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A solution to improve 1102 output and efficiency?

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19 hours ago, General.Zhukov said:

Comcast doesn't hire uniquely nasty and stupid customer support.  Firing the lot and re-hiring 'better people' won't make any difference.  Comcast is a monopoly and its customers are hostages.  That is the problem, and its nothing to with HR.  

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/talkingtech/2018/07/24/cord-cutting-accelerate-millions-more-than-expected-leaving-pay-tv/823950002/

 

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On 7/25/2018 at 5:28 AM, REA'n Maker said:

Outcomes matter in this business more than production metrics.

What outcomes? Compliance, timeliness of delivery/performance, cost/price, public policy objectives, etc.? According to who?

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On 7/25/2018 at 11:24 PM, Jamaal Valentine said:

What outcomes? Compliance, timeliness of delivery/performance, cost/price, public policy objectives, etc.? According to who?

Meeting the customer's mission is the only important outcome: ordinance on target, new software capability, replenished copier paper before the tray runs out, or any other way of stating "on time/on budget/on target".

Acquisition supports the mission; it isn't the mission.  "Compliance, timeliness of delivery/performance, cost/price" are secondary measures.  Sort of like how a starting pitcher's ERA, which, while interesting to aficionados, doesn't necessarily determine who will score the most runs in 9 innings on any given Saturday afternoon.

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Incentive: 1% cash back of savings upon completion of services or acceptance of supplies.

Why this will succeed: More creativity and care of tax payers dollars. If we received financial incentives from just awarding there wouldn't he much incentive to make a great award. Awards would constantly be made to the lowest priced technically acceptable offeror because mad profits. But, if it hinged upon successful contract performance, there is the incentive to make the correct award. Hinge the financial incentives on the CS staying there until the payment is made, thus helping turnover. 

 

Why it will fail: There would still be too much of an incentive to always make awards to the low priced offeror.

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16 hours ago, REA'n Maker said:

Meeting the customer's mission is the only important outcome: ordinance on target, new software capability, replenished copier paper before the tray runs out, or any other way of stating "on time/on budget/on target".

Sounds similar to '...timeliness of delivery/performance, cost/price', which you said are secondary.

16 hours ago, REA'n Maker said:

"Compliance, timeliness of delivery/performance, cost/price" are secondary measures.

Either way, a key question remains: To whom do "outcomes (meeting the customer's mission - on time/on budget/on target) matter more than production metrics."

16 hours ago, REA'n Maker said:

Acquisition supports the mission; it isn't the mission.

Everyone has a customer including our customers. The balkanization of government increases the number of customers and competing interests. What the mission is depends on who you talk to (The People, Congress, The Principal/Agency, Agent, requiring activity, warfighter/end-user, etc.). I don't think they all have a universal definition for mission or 'outcomes'.

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So many variables exist, a "one size fits all" model won't work.  Standards and metrics might be fine for routine commodities and even placing orders for many supplies and services.  But for the bulk of actions, they aren't beneficial. 

Take an example of a program manager who knows just a little about the contracting process.  He /she needs something.  One approach is describe the need, prepare and submit a requisition, and let a contracting officer buy it.  That might be relatively quick to complete with the lowest priced offer getting an award. 

Another approach involves talking with the contracting officer, describing the need, and having options explained.  The options could include use of simplified acquisition, FSS,  order under multiple award contracts, OTA, assisted acquisition by another agency, competitive RFP, and so on.  The end result might be a contract under FAR 15 tradeoff procedures that involves much time and effort, especially for the contracting officer.  In the first instance, a quick and easy award is made.  However the wrong thing could be acquired quickly.  In the other, the program might be much more successful but the award took three times the time of the contracting officer.   That's not something easily measured.

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On 7/27/2018 at 5:49 PM, Jamaal Valentine said:

Either way, a key question remains: To whom do "outcomes (meeting the customer's mission - on time/on budget/on target) matter more than production metrics."

That's a stupid question that's been asked once too often.

READ FAR 1.102-2(a)(1)! The USER is the person to whom outcomes matter. Users don't give a damn about 1102 "production metrics."

American infantrymen want a rifle that works reliably, and they want it when and where they need it. And the logistics officers who support them want it at a price that allows them to buy enough rifles and ammunition.

In short, a CO's job is to buy what the user needs. The user determines the need. The CO procures it. What matters to the user is whether it gets what it wants.

I really hope you don't ask that question again. Contracting personnel in my day knew that outcomes matter to the users of the things we bought, and we knew that we worked for the users.

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On 7/27/2018 at 8:49 PM, Jamaal Valentine said:

Sounds similar to '...timeliness of delivery/performance, cost/price', which you said are secondary.

Ok; fair point. 

I guess my point was that, for example, if during contract performance an end-user is willing to trade schedule for increased capability, the metrics approach to performance measurement doesn't really account for that (i.e., a consideration agreement doesn't make value judgments).  And 'compliance' is typically a regulatory issue of no concern to the user (does a user really care if the prime subcontracted at the levels promised in the proposal?)

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On 7/30/2018 at 8:15 PM, Vern Edwards said:

That's a stupid question that's been asked once too often.

READ FAR 1.102-2(a)(1)! The USER is the person to whom outcomes matter. Users don't give a damn about 1102 "production metrics."

American infantrymen want a rifle that works reliably, and they want it when and where they need it. And the logistics officers who support them want it at a price that allows them to buy enough rifles and ammunition.

In short, a CO's job is to buy what the user needs. The user determines the need. The CO procures it. What matters to the user is whether it gets what it wants.

I really hope you don't ask that question again. Contracting personnel in my day knew that outcomes matter to the users of the things we bought, and we knew that we worked for the users.

I just finished a four day trip on the historic Rubicon Trail and can't remember why I asked the question, but I believe I presented the question to REA for clarification. I don't recall the discussion being about the Federal Acquisition System, per se.

As far as getting users what they need (or want or ask for) and working for them…well, that should go without saying. Nonetheless, even your example presents the potential for competing interests (outcomes) between infantrymen and logisticians; and those are just two  of the customers acting on behalf of the American taxpayer.

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On 7/27/2018 at 5:49 PM, Jamaal Valentine said:

To whom do "outcomes (meeting the customer's mission - on time/on budget/on target) matter more than production metrics."

I say again: The user.

The fact that the government as a whole has multiple and conflicting objectives does not change the answer to the question you asked. When you lose focus on the party that you're working for, you've lost everything.

That does not mean that you cannot establish production metrics, just that you cannot let them get in the way of the mission.

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2 hours ago, Vern Edwards said:

I say again: The user.

The fact that the government as a whole has multiple and conflicting objectives does not change the answer to the question you asked. When you lose focus on the party that you're working for, you've lost everything.

That does not mean that you cannot establish production metrics, just that you cannot let them get in the way of the mission.

I wish I worked for more KO's like you, Vern. Too often KO's swim outside their lane by thinking it is their responsibility to determine whether or not the requirement is valid and question the daylights out of it. 

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6 hours ago, Vern Edwards said:

When you lose focus on the party that you're working for, you've lost everything.

Agreed. Coincidently, maintaining a mission (user needs) focus leads to the things many/most contracting officers want: improved relationships, discretion, responsibility, promotions, etc.

I want to reread the DPAP or DepSecDef memo that discusses evaluation requirements of contracting officers. I believe it touched on this topic and was established/clarified/reinforced, in part, within the iterations of DoDI 5000.66.

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