The IDIQ/GWAC PMO of this Top 10 GovCon organization has completed their 11th year of operations. During this period, they have handled more than 10,000 Task Orders. Their IDIQ/GWAC PMO has managed more than 70 vehicles and driven many Billions of dollars of revenue while bidding about 1,000 or about 10% of all Task Orders processed.
Their story is about getting the key program decisions right early on and using a software system that would allow them to incrementally evolve over time.
They started back in 2005 in response to large vehicle wins in the 2004-2005 wave of IDIQ/GWAC awards. Their PMO leaders wanted to create an enterprise system and operational approach that would enable them to handle the new and growing Task Order business.
They knew what they wanted in their emerging IDIQ/GWAC PMO. They wanted the front-end “intake” capabilities being considered by most top GovCon Enterprise IDIQ/GWAC PMO’s at the time. However, in addition they wanted to work with the business groups following an “enterprise shared services approach”. The key operational elements for the system were:
- A central “hub” to manage the intake of all Task Orders and distribution and provide overall visibility and reporting.
- The ability for each IDIQ/GWAC vehicle to be custom tailored to enable the IDIQs driven by Business Groups to be optimized to the needs of the Program and managed by the Program Manager.
- The ability to automate the Partner Survey Expression of Interest process and to have a Partner Portal through which partners could engage with internal owners during the capture and the proposal response.
- The ability to support the Business Groups with Task Order Proposal Response capabilities.
The elements 2, 3 and 4 above are unusual in Enterprise IDIQ/GWAC PMO’s today and were very rare in 2005. The addition of these elements was part of a broad vision of the “service offering” that they were going to be providing to the organizations’ Business Groups.
They decided to use the CorasWorks Application Platform and its generic Solution framework. This system runs on top of Microsoft SharePoint which stores all of the data and documents and provides security and administration. This open, work management platform approach would enable them to initially build out their system to their own specifications without requiring any custom code development. This reduces the time, cost and skills required and would provide them with a stable enterprise system. Further, it would allow them to incrementally evolve the system forward over time without disruption of ongoing operations. The approach was visionary in 2005.
A critical decision at this time was to bring up the Enterprise PMO technical environment in its own dedicated hosting facility outside of the standard corporate firewall. This allowed the system to be used to actively engage Teaming Partners throughout the Task Order lifecycle. This capability is still rare amongst Enterprise IDIQ/GWAC PMO’s of Top GovCon organizations (now, 11 years later).
The initial system was designed and built out primarily by customer staff leveraging the application platform and generic solution framework. It was configured to their needs. There was no custom code development required. It was successfully launched and used for the initial vehicles. The PMO continued to add vehicles that were managed internally and in support of the business groups. Over the years the IDIQ/GWAC PMO has handled on average about 50% of the enterprise Task Order activity. The rest is still handled by Business Groups directly using their own systems and resources.
Beginning in 2010, this organization began to enhance their system with the IDIQ Task Order Management “framework” that is the basis of R3 IDIQ Task Order Management today. At that time we had begun to provide an off-the-shelf solution incorporating the key elements for IDIQ Task Order Management. The flexibility enabled it to be implemented as an enhancement and customized by the customer using the built-in configuration Wizards and tools.
Over the years, they have incrementally enhanced their technical environment and their operational system. This single environment has been successfully ported from SharePoint 2003 (what they started with in 2005) to SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010 and now is running on SharePoint 2013. With the platform approach and IDIQ Task Order solution framework the operational system has been able to be continuously enhanced without having to develop and support custom compiled code at any point. This has enabled the PMO to continually meet their SLAs and do so with lower costs and risk.
Over the 11 years of operations many best practices have evolved. One is the New Vehicle Onramp. When a new Vehicle is added for support to the PMO, particularly IDIQ vehicles owned by the Business Groups, they are brought online through a structured process whereby the PMO custom tailors the way the work will be done for that Vehicle in response to the requirements of the Program Manager. This “service-oriented” Onramp approach benefits the PMO because the Task Order activity becomes part of their centrally managed system enabling enterprise visibility and real-time analytics and it optimizes the work of the Business Group.
During 2014, the system was enhanced to integrate with their new enterprise Business Intelligence system running on Microsoft Dynamics. This was accomplished using the Integration API that was part of the version 11 release of the application framework. It did not require any custom code development. The full history of the Task Order business for 11 years is now part of the Business Intelligence warehouse. This information is programmatically updated on a continuous basis. This has been an important addition as overall Federal Government contract award value has declined and success depends increasingly on recompetes of existing contracts for both defending their contracts and attacking competitors.
Today, the full IDIQ/GWAC PMO is run by a team of just 7 people. This includes PMO management, task order managers for intake and process support and all technical support. This team handles the full operational workload and the full system. They are currently handling more than 2,000 Task Orders per year across 28 GWAC and IDIQ vehicles.
They are able to achieve this high level of productivity for many reasons. A few key ones are 1) the longevity of the core team, 2) there is no duplication of information in the process and 3) the work is streamlined, visible and automated so that little manual work is required at any point and there are no gaps for things to fall through the cracks. All of their work occurs in collaboration with participants across world-wide distributed Business Groups and thousands of Teaming Partners.
Throughout the 11 years, the core PMO vision and their “enterprise shared services” approach, the 4 initial key operational elements above, and their technical system approach have remained constant. Their success is a result of a visionary program management team that still manages the PMO 11 years later and an effective technology approach that has enabled them to continuously and incrementally evolve their operational system to adopt new technology releases and to meet changing operational needs.