You Need to Fix a Troubled, High-Visibility Program–Now

ASI’s Acquisition of the Future Intervention Reduced Procurement Time 70%, Drove Innovation and Left a Stronger Organization.

Our client agency had an urgent need to acquire a capability it had never before solicited in order to “fix” a critically troubled program caught in the glare of the national media spotlight. Two frustrating procurement attempts conducted in the agency’s normal way had failed.

ASI introduced a new approach that leverages the Acquisition of the Future (AOF) Transformation Framework, a model developed in 2014 by forward-thinking federal acquisition leaders, industry representatives and academics. AOF seeks to frame a vision and spur a transformation of acquisition to create significant new value through fresh approaches, modern technologies and a new generation’s capabilities.

ASI’s industry-leading adaptation of the AOF guide is based on an unparalleled combination of strategy and organizational development expertise and deep procurement experience. It provides structure, governance and methodology agencies can use to move to higher levels of maturity in the five AOF dimensions:

  • Buying team
  • Marketplace
  • Acquisition Method
  • Culture
  • External Stakeholder Management

An assertive program champion, in concert with procurement office leaders, led the AOF intervention.  ASI supported them in introducing changes in five key areas.

  • Integrated Project Team (IPT)
    • The IPT included multiple members of the procurement, program, legal, and finance teams
  • Market research and engagement
    • We used an ASI-unique market research approach to quickly gain understanding of a fast-evolving new capability. We capitalized on deep knowledge of the market, suppliers and recent customers in similar environments.
    • We sought input on sourcing approaches from leading providers.
  • Statement of Objectives development
    • We helped the team adopt a performance-based approach that streamlined and compressed development of the Statement of Objectives (SOO) and included significant pre-solicitation industry involvement.
  • Evaluation factors and source selection preparation
    • We facilitated development of the proposal evaluation factors and a source selection scheme by the program owner, not just the contracting shop. Earlier engagement by the entire IPT and comprehensive feedback from buyers and sellers dramatically increased alignment between sought-after outcomes the proposal evaluation approach and contract metrics and management.
    • The outcome-based focus elicited varied responses from bidders, including accelerated schedules and innovations that were appropriate to and executable in the agency’s environment.
  • Facilitated source selection
    • ASI provided strategic facilitation, tailored artifacts, and specialized consensus-building methods to achieve agreement across the procurement-program team on process and outputs.
    • Strategic facilitation enabled a true ‘best value’ award by supporting the team in crafting, clarifying, and sustaining a rich best value argument.

The outcomes of this critical, tight-deadline, high-visibility acquisition can be measured in exponential program performance improvement and organizational capability. The industry-informed solicitation objectives yielded novel responses that exceeded requirements and timeframe expectations.

The ASI-led AOF intervention cut the time to procure by 70 percent. Collaborative engagement across the IPT reduced rework and increased efficiency. Streamlined quality reviews shortened the procurement administrative lead time from 120 to approximately 30 days. The program executive was thrilled to accomplish in five months what typically takes more than two years. No protests or other disputes were filed.

Most important, the relentless focus on outcomes transformed the afflicted program, improved acquisition processes and built organizational maturity.

The resulting program-procurement partnership aligned buying with mission outcomes and kindled a new,shared vision for acquisition. The AOF intervention and framework paved the way for more open and honest conversation about what was needed throughout the entire acquisition lifecycle. The organization adopted improved market research and technical evaluation processes as standard operating procedures going forward.

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