP3) Small Business Ramp On. NITAAC expects to award more contracts to vendors in other small business categories shortly. Statistics from the Alliant Small Business and CIO-SP3 SB GWACs tell us that the top 10 vendors will likely receive 50% of all contract awards, and approximately 10% of vendors will never see a single award, as summarized below: Alliant Small Business Summary (awarded $5 billion to 65 vendors from 2012 to February 2018) Top 10 vendors … Continue reading Congratulations, you won an IDIQ! Now what?
The Federal Government is encouraging agencies to use Best in Class (BIC) government wide acquisition contracts (GWACs) to better leverage their buying power. In a January 5, 2017 report, Improving Government Operations, Helping Agencies Be More Effective and Efficient, the General Services Administration (GSA) stated, “OMB named several government-wide contracts, including a GSA contract, as best-in-class federal contracting vehicles for procuring laptops and desktops. This initiative has already produced negotiated savings of up 27% on IT Schedule 70 contracts.” On April 12, 2017, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) formalized GSA’s prompting by published a memorandum, Comprehensive Plan for Reforming the Federal Government and Reducing the Federal Civilian Workforce. In the memorandum, OMB Director Mike Mulvaney declared, “Agencies should consider leveraging…External service providers, including those providers on best-in-class contracts as part of the category management effort.” Since 2017, the government has encouraged agencies to use BIC GWACs to … Continue reading Best in Class (BIC) contract vehicles and why you need them