Government contracting: Where's the value?
As I’ve been thinking about good contract management, I’ve seen a couple articles recently that illustrate a fundamental challenge of good management in the government.
One was a blog by GSA’s Mary Davie talking about how the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative has driven savings of 27 percent in wireless spending due to a group of blanket purchase agreements.
Our sister publication, FCW.com, had an article this week about a GSA-Salesforce BPA to consolidate how the government buys customer relationship management software.
Nextgov.com has a column by Kevin Merritt, CEO of Socrata, talking about the challenge of innovation in the government.
Nextgov also has an infographic listing government priorities for 2016. In a nutshell, these priorities include improved citizen services, greater transparency and improved service delivery.
All of this leads me to one final article by Zach Noble at FCW, looking at the challenge government chief financial officers and CIOs have in measuring success.
That article gets to what I’ve been thinking about – how exactly do you measure success in the government? And as I look more at good post-award contract management, your measure of success is critical.
A lot of people talk about the need to look at outcomes over process, but what is the ideal outcome?
As I look around the government, I see many worthy, but competing values:
- Cost savings
- Greater efficiency
- Better citizen service
- More security
The list can go on and on.
Achieving any goal needs to be balanced against available resources. I suppose that’s the critical skill good government managers need.
Another skill is being able to identify the ultimate goal or goals and being able to communicate that to the contractor community.
A risk, I suppose, is being too narrowly focused and losing sight of other impacts. Cost savings is great, but what if the product or service that is delivered is inferior?
So, what is the best way to determine the value you are trying to deliver, and then managing against that?
Is that a good parameter for talking about good management? I look forward to your comments.
Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jan 22, 2016 at 9:29 AM