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OCI hosted it’s second in a series of seminars targeted for private sector professionals developing solutions and proposals to the Federal government. The event took place at the Tower Club, Tysons Corner, Virginia on Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Former government executives Pat Schambach and Jim Williams (Schambach & Williams Consulting LLC) along with Mark Tolbert PMP, Best Practices Team LLC spoke on the topic Ensure Success on your next IT Program.

Schambach and Williams reviewed the “7-S for Success” a framework developed by ACT-IAC an association of leaders in government and industry highlighting the many lessons learned and critical success factors for major IT programs. With their may years of experience on both sides of the topic a number of past and current programs were explored. The audience was noticeably impressed with the speaker’s depth on the topic as well as the comprehensive yet easy to apply 7-S’s for Success framework.

Schambach additionally provide a dashboard based on key program metrics that he had developed and successfully used during his time as a Senior Business Leader at a major federal contractor.

Mark Tolbert, PMP followed with a provocative and passionate discussion Starting Projects off on the right foot: Dealing with our modern world of seemingly Impossible Demands and Constraints.

Mark explored the challenges project managers have in initiating and planning projects properly.

Waterfall, Agile and hybrid approaches were discussed along with simple metaphors that helped make a complex topic easy for the attendees to digest. Tolbert was obvisiouly well versed on the topic with years of practice both as a project manager , coach and teacher on the topics presented.

Presentations can be found here: 

Ensure Success on your next IT Program (From Government perspective)

Ensure Success on your next IT Program (From Provider perspective)

Starting Projects off on the right foot: Dealing with our modern world of seemingly Impossible Demands and Constraints


tulipsHere are nine things you can do to win more proposals this year:

1. Start with a well-defined solution.
2. Invest enough in production so your proposal will look like a winner.
3. Use price to win (PTW) analysis – you can’t do without this any longer?
4. Stock your refrigerator with good things for late night workers.
5. Provide whatever type or amount of award you can afford to winning proposal teams.
6. Get executive buy-in in advance so you can be assured of the needed resources
7. Figure out a way to either use your process better or start one if you don’t have it already.
8. If you are not one of those rare groups that starts early, start your process one week earlier.
9. Schedule enough time to respond to the findings of the color team.

helpful tipsOCI is partnering with FedSavvy Strategies to help HCaTS bidders. FedSavvy Strategies’ principal – Brian Lindholm – has a deep background in the HCaTS program, while OCI has a large bench of consultants qualified to help prepare a winning HCaTS proposal.

Overview to Winning HCATS
The Human Capital and Training Services (HCaTS) opportunity represents an exciting development for any business delivering human capital, training and development, and organizational process improvement. HCaTS is – for all intents and purposes – a follow-on contract to the legacy Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Training and Management Assistance (TMA) contract.

Based on some very conservative estimates, we believe this contract could reach around $242 million per year in contract spending. We think this figure is realistic based on the fact that HCaTS is mostly a replacement for the OPM TMA contract and its scope is expanding. Consider HCaTS probable value against an annual addressable market value of nearly $2 billion per year for Training and Human Capital Solutions.

Your decision to pursue HCaTS should take into consideration what alternative contracts your existing and targeted customers currently utilize. Will HCaTS be used in your customers’ acquisition strategy or will it merely be seen as yet another multiple award IDIQ contract?

The busy season is nearly on top of us. Twenty-two years of record keeping demonstrates that May is nearly always the fastest month in the Federal proposal preparation year. The table below shows what percentage of the year’s business we do each month, based on a recent 5-year average. Our business pattern is pretty typical of the market.

Percent of the Annual Proposal Volume in the Different Months

Open letter image for customers NL

If you will notify us in advance, we can do a better job for you. Based on the deepest talent bench in the industry, we can nearly always provide responsive support.

With advance notice, however, we can probably make a closer consultant match to your requirements. And provide a lower price.

If you have a need on the horizon, why don’t you pick up your phone and give us an early warning?


arrowAs with many large IDIQ’s, the timing for DHITS I is moving to the right. From the May 2015 RFP Release date we reported previously, the date is now estimated at October 2015, with awards in summer of 2016. A second-draft RFP is expected in July, one year after the first draft. A third industry day is scheduled for July 16, 2015, to be followed by a final strategy development step prior to the procurement execution phase. DHITS will be in focus for a host of federal contractors, large and small, and the competition will be intense. Small business will be substantially represented, up to about 40%.

iStock 000024181579 SmallThe US Army released the $37.4 billion Responsive Strategic Sourcing for Services (RS3) IDIQ contract March 25, 2015. It is due April 24, and awards are planned for late July, 2015.

