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Should Collaboration be Used as an Evaluation Factor as Part of Past Performance

Im at an NCMA conference listening to a panel on collaboration and a great question was asked. As important as collaboration is to a successful project outcome, should we figure out how to include it and evaluate an offeror's past performance asking for examples of how the company has acted collaboratively to develop solutions and solve problems? Or is it enough to assume that collaboration happened if there was a successful project outcome?

Tags: Collaboration, acquisition

Views: 151

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This is totally different for a consulting procurement, a software development project, and other IT-related procurements.  T&M versus firm-fixed price also figures into the mix.  But, as a consumer, I always wanted to know how the specific PM and team proposed was going to deal with problem-solving. And, none may be better than actual examples with the proposed PM and key personnel.  But, then, Mary, I think you already know the answer to your question.

Hi Mary.  Enjoy the conference!  At this point in the game, collaboration is so critical to the continuing effective use of resources and cost savings that it should be considered as a past performance evaluation factor on those procurements that can benefit from it.  I see it as something especially complex weapons systems, services and IT procurements could benefit from.  Naturally, the challenge will be to craft a contract to where the expectations are clear as well as the metrics, rewards, etc.  Recently, there has been some discussions over whether or not vendors should be able to challenge a contracting officer’s performance evaluation.  My 2-cents is that if project/contract success is based on government-industry collaboration (as most of them are), we should ensure that any vendor’s performance evaluation is not conducted in secret and is subject to vendor challenge based on facts.  Our courts are already overloaded – why create a tailor-made reason to go to court.  Cheers.  Pete

Anecdotally, collaboration is of great value.  tools have been developed and used, such as those developed for use on the Human Genome Project, to the more commoditized tools of EMC, Google, and the other companies in the upper right hand quadrant of the ECMS market.  The questions is how to effectively measure collaboration and the effect it had on a given project/program?

I don't believe that we should ever "assume" anything.  It might be better to ask the respondent to talk about the elements of the project that made it successful and also what elements hindered the success as well as to discuss how collaboration helped or hindered the project.  The bottom line is, If it is important to the success of your project, then you should ask questions and evaluate the response.

I think successful outcomes indicate successful collaboration. You can not have one without the other, as they are very much a dynamic and integrated process. What would be of use, in regards to collaboration, is how the contractor worked with their government and subcontractor counterparts.

These are past performance issues, such as difficult contractors who do not work well others. Especially of interest are those prime contractors who are not adhering to their subcontracting plan, who pay their subcontractors late, and who constantly take positions away from the subcontractors.

The government has socioeconomic goals they must meet, and subcontracting plans are also required to meet them to have a complaint subcontracting plan per FAR Subpart 19.704 and 52.219-8. Unfortunately, small businesses are continuing to be abused at an alarming rate as accountability for adherence is currently lacking on these fronts.

However, evaluation factors in conjunction with "collaboration" to meeting these requirements, along with an offeror's performance with collaboration with the government, I think would help rectify this situation, and make more larger companies think twice before they pull the trigger on their subcontracting, and small business abuses. 


I believe collaboration can be an important factor in a project's success, however measuring collaboration and really knowing who contributed what will always be a major challenge.


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