A group who shares ideas and experiences employing innovative acquisition practices, collaborative methods and use of Web2.0 technologies to transform federal acquisition.
Transparency and Accountability through Performance-Based Engagement
January 12, 2010 at 12:33 am #88984
Ryan McCullough, Govplace VP of Federal Division, blogs about “Transparency and Accountability through Performance-Based Engagement”. Ryan has firsthand knowledge of performance-based acquisition. Of important note, Ryan was awarded 1105 Media’s Rising Star Award for his work in delivering a solution delivery methodology founded in a performance-based approach. http://blog.govplace.com/2009/12/performance-based-engagement/
Let me know your thoughts on performance-based acquisition?
January 12, 2010 at 4:17 am #88990
Agreed. Shouldn’t all requirements be handled this way? Prioritize and democratize.
January 12, 2010 at 3:25 pm #88988
Peter G. TuttleParticipant
Hi Ryan – great posting. I kind of agree with Jon’s comment, although I realize that it certainly can be difficult for requiring activities/organizations to actually articulate what they really need to achieve. Amazingly, it appears to be a much easier (and accepted – perhaps “safer” too) practice to generate many pages of process steps, functional & technical needs, governing documents/standards, etc. than clearly describing what the ultimate goals and required outcomes are.
Here’s a controversial comment to generate some lively dicsussion from our group – perhaps one reason PBA can be so difficult to achieve is an aversion to risk – what happens if you actually do not correctly describe the goals and outcomes? It’s easier, more conventional and less risky in many ways to camouflage any “true” objective and outcomes in ambiguities/generalities and cloak them with an excessive amount of technical detail. The objectives and outcomes can then be figured out after award using a T&M type arrangement. Everybody wins except for the taxpayer.
Another question – How do we actually adjust our mindset to think in PBA terms in a bureacracy where every stakeholder has layers and layers of requirements that must be met (at least in their minds)?
I hope nobody is offended or concerned by the above comments/questions – I make it simply to generate debate amongst our community. This group contains alot of outside-the-box thinkers and problem-solvers.
I would be interested to hear your comments – especially from any federal acquisition professionals who have to live and breath the acquisition process every day.
January 12, 2010 at 10:53 pm #88986
Ryan P McCulloughParticipant
Like the thought provoking questions. The truth is, that PBA requires a fundamentally different approach to how you analyze performance and success through the life of the contract. The focus must be on the outcome as opposed to the metric. If we are unable to define what success looks like (and have agreement upon that defnition) then NO contract can ever truly succeed. True PBA engagements should provide for a recurring analysis to be conducted relative to performance to defined metrics AS WELL AS success in meeting milestones along the way to the desired result. What a solid PBA structure will offer is the opportunity to change, update and/or enhance the metrics we use to define accountability such that they definitively drive toward success. Put more simply, if we are hitting our “metrics” but are not achieving the true desire outcome… then we are measuring the wrong thing!! PBA provides the mechanism to allow us to alter our measurement criteria to make sure the contractor is not accountable to some potentially baseless set of metrics, but is instead accountable to the functional capability they are meant to provide. Just my 2 cents..
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