Veterans Technology Services (VETS) is a small business set-aside Government-Wide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) that provides flexible access to customized IT solutions from a qualified, diverse pool of service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses. VETS GWAC promotes opportunities for SDVO small businesses such as Veteran Corps to provide IT services for federal government agencies. The VETS GWAC has two functional areas, both of which include IT security:
- Information Systems Engineering
- Systems Operations and Maintenance
With a $5 billion program ceiling and a five-year base period with one five-year option, VETS allows for long-term planning of large-scale program requirements while strengthening opportunities for service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses.
VETERAN CORPS utilizes an overall management approach that focuses on five Critical Success Factors (CSFs), which are best business practices refined over numerous contracts and task orders for a wide variety of customers. This approach to planning and implementing task orders is an integrated process that encompasses everything required to comply with the task order and its associated contract requirements. Our process is structured around these five CSFs so that we can systematically plan, implement, and control all task activities. We work closely with our customers in planning the required service needs so we can effectively manage our resources and apply the proper skills at the proper time. We are mission-focused and also understand that our success is directly tied to our customers' success on each and every order.
We believe the prime reason for task order failure is poor or improper planning. Therefore, our process places a heavy emphasis on planning efforts; consequently Meaningful Planning is our first CSF. This ensures we have a defined approach to developing standards, performance measures, milestones, risks, and resources needed to successfully implement the task order. This requires disciplined adherence to the plan along with accurate and timely reporting of progress to make sure variances are detected early and dealt with before they become problems. At a minimum, our management goal is "No Surprises" to either the Team or our Client. The following are our defined CSFs:
CSF 1 – Meaningful Task Order Planning that clearly delineates the technical, budgetary, schedule and quality requirements of each task order is essential to project success. We have demonstrated that up-front detailed planning for each critical sub-milestone, including design-to-cost targets and technical/risk factors, is the cornerstone to value-added management. Planning at this level provides insight so that potential issues can be addressed early on, allowing time for corrective actions. Our approach is to plan sub-milestones with measurable output and use automated tools like Microsoft Project to track progress and ultimate success.
CSF 2 – Sound Resource Allocation is a critical management function when integrating multiple tasks or subtasks operating concurrently. By using past experience, we can more accurately estimate what resources are needed where and when based on complexity and unique task order requirements. We allocate resources based on business rules generated by our PIMS system, while using Microsoft Project as the actual allocation device.
CSF 3 – Consistent Management Processes provide clarity and focus for the Task Order Manager and the entire workforce. Our proven processes include performance measurement and tracking, risk management, quality assurance, and customer satisfaction assurance. These processes are implemented in an organized, disciplined, and integrated manner and are supported by easy-to-use web-based systems that ensure visibility and accountability for every member of the VETERAN CORPS Team.
CSF 4 – Substantive Cost and Performance Reporting provides real-time assessment of all current and past task orders, subtasks, and work elements. Using our Microsoft financial system, we generate sub-milestone cost performance reports and capture detailed cost data at the work element level. Our management focus and our existing toolkit for cost/performance measurement contribute to optimum cost and performance management, including sub-milestone tracking and earned value cost/performance reporting. Our accounting system provides all necessary financial reports to fully segregate labor and other direct costs between multiple tasks.
CSF 5 – Timely Management Action on All Task Order Performance Variances is facilitated by our cost/performance reporting system. Monthly reviews of all cost/performance areas provide full visibility of the issues and establish a forum for instituting timely corrective actions, ensuring the task order remains on track and the VETERAN CORPS Team delivers according to plan. Our web-based management systems record performance trends and track action items in a checklist format that provides prompt status information to all levels of management. This allows us to apply appropriate and timely management action to every situation and identify if action is needed to fix a problem on a task order as well as to identify and reward superior performance of our employees.
Management Processes to Ensure Repeatable Results
We treat each Critical Success Factor in a coordinated and integrated fashion as a total management process supported by effective and easy to use automated tools. At a minimum, we provide timely and ongoing progress reporting on performance, schedule, cost, quality risk, and customer satisfaction. Successful task order performance is achieved by planning and managing every task order using the processes outlined here that enable in-depth planning, accurate forecasting, constant monitoring, and prompt attention to performance issues.
The task order implementation schedule must break down customer milestones into sub-milestones, each of which include measurable performance criteria, verifiable output and a defined value (in dollars). This process of planning is based on experience and is supported by sets of Business Rules developed from similar projects through looking at their requirements, approaches, problems, solutions, and risks.
Consistent Management Practices (CSF-3) used throughout the implementation of any effort is critical to its success. The Task Order Management Plan developed during the planning phase defines the approach, standards, performance measures, milestones, risks, and resources needed to successfully implement the task order. The implementation phase requires disciplined adherence to the plan plus accurate and timely reporting of progress to ensure variances are detected early and dealt with before they become problems. At minimum, our management goal is "No Surprises" to either VETERAN CORPS or our Client.
The Task Order Manager must allocate all work assignments to staff or subcontractors based on the implementation plan and review and report progress accordingly. Examples of actions include review of minutes and action status, delivery of contract deliverables, and updating detailed milestones and sub-milestones. We also maintain a repository for historical performance measurements that allows the Task Order Manager and VETERAN CORPS management team to better analyze current versus past performance to ensure customer requirements are being met and will continue to be met in the future.
Task order implementation only begins after authorization from the client. Once implementation is underway, the VETERAN CORPS management team provides oversight to the Task Order Manager throughout the implementation of the effort. On a monthly basis, we review the status of performance, cost control, quality control and risk management plans. The VETERAN CORPS management team may direct the Task Order Manager to revise any of the items reviewed. In this case, they will update the appropriate items in the documented implementation plan creating a new version that replaces the current plan. We require and assign a new version num
Name: John Wheeler
Title: Vice President
Phone: 703.691.VETS (8387)
Name: Bill Wheeler
Phone: 703.691.VETS (8387)