Contracting right now looks alot like my commute everyday.
As many leaders are urging us to go faster, I don’t think desire is the problem.
Everyone wants to get from A to B as fast as possible, just like everyone wants to get to work on time in the pic below. No one wants to go slow. The problem is, we’re in this traffic jam.
So instead of telling us to just go faster, let’s look at how to clear the path for them to move. What can we do to speed up this commute?
1.) Maybe shorten the distance from A to B? If I lived closer to my work, the commute would be faster. Similarly, lets cut the distance from idea to award, by breaking up our requirement. Do we need a solution that can solve all our problems? Or can we get a minimum viable product that fixes one problem right now? If one costs $100 million and requires Dr. Roper to sign, and the other costs $10 million requiring only the competition advocate to sign… We’ve already shortened our commute.
2.) What is making my work so far away from my home? Similar to how mandatory parking minimums require large empty parking lots between me and my work, what laws or rules can leadership eliminate that gets A closer to B. Maybe getting rid of Business and Contract Clearance altogether? Trusting the CO. The Army doesn’t have Clearance, why do we? Or maybe its as simple as eliminating redundant information in forms. Why does my J&A, D&F, PNM, 2579, and CO Memo all have a Market Research section when my MR memo says it all? Or why does tabs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 12, 14, 50, 52, 56, 62, 73, and the file index all require the CO’s name, and phone number be hand jammed into different forms when all this meta information is already on the CO’s CAC card? Cutting minutes here and there saves time.
3.) Why do most of these cars only have 1 person in them? Perhaps changing the type of vehicle to a bus or train (aka contract type) could move things along more efficiently. An IDIQ for same services, BPA’s, a large ceiling CPFF or T&M may decrease the number of actions on the road. More on this later…
4.) Finally, technology. If instead of stop signs at intersections that don’t have any cross traffic, lets install smart stop lights that move traffic along faster. Similarly, lets invest in technology that moves contracting processes along faster. Not just CONIT, (which is a good step in the right direction), but also apps that help write the rest of the file not just the contract document… Think autofill like Google does with all of my online purchases. Or drop down menus to replace legalese that gets written over and over again.
Clear the way for CO’s, and watch how fast we get to work.