Tools Not Rules

CONS Ninjas,

Curious what tools you have offered mission partners that have either increased performance outcomes, reduced lead times, generated cost savings, or simply removed frustration that often comes as result of ”traditional” procurement process?

Sound off so we can all take action and not wait for tools to be provided from above - grassroots revolution to push agility and innovation!


Following for best practices!


Hey folks. I was using a tool called typeform ( to try and gauge the content people wanted to see from our social media handle. While I was working on it I realized how customizable the typeform tool is. It’s pretty awesome, and then I got to thinking, what if we could use something like typeform to write Form 9s? Full disclosure: I am not a PCO but I have had to perform some specialist duties in a previous life.

I was thinking of using a typeform to build an acquisition strategy report. I figured by asking questions like, “How long do you think it will take to deliver your capability” you could then populate a backend database that now has the PoP. You can probably let your imagination run with the possibilities here.

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We’re looking into creating a web form with a tool like then generating contracting or requirements documents using something like

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Thats very cool @axelclark! I’ll check those out too, thanks for sharing.

I’ve created a OneBar workspace to try and build up a community knowledge base for agile acquisitions.


I filled out your form…where did it go?

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It’s currently living within a backend database that typeform hosts. You can review the results here: If I can dig into the back-end I think I might be able to host the data in a different space that is more secure. I think it’s possible because you can embed this form pretty much anywhere so I assume you’d be able to host your data elsewhere, behind the paywall of course. (@axelclark: update- you can export it to a CSV and XLSX file)

You can also see it here:
but it’s not very interactive

My write up on LinkedIn here:

Tonight I decided to take a stab at using a tool called typeform ( to tell an acquisition strategy story. I used the tool to ask questions that senior leaders often ask us when chairing our Acquisition Strategy Panels (ASPs).

Do you present bedtime slideshows to your kids? We tell stories because thats what compels us as readers. What if we turned our acquisition strategies into stories about how and why we chose to propose our solution in the first place? Utilizing typeform’s open feature-set and the published ASP that I googled, I was able to ask questions based on the template’s guidance, past experience and some critical thinking/ creativity. This will essentially tell the story of why you are looking for a solution, how you will procure it, the different solutions you looked at, how you will support it and what it costs and who it will come from.

The cool part about this is it opens the doors to new innovations using the data on the backend. More to follow on that.

You can find the tool here:


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There is some really neat things going on with this.

The IRS developed a tool that uses a bot to do market research. The way it works is that you input a DUNS into the subject line and email it to, like, and an hour later you get a .zip file via reply with memos for responsibility determination and a few others formatted with your name ready for signature. Super-cool. They demoed this at the Procure-to-Pay conference.

Automation Anywhere is a bot maker (one of many) that is doing some work with USTRANSCOM and they are interested in working with contracting.

If you’re a buyer or CO doing a repetitive process that a bot can do; reply below.


There are many rote tasks and ‘if this then that’ decisions that are ripe for automation. Think if we developed numerical source selection procedures to aid in decision making … I am certain computers can help us make better decision (CPUs probably can make better decisions than many humans).

What if we had vendors evaluate themselves and input that data into a data crunching machine for a quality check?

There are offices in the Air Force having contractors “self score” then they review supporting documentation during the evaluation phase.

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My JB MDL Pitch Day team used mail merge in Excel to send 60+ unsuccessful offerer emails in a couple minutes. They generated many other documents/emails from the same spreadsheet.

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