Behind the Buy Podcast 4 - Leveraging an Agile and Iterative Approach to Help Save American Lives

Published Date: 
February 18, 2015
Media: 
Summary:

In this fourth installment of the Behind the Buy podcast series, OFPP Administrator Anne Rung interviews Consumer Financial Protection Bureau contracting officer, Tara Jamison, who has experience in executing agile and iterative strategies supported by the TechFAR Handbook and Digital Services Playbook at the Department of Defense and Department of Justice.

Description

In this fourth installment of the Behind the Buy podcast series, OFPP Administrator Anne Rung interviews Consumer Financial Protection Bureau contracting officer, Tara Jamison, who has experience in executing agile and iterative strategies supported by the TechFAR Handbook and Digital Services Playbook at the Department of Defense and Department of Justice. Jamison explains how, through the procurement of counter-roadside bomb technology, she used rapid development and deployment to help save American lives during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Tara employed an agile and iterative approach (Play #4) to buy jammer platforms that are worn by soldiers and mounted on vehicles for blocking radio signals that remotely detonate roadside bombs. Although this technology already existed at the time - its application required significant customization for combat purposes. Tara and her team addressed this emergency need by engaging contractors to determine technical capabilities and exchange best practices, strategies, and potential solutions. Every morning, Tara’s team discussed priorities for each iteration with all service branches and contractors. She managed their competing priorities by enabling each service branch to regularly test, evaluate, and aid in source selection. This consensus strategy was achieved by establishing the rules of engagement early on in the planning process between the service branches, leadership, and supporting offices. As the program matured, its purchasing strategy evolved and is now completely customized for combat purposes.

Contracting officers must engage their customers early to facilitate collaboration and strategic planning. As a customer’s needs change, so must the approach. Tara teaches listeners that effective procurement is achieved by gauging and addressing customer concerns while maintaining the integrity of the intended outcome.

Citation

"Behind the Buy Podcast 4 - Leveraging an Agile and Iterative Approach to Help Save American Lives," FAI Media Library, accessed February 19, 2019, https://www.fai.gov/media-library/item/behind-buy-podcast-4-leveraging-agile-and-iterative-approach-help-save-american