AGILE ACQUISITION SUPPORT: REAL-WORLD CONSIDERATIONS

Since 2001, software developers have used the Agile methodology, employing short sprints and cross-team collaboration, to bring products to market faster with earlier customer input. Others have begun to apply the tenets of Agile beyond IT to the general field of acquisition. Why?  To speed results, lower risk, and benefit from lessons learned throughout the …

Better Acquisition Decisions through Financial Analysis – Part 2

No matter how products and services are being acquired, financial analysis can help in decision making to acquire the requirements in the best and most cost effective ways. Federal Government acquisition uses frameworks and processes that leverage several financial tools to maximize the value procured from the solution while decreasing the risk of wasted resources. …

Better Acquisition Decisions through Financial Analysis

Government spending has become a political football, and with budget cuts and sequestration, there is greater pressure to spend taxpayer dollars in the most cost effective way and to be able to prove that we are doing so. It seems like a daunting challenge, as more scrutiny has been placed on Federal programs that are …

Best Collaboration Tools for Project Teams

Imagine you’re an analyst who has recently joined a project team. Your job duties include generating large, complex program documents on tight deadlines. Producing poor quality deliverables will put your stakeholder’s schedule and budget at risk. You know accomplishing this task will require the input of various team members, many of whom are scattered across …

With A Great Contract Management Plan, The Sky is the Limit

Your team may have spent hours and hours considering the program management, risk management and quality assurance issues involved in letting a new government contract. But have you pulled the key information about how that contract will be managed into a single plan? A Contract Management Plan (CMP) is one of the primary tools the …

Gold Plating vs Value Engineering– Recognize the Difference for Smoother Project Management

You manage or are part of a project and decide to add additional features or functionality to the product or service you provide. You think it will please the customer and make the team look good. But what if it slows the project, adds costs or isn’t what’s needed? There is a proper and an …

How to Make Telework Succeed for Your Team

With Labor Day weekend over, it’s full steam ahead for government agencies and those who support them. For some, telework will be part of the mix as teams manage the fiscal year-end rush. Recently I started supporting a federal agency where telework is encouraged and systems are in place to enable one or more days …

How an Integrated Master Schedule Can Avert Program Management Disaster

Congratulations! It’s your first day at your new job as a Program Manager (PM). The last few days have been a whirlwind. You got the call from your director that you had been selected to replace the PM for one of the smaller programs in the portfolio. The previous PM had been reassigned and you …

Is Lowest Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA) Always The Best Deal?

In the current fiscal environment, there is an even stronger focus on being a good steward of taxpayer dollars. That is certainly commendable and definitely what is expected by John Q. Public. The recent trend to uphold that trust placed in the Government has been toward awarding contracts on a lowest price technically acceptable (LPTA) …

Ready, Set, Go… Cross the Acquisition Package Finish Line by Fiscal Year End

This is sprinting season for any acquisition professional working on completing acquisition packages, negotiating offers and awarding the proposals. Contracting Officers (COs) should be proactive in doing all that needs to be done to ensure the requirements are awarded in a timely fashion. While each agency has its own internal policies and regulations, there are …