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  1. Today
  2. I admit I was just trying to stir up a discussion with the thread. I don’t really see 1102s being replaced anytime soon. But I do see how AI can make everyone’s job easier and more efficient.
  3. Yesterday
  4. Am I the only one that has mistakenly over-incentivized the use of progress payments by blindly skipping through the DD 1547 form and entering into Block 25's "Costs Financed" the costs the USG is financing? Adding profit on top of the time value of money is dumb. It's clearly supposed to be the inverse of the amount the USG is financing (i.e. the amount the contractor has to cover after USG financing), per DFARS and common sense. Because the output of this Working Capital section is just more profit on that amount. A lot of the DFARS at this Subsection has always seemed to promote thoughtfulness. Why it had to be output into a form DD 1547, though, is a mystery to me, and just increases the chance of dumb mistakes like the one I describe above to occur. A PNM should be required to attach a printout of the DFARS here, documenting where the negotiator walked through and wrote in the margins all of his/her selections for the various factors. It should not need to be boiled down to spreadsheet data entry nor a one-page form covering the tens of pages of thoughtful decisions made in selecting numbers for each factor. I wrote a PNM once that included a marked-up copy of this DFARS Subsection as an attachment, and have recommended it be done by the Contract Negotiator/Specialist ever since, because I don't want their data entry brain to activate here. I want their thoughts. Anyhow, while we wait for anyone that helped develop the DD Form 1547 to arrive to this thread, I would pose a question to the OP. Does that Block 25 Cost Financed amount really need a profit motive for the contractor to cover the 10-20% of costs that are not being financed by Uncle Sam? Or is that just the DFARS being overly generous. I always thought the FAR was being generous providing financing for cheap (progress payments), which is why I ask. If a motive is needed here, does the DFARS 215.404-71-3(b)(8) limit of 4 percent make sense from an industry perspective? Interested to hear your thoughts here @Patrick Mathern, and any basis for a different percent of contract costs. DD Form 1547 - Weighted Guidelines Tool (dau.edu)
  5. I don't think there is a mark to miss. The WGL are just a "structured" analytical device. They are "guidelines." They are only as useful as the user is thoughtful. I've never thought of them as incentivizes.
  6. @RetreadfedYou're quite right, and upon reflection my expression of agreement was enthusiastic, but not thoughtful. Good question. OK, everyone: what do we want to know and manage? I think we want to know and manage how long it takes for the acquisition system to satisfy requirements. That being said, I think acquisition, as defined in FAR 2.101, takes place in the following three acquisition administrative phases and lead times, each with the following outcomes: From submission of a need by a user to a program office until completion of a procurement package (including a specification or statement of work and other necessary documentation) by the program office. Let's call it procurement package lead time. From submission of the procurement package by the program office to a contracting office until issuance of a solicitation by the contracting office. Let's call it proposal solicitation lead time. From issuance of the solicitation by the contracting office to award of a contract by the contracting office and the program office. Let's call it contract formation lead time. After contract award, the time required to deliver supplies, complete the performance of a task, or commence performance of an on-going service, would be considered production or performance lead time. What do you think?
  7. Last week
  8. Depends. Traditional measurement - 5 months. New OFPP measurement - 2 months. Program measurement - 7 months. Regardless of the way some people view it, the most significant measure is 7 months. That’s because procurement is a support function. We are here to assist our agencies in carrying out their mission. Assessing how well that occurs is what’s important.
  9. This is what I was going to write, except its already been written. Amen. I have an action right now that I am about to award, this is its actual timeline: Identification of need -> 'acquisition package' to contracting office: Maybe 2 months Receipt of Acquisition Package -> Solicitation: 3 months Solicitation - Award: 2 weeks What is the PALT here?
  10. I suspect DoD just wants better contracting writing software, and felt obligated to add a buzz word. I don't think this document would be much different if AI were swapped out with another trendy tech "Machine Learning CWS" "Blockchain CWS" "Robotic Process Automation CWS" Mark my words, some of us will still be 1102s when we see RFIs for "Open Source CWS" - My opinion is that this should have happened 20 years ago. "Augmented Reality CWS" "Quantum Computing CWS"
  11. Vern, Right now there are lots of guides, instructions, templates, and samples in writing a SOW. DAU and others have videos. There are several online courses. GSA and others post libraries of examples. I’m guess a big piece of this or similar projects is taking the logic behind these guides and instructions and use as a basis for “thinking through” the process. The system also picks and chooses the most pertinent samples and tailors all or parts to the particular need. To a person preparing a SOW, the system provides more knowledge and documents to see than from just about any 1102 can produce. The system produces the SOW based on minimal inputs from the program manager. In short, it uses artificial intelligence to think and work. Something that won’t happen tomorrow but in the future
  12. Good point - what are some other areas that the WGLs miss the mark, especially in the case where the government is trying to entice new commercial entities to take on CPFFs?
