Behind the Buy Podcast 3 - A Simple and Intuitive Approach for IT Procurement

Published Date: 
February 18, 2015
Media: 
Summary:

Traci Walker, a founding member of the U.S. Digital Service’s procurement team, explains how to make IT procurement simple and intuitive by using the TechFAR and Digital Services Playbook to drive strategies and implementation approaches for customer agencies such as the Forest Service, Small Business Administration, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Description

In this third episode of the Behind the Buy podcast series, OFPP Administrator Anne Rung interviews Traci Walker, a founding member of the U.S. Digital Service’s procurement team. During the episode, Traci explains how to make IT procurement simple and intuitive by using the TechFAR and Digital Services Playbook to drive strategies and implementation approaches for customer agencies such as the Forest Service, Small Business Administration, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Traci used Play #3’s simple and intuitive approach to enable tech companies to propose software support services to the Government on an incremental and iterative basis. This key play reduced administrative burden by reducing the Government’s commitment to contract solutions that fail performance standards. It also granted flexibility for contractors by enabling them to propose solutions that meet the Government’s objectives without having to incorporate predefined solutions. Traci worked with GSA to expand this approach across the Federal Government and satisfy agencies’ needs for agile IT services.

Contracting officers must communicate with key stakeholders throughout a procurement, including contractors and agency program staff. As noted during the interview, this Playbook approach allows for tailored communication to key stakeholders. Contracting officers use Reverse Industry Day events to hear best practice ideas and new solutions from contractors. For internal stakeholders, contracting officers use acquisition strategy sessions to engage customer’s concerns and teach them how to write effective solicitations. Traci tells listeners how to build flexibility into the procurement process by briefing all key stakeholders early and often and adapting to unforeseen challenges.

The Digital Services Playbook outlines key "plays" drawn from private and public-sector best practices to help Federal agencies deliver services that work well for users and require less time and money to develop and operate.
The TechFAR Handbook explains how agencies can execute key plays in the Playbook in ways consistent with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), which governs how the Government buys goods and services from the private sector.

Citation

"Behind the Buy Podcast 3 - A Simple and Intuitive Approach for IT Procurement," FAI Media Library, accessed September 21, 2019, https://www.fai.gov/media-library/item/behind-buy-podcast-3-simple-and-intuitive-approach-it-procurement