A group who shares ideas and experiences employing innovative acquisition practices, collaborative methods and use of Web2.0 technologies to transform federal acquisition.
What Should the Interactive Platform for pre-RFP industry-agency collaboration look like?
February 9, 2011 at 2:08 am #122620
Point 25 of Vivek Kundra’s Plan to Modernize IT is to create an interactive platform for pre-RFP industry-agency collaboration platform.
I figured the people in this group are probably the most cutting edge on what this platform should look like.
So let’s brainstorm here…What should this platform look like? Keys for implementation?
February 9, 2011 at 2:16 am #122636
Some ideas (very similar to ones I put in ExpertNet RFI):
-Technology needs to be easy/quick to use – ideally hosting in cloud and a mix of tools. There should be opportunities to engage for all groups (think 90-9-1 rule – only a small group will want to heavily engage/collaborate) – small micro-actions like “like buttons”, voting up/down. Also I’d think critically about anonymous vs assigned names for collaboration – I think for industry there may be some questions of whether they’d want to identify themselves.
-Identify the incentives to collaborative. What do both parties get out of collaborating? Is the incentive for collaborating more than the inertia or fear of not collaborating?
-Need to identify the clear problems hoping to solve. Break the broader industry/agency lack of collaboration problem into smaller nuggets. Where are the specific problems? Where are the opportunities? Ask both agencies and industry if they would engage in platforms like this – if not, why not and try to address those problems.
-Technology needs a program office and office owner. For a platform to continue, it needs resources to maintain (whether that’s filling out budget docs, responding to inquiries, building new features)
-Need to spend time on outreach/marketing – a lot of the marketing will be internal to government to various acquisition offices. False assumption is that if you build it they will come. Need a one community outreach person
February 9, 2011 at 1:32 pm #122634
I’d also add – should be super easy/quick for other agencies to adopt.
February 9, 2011 at 3:54 pm #122632
Great question. Here’s some quick feedback. I’ve been using a MediaWiki-based wiki hosted by GSA’s apps.gov platform for past three months to get industry engagement and work transparently and openly to develop the strategy for a major system acquisition within the the Coast Guard.
I described my goals in this post: https://www.govloop.com/profiles/blogs/help-from-everywhere﻿
Share as much as we can to help industry help us deliver CG-LIMS
Solicit input on acquisition strategy
Provide a public forum for Questions and Answers
In addition the huge substantive help, I got some feedback that can be used for future work. This was a question posted by industry and my answer on the Q&A page:
Q: Have you thought about a combination of wikis (where kimonas are opened to some degree) and BAAs (where disclosure is not made to the Competition) that give your crew a much broader and honest access to the minds and hearts of Industry?”
A: We’ve done two RFI’s, and we’re likely to do more engagements where we get private input and/or capability demonstrations from industry.
Also got some feedback on the “Whiteboard” page:
“I look forward to more dialog on this. Thank you for the opportunity to share some ideas.”
“First of all I wanted to say that your open approach to discussion with wiki, blog, etc is excellent. So thanks for putting this out there. “
“Thanks for this Wiki. This is a great idea and hope these inputs can help. “
“Thanks very much Captain Taylor and please all of us contributing here if we are helping. Looks like some very good feedback and want to make sure we are getting to the points you need input on. “
“Thanks again for giving us this opportunity to provide input to the USCG CG-LIMS team.”
I also did a survey after almost three months of use. The results are at https://wiki.citizen.apps.gov/CGLIMS/index.php/Survey_Results. There are some useful insights there from govt and industry.
For those who like stats, go to https://wiki.citizen.apps.gov/CGLIMS/index.php/Special:Statistics
Here are some highlights
Active users (Users who have performed an action in the last 7 days): 15
Views per edit: 21.51
I had 1 off topic message (an advertisement) that I had to remove in the whole three months. Going into it, I knew that might be an admin burden, but experience proved it to not be the case.
My personal input: The MediaWiki platform on apps.gov was the best way for me to quickly meet the need. As a govt Program Manager, the top three priorites for me for any future platform are:
Ease of use, including easy set up by a program office
Transparency, including a way to for registered users to share anonymously
February 18, 2011 at 3:09 pm #122630
I participated in an event with ACT/IAC yesterday, specifically focusing on this issue. One important issue that came up is PMs, and even COs, not wanting to do market research because it may open the door to a protest. It is mandated in FAR Part 10, and not just industry days. The one-on-ones are the most important communication forums there are, yet are rarely used.
We need to change the paradigm so that government announces its needs to industry, so we can work on solutions together and as early as possible in the pre-acquisition phase. This tool needs to allow for government to express a need very early, and as early in the pre-acquisition phase the better. This allows small businesses to participate more productively, evens the playing field, lowers costs, defines requirements much better, aligns budgets better, allows for innovation, and ultimate the elusive best value.
We also discussed a lot of what @Steve (a.k.a Mr. GovLoop) commented, along with the initiative which is further execution of @Dan Taylor’s program and the great things he is doing. Also discussed a lot of these comments, and allowing for anonymous postings by individuals so fear is not a factor and ideas can flow freely.
February 19, 2011 at 4:08 pm #122628
1> Industry visibility into the Government Acqusition process/status
2> Standardized Government approach to communication
A “pre-FBO” system that provides for transparency and collaboration utilizing both mobile and social media technologies.
Also need to ensure all stakeholders are bought into the benefits of this solution.
February 19, 2011 at 11:06 pm #122626
Interesting – how do you define “market research” – to me there is 2 types – one where there is a lot of 1 to 1 discussions with industry, another which is basically done researching via information in places like Gartner, reading Google articles, comparing info from vendor sites/etc. I’m guessing most people are worried about 1st part, right?
Jaime – sounds like in the end its more of a cultural issue than a technology issue. Is that what was the sense at the meeting?
February 19, 2011 at 11:06 pm #122624
How would you define pre-FBO vs RFI? Like a RFI-light?
March 2, 2011 at 4:05 am #122622
A bit of both. Certainly destroying the culture of risk aversion is needed, in hopes of having procurement officials understand the need to talk to industry early in the process and often, and the benefits of this approach. The technology part is having the access to have these discussions with this portal, which is the focus of #25 of the IT Plan by CIO Kundra.
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