The Army released the Draft RFP of the solicitation on February 24, 2015, and released answers to 90 industry questions related to the Draft RFP on March 24, 2015.

Given the high dollar value and the different award categories, the Army will likely receive well over 100, maybe over 200 proposals. Approximately 30 large businesses and 20 small businesses will receive awards, according to the latest information issued by the US Army Contracting Command. The RS3 procurement (draft solicitation number W15P7T15R0008) is intended to replace a number of existing Army multiple award IDIQ contracts, including S3, R2-3G, WEBS, TIES, and TAOSS. While incumbents on these contracts with a strong record of successful past performance are well positioned for award on RS3, the draft PWS has been prepared with intentionally broad language and covers a wide range of Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) tasks, which opens the door to up and coming competitors. PWS functional areas include services related to Engineering; Research, Development, Test and Evaluation; Logistics; Acquisition and Strategic Planning; and Education and Training.

Suggestions for Preparing a Winning RS3 Proposal

Offerors that intend to submit a winning proposal should take the following actions:
1. Review the RFP documents and Industry Day briefing slide deck to understand the Section C SOW Requirements, Section L Instructions, and Section M evaluation criteria. In particular, note the insight provided by the Government from the 90 questions and answers that were published on March 24, 2015 on, and fine tune your company’s capture strategy, including teaming arrangements and proposal team resources.

iStock 000010741545 SmallLikability is more teachable than you might think

Original article can be found here:

Too many people succumb to the mistaken belief that being likable comes from natural, unteachable traits that belong only to a lucky few--the good looking, the fiercely social, and the incredibly talented. It's easy to fall prey to this misconception. In reality, being likable is under your control, and it's a matter of emotional intelligence (EQ).

In a study conducted at UCLA, subjects rated over 500 adjectives based on their perceived significance to likability. The top-rated adjectives had nothing to do with being gregarious, intelligent, or attractive (innate characteristics). Instead, the top adjectives were sincerity, transparency, and capacity for understanding another person.

These adjectives, and others like them, describe people who are skilled in the social side of emotional intelligence. TalentSmart research data from more than a million people shows that individuals who possess these skills aren't just highly likable, they outperform those who don't by a large margin.
We did some digging to uncover the key behaviors that emotionally intelligent people engage in that make them so likable. Here are 13 of the best:

OCI Accounting Department Casual Friday's

Pictured above are OCI Finance Department personnel on a casual Friday.  Teyona Holland is the department Clerk.  Daiza Smith is the Billing Manager.  Bibi Ogunyankin, CPA, is the Finance Department Manager.

iStock 000039748264 SmallOn March 16, a small but fascinating article on the amount of federal contracting in the 21st century appeared in the Washington Post. This article shows why we have had such a large increase in the volume of proposals.

Author Josh Hicks uses Congressional Budget Office (CBO) numbers to demonstrate that “federal spending on contracts grew 87 percent between 2000 and 2012.” During the same time, Hicks adds, “Contracting also grew as a percentage of total federal spending” from 11 to 15 percent.

Further, “Most of the expansion occurred in professional, administrative and management services, while medical services saw the greatest increase, percentage-wise.”

This rise in federal spending for products and services explains the dramatic growth of proposal volume during the period 2000 to 2012. The author does not address the slight decline in proposal activity accompanying the Sequestration.

It is ironic to note that, no one knows how many contractors are in the federal workforce, in spite of knowing how many dollars have been spent.

The original article can be found here

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In January, we held our first breakfast series to discuss pressing issues in the industry like rapid task order response. In June, we will be offering a follow up one day course on Effectively Managing Task Order Responses.

This course offers a simple and reliable process for preparing task order proposals It offers real-life examples and take-away tools used to apply the process effectively and efficiently.

The class is led by Tim Birdsell, Task Order Proposals Shop Manager and Traci Birdsell, Proposal Manager both handpicked proposal professionals for a major defense contractor’s IDIQ Service Center.


Learn more about the one day course here.