Acquisition of Services

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Step 2: Review Current Strategy

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Each page in this pathway presents a wealth of curated knowledge from acquisition policies, guides, templates, training, reports, websites, case studies, and other resources. It also provides a framework for functional experts and practitioners across DoD to contribute to the collective knowledge base. This site aggregates official DoD policies, guides, references, and more.

DoD and Service policy is indicated by a BLUE vertical line.

Directly quoted material is preceeded with a link to the Reference Source.

Multi-Functional Team

Reference Source: Based on DAG Chapter 10, Section 3.1.2 content, Jan 2020

The MFT is responsible for assessing the health of the current service acquisition, if one exists. If this is a new service acquisition, move to Step Three and use the questions below to formulate the strategy. To accomplish this assessment, the MFT will interview the stakeholders and key customers and capture their concerns, priorities, and projected requirements which will impact how the acquisition is developed. Some questions for the MFT to consider are:

  • Have the needs of the current acquisition been met?
  • Are the requirements under the current awarded contract still valid?
  • What risks have developed under the current acquisition?
  • What risks are acceptable as status quo?
  • Can improvements be achieved? If not, what is the maximum loss of service that is acceptable?
  • What metrics will be tracked and reported?
  • Are there challenges with the current performance? If so, what are they?
  • What are the issues associated with resolving problems?
  • What is the current small business strategy for the prime contracts and subcontracts?
  • How will staying with the status quo affect the mission over time?
  • How will the improvements affect the mission over time?
  • How is performance captured, if not being captured via metrics?

Based on the stakeholders’ consolidated input, the MFT categorizes the input into performance results (outcomes). The performance results are reviewed and validated by all stakeholders, including key customers, to ensure the mission needs have been captured accurately. The MFT addresses any gaps between the current performance and his or her understanding of what the stakeholders are asking. The MFT discusses the funding impact if desired results are significantly beyond current budget levels. The feedback obtained is vital to ensuring the actions taken in subsequent steps are aligned with stakeholder outcomes and results. Based on the feedback, the MFT refines the desired results the team has developed. The MFT validates the refined results with stakeholders to ensure the acquisition is moving in the right direction.  The MFT also reviews the current contract terms and conditions and ensures the most current regulatory and statutory requirements are applied to the new services acquisition contract. 

Taking time to invest in the above pays large dividends later in the acquisition process. Prior to moving forward with a follow-on or new service acquisition, the FSM is required to obtain approval from the SRRB chair. According to statue, a SRRB approval is required for all services acquisition at or above $10 million. As directed by the DoD Components Decision Authority policies, a SRRB approval is required for all services acquisitions above the SAT but less than $10 million. 

2.1 Identify Current Initiatives/Contracts

Reference Source: DAU Service Acquisition Mall, Step 2

 

Identify current contracts that support this requirement or are closely related to it.

Are these a part of your agencies strategic sourcing initiatives?

Does your activity have new initiatives in the planning stages that might affect this requirement?

All this helps develop a baseline for planning and minimize surprises.

2.2 Review and Document Current Level of Performance

Reference Source: DAU Service Acquisition Mall, Step 2

 

To develop your baseline, identify any current performance issues; does the current requirement still meet the mission? Interview key stakeholders and understand how they define mission success, what their concerns are, and what mission changes do they see in the future that will affect this requirement. Effective planning requires that we can understand the objectives and focus on the desired outcomes. The first consideration is answering these three questions:

  • What is the problem the agency needs to solve?
  • What results are required to meet mission requirements?
  • Will it meet the organizational and mission needs?

2.3 Begin Program Risk Identification

Reference Source: DAU Service Acquisition Mall, Step 2

 

Risk assessment is a process that continues through the whole service acquisition cycle.

As part of your discussion with stakeholders, begin collecting concerns and risks that might have a mission impact.

Risk assessment is a team responsibility, but the program manager must take the lead in identifying and organizing risk areas.

This knowledge will help you as you develop the requirement and your acquisition strategy. Risk analysis is discussed in more depth in Step Four.

2.4 Document Current Processes

Reference Source: DAU Service Acquisition Mall, Step 2

 

This involves understanding how things are actually being done today.

How do you capture performance, what metrics are you tracking and reporting, what are the challenges with current performance, and what are the issues associated with resolving problems?

What is the current small business strategy for the prime contracts and subcontracts?

What you are seeking to develop is a good understanding of the “as is state.”

Based on this, you can more effectively develop plans and actions that will improve performance on your new requirement and implementation strategy.

2.5 Determine Status of Government Furnished Property/Materials/Facilities

Reference Source: DAU Service Acquisition Mall, Step 2

 

In service contracts the government may furnish property or facilities for the contractor’s use.

Determine if this is still in the best interest of the government.

Also determine the condition of the material or facilities and if it is still suitable for use.

2.6 Stakeholder Submits Current and Projected Requirements Forecast

Reference Source: DAU Service Acquisition Mall, Step 2

 

Interview stakeholders to identify their current requirements, and what mission changes they see coming that may affect the requirements you’re planning.

What areas hold the most concern for your stakeholders?

How will contingency operations affect this requirement?

This knowledge will help you develop the scope for your requirement and plan for the flexibility you may need in your contract vehicle to adjust for future requirements.

These stakeholder engagements will help ensure alignment of your efforts with your stakeholder’s expectations.

2.7 Review Current/Statutory Requirements

Reference Source: DAU Service Acquisition Mall, Step 2

 

As part of the baseline planning process, review current regulations and legislation that could impact your requirement and acquisition strategy.

Service contracts normally cover several years, so be sure the plan you develop complies with current regulations and not the ones that were in place at the beginning of the last contract.

2.8 Define (at a High Level) Desired Results

Reference Source: DAU Service Acquisition Mall, Step 2

 

Based on your stakeholder interviews, knowledge issues, and pending changes, start refining the requirements desired results (outcomes).

Is it providing a certain level of help desk support to an organization?

Is it a reduction of computer down time?

Is it providing a level of information assurance among its customers?

Is it providing a level of systems and software engineering and support?

What is the ultimate intended result of the contract and how does it relate to the agency’s strategic plan?

What are the critical results your stakeholders have identified?

2.9 Review Current Performance and Desired Results with Stakeholders and Users

Reference Source: DAU Service Acquisition Mall, Step 2

 

Review your high level results with your stakeholders and customers to validate that your team has defined the right results.

Describe the gaps between current performance and your understanding of what stakeholders are asking.

Discuss the funding impact if desired results are significantly beyond current budget levels.

This feedback is vital to ensure the actions you take in subsequent steps are aligned with your stakeholder outcomes and results.

Failure to do this now can result in a lot of rework later.

2.10 Refine Desired Results and Validate with Stakeholders

Reference Source: DAU Service Acquisition Mall, Step 2

 

Take the feedback you generated in Section 2.9 and refine the desired results your team has developed.

Validate these refined results one more time with your stakeholders to ensure you are moving in the right direction.

Time invested here will pay large dividends later in the process.

Documentation Examples and Templates

Reference Source: DAU Service Acquisition Mall, Step 2 Templates

Examples and templates of documentation are available in the Service Acquisition Mall (SAM):