The Contracting Experience Podcast

If you haven’t listened yet, check out The Contracting Experience podcast.

The Contracting Experience connects government contracting professionals to the world around them through conversations with acquisition influencers, insights into evolving hot topics, and by sharing lessons learned from the field.

The podcast host, Amber Pecoraro, has had a bunch of awesome guests, but here is a good episode to start with:

If you have any favorite episodes, link them here and we can discuss!


Thanks Axel for sharing “The Contracting Experience” podcast! The latest episode with Dr. Will Roper is now available for download. He talks about Air Force Pitch Day, bolstering the industrial base, and in-depth thinking on sustainment in the development phase. If you haven’t had a chance to hear him speak, I think you’re really going to enjoy it! :headphones::sunglasses:


@Amber! :+1::+1::+1: Wow, what an awesome episode!! Very cool to have the host of the podcast in the forum!

Here are some notes from the episode.

On prototyping:

In previous position, he focused on new ideas with existing systems. Using systems outside of original design with disciplined prototyping. Fly (what you actually want to buy) and then go buy it.

Pitch Days:

Need to work with tech innovators at a speed that makes sense for them. Cash on the day of the pitch is a game changer.

Pitch Day Benefits:

  1. Companies don’t have to get a bridge loan or make payroll…they can focus on mission/warfighter
  2. Air Force money doesn’t dilute
  3. We’re not asking for equity (a shark :shark: with no teeth)
  4. We’re patient vs venture capital

Speed Chess:

Good moves really quickly (against the clock) vs making perfect moves that take a long time. If we wait for perfection, we’ll be beat by a competitor who has a faster acquisition OODA loop than we do.

Incentivizing openness:

Smart phone makers are incentivized to be open because apps mean more data (profit), but doesn’t work for defense contractors. How can we replicate these incentives in defense? If you know how to do it, pull him up in the GAL and email him!

Contracting for Software:

Need to think of it as a service not a supply. A level of effort until the product is complete. Air Force working on the right metrics to measure success. Velocity? Backlog? What else?

What dev tools does the Air Force give programs? Right now you get a phone, computers, Microsoft office. Need to create software development infrastructure that is pre-approved. Air Force is taking it on this year.

What does he need from Contracting Professionals?

  1. Need to figure out how to contract for software as a service (standardize it)
  2. Figure out a way to incentivize openness in sustainment
  3. Shift how we work with startups. How to make it easy to get to pitch event? Need to train people how to think like investors with a portfolio of efforts. We need to figure out how to buy ideas (have to talk to team because you a buying the team’s potential). Goal is to allow companies to use Air Force “orbit” to sling shot into bigger & better things.

On risk:

If you are out in the field push the envelope until it burns. If you make a mistake, just make it forward and use it as a learning event. You have top cover from him. Will reward risk taking before the result of the risk is known. Smart risk should be rewarded regardless of result. Need to take risk to get big wins.

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Wow, great notes Axel! Congrats on starting this forum. It has great potential to get people talking. You should share it with the tools not rules team :+1:t3:


:clap:t3::clap:t3::clap:t3: @axelclark


@Amber, can you tell us what you use for your mic, software editing, intro music, and other tools? You often record at conferences and the quality is always really good.

I’ve tried a couple of podcasts and use a Yeti Blue mic, Audacity for editing/recording, and Simplecast or Soundcloud for hosting.

Also, for anyone else interested, I didn’t realize before I started you host your podcast on a site and then add it to iTune, Spotify, etc. Here is an article I used to figure out how to do it.

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Nancy Andrews is the Program Executive Officer of Combat and Mission Support and is also the Senior Services Manager for Services. In this episode, she talks about some of the biggest challenges in Services Acquisition and what goals and initiatives her team has to tackle those challenges. She also gives perspective as a former contracting professional working in a program manager role.

Lots of great discussion about MFTs and getting more program managers at the operational level.

Have you tried Anchor? I haven’t tried it yet but have heard it’s pretty easy to record straight from your phone and post. Pretty interesting at how easy podcasting has become since we tried before.


Interesting model, I would definitely check Anchor out if I was starting a podcast.

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@axelclark, I’m considering launching agilemechs radio to discuss our transformation into a more agile enterprise in LA. Do you think there would be an audience for something like that? I’m all about sharing what we’re doing in hopes of sparking someone’s next big idea. Love to hear your thoughts.


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@axelclark I looked into that when first doing research on starting the podcast. There are a ton of YouTube videos that mention the equipment/software you use. Thankfully I got hooked up with AF public affairs and I work with an audio specialist to help me record and edit. PA is very helpful with releasing new episodes as researching, recording, and producing the podcast is only a portion of my actual workload.