Jump to content
The Wifcon Forums and Blogs
Sign in to follow this  
Guest Vern Edwards

New OFPP Nominee

Recommended Posts

Guest Vern Edwards

I read in Federal Computer Week this morning that the presidential nominee for OFPP Administrator has said that the following are his priorities:

1. "building the right supplier relationships" and giving small businesses more business;

2. strengthening the acquisition workforce by providing better training; and

3. "buying smarter," e.g., strategic sourcing and reducing duplicative contracts.

<Sigh>

I guess that is what passes for "vision" in American government today. The same old same old.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It could be worse. At least his second item is still on the proverbial radar screen, and includes program people as well as contracts people. How would it be if he had not included this item?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Vern Edwards

The acquisition workforce cannot be "strengthened" through training -- good, better or best -- until it has been properly structured to reflect the workload and until there are adequate standards for CO appointment. Any measures short of those will fail.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can train the worker bees all you want, but until supervisors permit the underlings to put what they have been trained into practice, the training is of little use. There is too much of an attitude that training is good for the classroom, but of little practical application or "the way we do it."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Understandably acquisition rules change... however the FAR and other agency guides are a tad bit over bearing. Streamlined policies would go far in leaning out the acquisition length and rules. I come from the strategy and acquisition side of a major defense contractor i was also a Lean Assessor at this contractor, only have a year in acquisition with the gov but I was just shocked at how much waste is built into gov processes. Make the process more efficient, (for gods sakes, at least develop a process chart), reduce procedures, reduce duplicate work, and training will naturally fall in line behind these actions. Maybe then we could use strategic sourcing efficiently to leverage the acquisition power of the gov to yield greater savings and results.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, there is a process chart, although you might vomit when you see it due to the complete complexity of required steps in it to actually field an item in the DoD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I especially like the first one on "building the right supplier relationships." Supplier relationship management is something that works well in the private sector. But no one wants to try it in the government. Have you ever heard a government executive saying things like "I will constantly evaluate my suppliers and reward the best with continued business and get rid of the ones that aren't working."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

dcarver -- Where is the contracting process chart located? No one from my office has ever heard or seen of one. I would love to take a look and possibly modify it to fit my units function (DOD USAF).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Vern Edwards

Don:

Does that thing come with user instructions? How big is it in real life? Did DAU hire a contractor to do it?

What has been the general reaction to it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don:

Does that thing come with user instructions? How big is it in real life? Did DAU hire a contractor to do it?

What has been the general reaction to it?

The back of the chart tells you what everything means on the front. They come in different sizes. The standard poster size, which I used to have hanging in my office, is 34" x 22". There's also giant ones on thin foam boards for use in the classroom. I don't know if a contractor did it.

The chart has been around for a long time. I found one from 2001 on the Web. It was made interactive a couple of years ago. In contracting courses, we may refer to it to illustrate the point that contracting is one function supporting the acquisition process. In other disciplines, such as program management, they make more use of it.

You want one? I'm sure JK can get one for you when he's on the main campus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Vern Edwards

I don't have any wall big enough. Besides, I don't think I'm smart enough to figure it out. But I have to admit to being fascinated by that kind of structure and detail.

BTW, I just bought a book entitled, How Power Point Makes You Stupid: The Faulty Causality, Sloppy Logic, Decontextualized Data, and Seductive Showmanship That Have Taken Over Our Thinking, by Franck Frommer (The New Press, 2012). Haven't read it yet, but it looks like fun. Chapter 8 is entitled, "At School with Power Point?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Don, I already had the Integrated Life Cycle Chart but I figured that was more for the Program Mgt side. I also got ahold of a SPAWAR Contracting Process chart (google it). If I can make some free time available I can build a spreadsheet whereas if you click specific check boxes relating to the contract (cost, type, method, vechicle, etc) it will populate a process chart including review thresholds and approving authorities. Built something similar at the defense contractor I worked for to plan my projects. It was great for training purposes as well. I also had one (that I did not design) that built contracts including standard clauses but that was a very complex spreadsheet that generated a very large word doc. Simple check box style with about 100 boxes to check. After generation users had to scan and fill in specific verbage (total contract construction took about 2 days w/ about 1 week of reviews).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Vern Edwards

There are two problems with all such devices: (1) processes are agency and even office-specific and (2) process rules change frequently. Other than the fun of doing it, I doubt that any one such device will have much value.

Interestingly, I have seen several in the past that appear to have been intended as satirical depictions of excessive process complexity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...