Advanced Proposal Writing: Key Elements When Writing About Your Program Management

For Small Businesses: Key Elements When Writing About Your Program Management

Last week, we noted that the new strategy of federal agencies is to mandate that small businesses band together under a single lead small business and take on larger, more sophisticated assignments. They want contractors who can do more than just manage individual projects well; they want them to be able to run programs that manage projects well. A new competence that small businesses must develop is program management.

By and large, these federal agencies are looking for a management approach that provides strong program level governance to its task order projects. This means in you proposal you must show that you have a management approach that offers:

  • A customer partnership strategy and structure for Cross-Organizational Management of Affairs that supports customer engagement and input on all resource, quality, performance, and change issues so that the customer's larger mission and strategy is continuously supported.

  • An effective Program Governance structure - one that empowers the contract level Program Manager (PM) and their PMO to effectively manage not only across all task orders but also down to each project as needed. This means clearly defined PM and TO Project Manager relationship and responsibilities.

  • A Human Resources approach where the PM actively monitors resource use and has the executive reach to acquire and reorganize staff as needed to meet project goals and quickly adapt to project contingencies (as well as an HR department with a reliable recruiting strategy and supporting procedures).

  • A Quality Program that not only institutes and monitors standardized processes (QA), assures the technical testing and review to identify and resolve individual quality issues that arise (QC), and accurately tracks and reports contract performance, but also supports the implementation of process improvements and operational support changes indentified through these program elements and communicated to an authoritative body empowered to promote their implementation (either the PM/PMO or an ancillary advisory body)

  • A Communication Strategy with clear lines of communication - between the prime, subs, customer entities, and the project team - properly aligned with managerial empowerment for effective coordination and action.

  • Risk avoidance has always been a big theme government contracting, but is even more so in today's political climate. Reducing risk and controlling cost in most cases trump over innovation. Showing that you are serious about Risk Management and EVMS is vital.

Building these attributes into your management practices and emphasizing these in your IDIQ proposal responses will make you a sought after small business in the government sector.

Gary Mason
Proposal Writer

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