How Standardization Can Improve Contract Management

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Can you think of a time when you said to yourself, “there’s got to be a better way to do this?” I know I can. We’re always looking for ways to make our business practices and our lives more efficient. Standardization provides an answer. It can help increase productivity and efficiency by defining expectations, formalizing […]

Best Collaboration Tools for Project Teams

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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 […]

Fear of the FAR – Is It Getting in the Way of Doing Business?

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Do 1,883 pages of Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), comprised of 53 different Parts, dozens of forms, and a correction page feel like something to be feared? Does it keep you from buying what you need to support your agency? Many government decision-makers look at the FAR as a significant obstacle to their acquisitions, but at […]

How Integrated Product Teams Can Improve Performance and Save Money

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In this time of tight budgets and mandates to do more or the same with less, the need for innovation through greater communication and cooperation is greater than ever.   The intelligent use of Integrated Product Teams (IPTs) that foster an organizational climate of cross-functional collaboration can drive innovation throughout your processes. This is accomplished by […]

Widening the Aperture of Acquisition & the Acquisition Team

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Today’s fiscally constrained environment is being felt in many places, including acquisition.  The Federal Government spends billions to execute its missions through acquisitions.  After talking with one of my colleagues about the impact on the acquisition discipline, she astutely said “though resources may be narrowing, the way you approach acquisition shouldn’t”. In fact, to face […]

Performance Based Budgeting – Is it just another buzzword?

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Recently the US Chief Information Officer (CIO) Steven Van Roekel (@stevenvdc) has been discussing the Federal Information Technology FY 2014 Budget Priorities on social media such as Twitter and elsewhere. In his budget priorities presentation, he discusses the shift towards Performance Based Budgeting (PBB). So what exactly is PBB? Sounds like a great buzzword, right? […]

How to Get Buy-In on the Value of the Business Case

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You don’t have work in the federal budget field to know that agencies are closely reviewing every budget line item to see where they can streamline to reduce costs.  It is vital that government Program Managers (PMs) understand the importance of building and reporting on sound business cases for their investments – the OMB300 process. […]

The Three C’s Of CPIC Success at TSA

3 C's of CPIC

With budgets and resources stretched more than ever, portfolios are under fire to demonstrate the value of their investments through sound business cases.  One way to show soundness is to demonstrate the business cases are compliant and coherent.  But how is this accomplished? Based on my experience supporting teams through many Capital Planning and Investment […]

How Investing in Your Team Can Pay Off – Even in Tight Times

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When the pressure is on to perform at a higher level due to limited resources and tight time constraints, your team’s morale is likely suffering.  As a manager, you are probably also feeling overwhelmed.  Many of us have experienced wanting to be proactive but struggling to find time to focus on the less tangible aspects […]

How to Make Agile Work for You in IT Acquisition

Fundamentals of Agile

In an environment of uncertain budgets and evolving technology, a modular or Agile approach to acquiring new systems can provide greater cost control and flexibility.  In Part I of my primer on Agile, I wrote about the What and Why of the modular approach to buying information technology (IT).  Now in Part II, I’ll look […]