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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Do contracting and program management offices make the grade?

In our latest Washington Technology Insider Report we take a look at the performance of contracting and program management offices.

Over the last few years, we’ve heard a lot about how the balance of power between these two offices has shifted with contracting offices gaining the upper hand in this dynamic relationship.

This report takes a deep dive into that relationship and is available for download exclusively for Washington Technology Insiders. Click here to download the report and here for more information on becoming a WT Insider.

Ideally, the two offices act as partners with program offices developing requirements and contracting offices figuring out the best way to buy it.

But as budgets tightened, and in some cases collapsed, price became the primary driver in many procurement decisions. And with that shift, the contracting offices have become more powerful.

With this in mind, we went out to the contracting community to ask them to grade both the contracting offices and the program management offices they deal with. We picked a set of parameters such as technical knowledge, strategic planning, willingness to take risks and how they treat contractors.

We asked respondents to score each parameter on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being poor and 5 being great.

While we found plenty of areas of concern, our goal wasn’t just to collect complaints. We asked respondents to score the overall group of contracting and program management offices they deal, and then we asked them to score the single best contracting and program management offices.

Several findings stand out, but none more than how risk adverse both contracting and program management offices are. Whether respondents were talking about the overall group offices or if they were grading the single best office, risk taking stood out as a weak spot.

Another critical finding is the need for better communications, a common lament we hear in the market.

The delta between the overall group of offices and the single best offices offers some valuable insights and should help contractors identify pain points for contracting and program management offices. Armed with this information, contractors should be able to better anticipate where problems may occur, and they also might identify opportunities were they can help their government customer.

I encourage you to read our report and use it to draw some of your own conclusions and gain a better understanding of the current conditions in the market.

As always, we look forward to your comments.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Dec 08, 2015 at 9:32 AM

Reader Comments

Thu, Dec 10, 2015 Chuck Viator Wash Metro Area

The state of acquisition and program management is brought ti light in this Armed Services Committee hearing http://www.armed-services.senate.gov/hearings/15-12-01-acquisition-reform-next-steps

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