  13. It's been pointed out to me before that the Weighted Guidelines don't incentivize early delivery. A contractor that can deliver a satisfactory product six months early is not entitled to receive any more profit than a contractor that promises to deliver on time. So much for "speed of relevance"
  14. Witty made this statement with which you agreed. My simple question is in this definition what is it that is to be delivered?
  15. PALT is Procurement Administrative Lead Time. It does not include production lead time. When measuring PALT, lead time ends with contract award. If you measure to delivery of the product you're measuring Procurement Lead Time, which includes administrative and production lead time—Procurement Administrative Lead Time.
  16. Interesting. In that case you might more broadly define the need as finding out whether some particular design will work. "Failing fast" could be seen as fulfilling the need to find out what works, make changes, and try again. Of course you can keep opening the aperture and question whether any particular platform satisfies the need for a specific capability, and whether any specific capability satisfies the need for national defense, etc. I certainly think there is likely to be value in speeding up PALT, however it is defined, as long as it isn't done at the expense of some other part of the overall process. Understanding where contracting (or any particular role) fits in to the overall process is a challenge, particularly in a contracting office that supports many different external "customers", but I think by trying to understand the goals of the level above you (e.g. contracting understands program goals, etc.) you're more likely to be able to optimize your own part of the process in a way that doesn't negatively affect the overall process. Alternately if you don't understand the higher level goals you may well optimize your own part of the process in a way that hurts the overall process.
  17. The first official version of the Weighted Guides Method was published in the Federal Register on Nov. 23, 1963, Defense Procurement Circular (DPC) 5, 28 Fed. Reg. 12555 - 12561, which amended 32 CFR 3.808-2.
  18. I know all this is really a long way off. But this project is taking a big first step in applying AI to contract writing. I can see at some point a program manager using AI to write statement of work, evaluation criteria, and solicitation instructions. Think about a database of governmentwide contracting documents. The program manager asks questions about their planned contract and gets responses. They refine questions based on what the AI process gives them. They continue until they are satisfied. Then the completed documents are combined with the contract writing portion for a complete solicitation/contract. It certainly won’t be capable of dealing with the most complex procurements, at least in the next decade or two. But it probably could accommodate much of the workload for services. For example, how much thought goes into writing a SOW for so many of the professional services contracts like studies and analysis, advisory and assistance support, or just staff argumentation? A means to quickly select from what has already been done across the government can greatly speed up preparation as well as provide a wealth of ideas and best examples.
  19. I'm sure it has been! Every solicitation and contract includes involves unique provisions and terms that someone must develop and write. I don't think we're close to automating the preparation of such material. I have long believed that contract specialists can provide value added by writing or helping to write statements of work. Someone must assist program offices in the development and description of evaluation factors, and write proposal preparation instructions. And there is much more to contracting than document preparation. But there are many micro-purchases and simplified acquisitions, tens of thousands, that could and should be automated.
  20. I hope so... Oh, I really hope so... I hope my value in my career has been more than document assembly.
  21. Patrick: I did a google search also. This study dates the DoD WGL system back to 1964 and offers some interesting footnotes. Pricing of contracts was a big issue in the early 1960s. Check the table of contents. Performed under contract with the Air Force by The Rand Corporation: The Impact of the Weighted Guidelines Profit System on Defense Contract Fees.
  22. @formerfedThe link is to a paper about automated contract writing, i.e., document preparation. But contract specialists do more than that. Don't they?
  23. JAIC now is into contract writing systems. With these capabilities, agencies won’t need a lot of 1102s. This is from a recent announcement https://tradewindai.com/wp-content/uploads/TW-21-0008-AI-Powered-Contract-Writing-System.pdf This is one of the user stories from the project If this happens, which I assume it will whether it’s from this effort or another, program offices will question why 1102s are even needed
  24. I echo @here_2_help's recommendations. Also, @here_2_help and I teach a course on subcontract flow-down clauses. Feel free to send me a PM or click my ad above (Don Acquisition).
  25. Federal Publications Seminars and Public Contracting Institute are two that come to mind. There are also individual trainers/consultants who will customize a course to meet a particular contractor's needs. (Hi.)
  26. I heard a senior executive commenting on the Coast Guard Deepwater cutter failure. He said their streamlined award process showed them months earlier that the ship wouldn’t work as designed. So he credited the contracting process a success
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