New Contract Award, Now What?
Between now and September 30, ‘tis the season for the Federal Government to issue contract awards as they wrap up fiscal year 2017. If your company is one of the fortunate contract award winners, there are required actions you must perform and activities that can help ensure a smooth transition and execution, especially if you are not the incumbent. This blog focuses on two of many tasks to do after contract award.
Typically, one of the initial contract requirements is a joint kickoff/post award meeting between the government and the company that won the award to discuss contract implementation. Government attendees are typically the Contracting Officer (CO), Contracting Officer Representative (COR) and any other key government stakeholders, while company attendees include the Project Manager (PM), Contracts Manager and key executives depending on the contract value. The government should take meeting minutes to include, at a minimum:
- Meeting Date
- Attendee List/Roster
- Agreed upon tasks/items
- Outstanding items
- Follow-up meeting, particularly on status of outstanding items.
If there are any changes to the contract (e.g. reporting requirements, deliverables, due dates), it is critical that the CO generates a contract modification. It bears repeating that Companies are legally bound to what is written in the Contract.
The Internal Kick-Off
Internal kick-offs (company attended only) can ease the transition. When a company has Internal kick-offs, seldom do they include the entire team, however by including all departments you can improve transition and performance. If it is a follow-on contract, there will still be subtle differences (e.g. contract number, timesheet codes, accounting codes, perhaps reporting, perhaps type of contract, etc.). Below are some questions each department can answer or obtain information about:
Technical Team — What is the scope? What are the deliverables and deliverable due dates? What is outside of the Scope? What do you do if you receive a request outside the scope?
Contracts Dept. — What type of contract is it? Why is it important to know the type of contract? What are the parameters of the contract, reporting requirements, etc.?
Accounting Dept. — What are the new accounting and timesheet codes? What are the invoice requirements (e.g. due date, information required)? Are there any reports, or deliverable receipts required with the invoice?
Human Resources — Which positions are key personnel, if any? Are some positions more difficult to recruit for than others? Are there currently open positions? If so, what is the status? What have some of the challenges been?
Business Development (BD) — The BD Team can share information gleaned during the solicitation stage. Are there political sensitivities? What are the stakeholders most concerned about (especially if you are not the incumbent)? Were there any important “off the record” conversations? What are some possible upcoming opportunities?
The most effective execution of a new contract begins with being cognizant that it is not only about the technical team’s performance, but everyone’s performance. And each department plays a vital role.
By Karen Long, Streamline Government Contracts, LLC
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