Welcome to the third post of this series – if you haven’t already, go back and read the introduction to the government program offices series to learn more about how Jama Software supports government program offices and more about me and my qualifications. You can also read Part I, where I discuss the development of the RFI/RFP and we got approval to release the RFP. There does exist some tools in use today that allow for some automation and tracking of the evaluation process. In this post, we’ll explore how Jama Connect could potentially replace those tools, or allow a program office to help automate the process today where there is no existing automation.
Every RFP includes a section that mandates how the contractor’s proposal must be formatted and submitted. While my ideal situation would be for contractors to build and submit their proposals in Jama Connect, I’m going to walk through a less futuristic approach. Since the program office built their requirements in Jama Connect, they now have a set of individual requirements and the ability to mandate that the contractor explains how they will meet each requirement. This is where a program office needs to think through how they want the proposals to be formatted such that they get the information they need from the contractors and get that information in a way that allows for the easiest, objective, and most efficient source selection possible.
Having been in the middle of doing technical evaluations on proposals based on poorly worded requirements and with no thought on how the evaluation could be optimized, I can’t stress how important it is to think the source selection through before you release the RFP. If you want to avoid a successful protest or be able to recruit qualified evaluators, make it objective and efficient.
So, if the program office does this, they can have the contractors submit their proposals in a digital format that can be easily imported into Jama, and the technical evaluation can occur within Jama. This allows evaluators from across the government to participate as necessary. It also brings together the RFP requirements with the proposal so all of the context included in Jama earlier can be leveraged for the evaluation.
Here’s an example of how it might look within Jama’s Review Center.
So, now the evaluators can review each contractor’s proposal, and can grade the proposal against the established criteria. Additionally, the Contracting Officer has full transparency regarding the evaluation and is able to respond to elevator concerns within Jama Connect.
If it isn’t obvious at this point, the program office is now developing the foundation for managing the program and the contractor’s performance within Jama Connect. This will continue throughout the lifecycle of the program and across multiple contracts, contractors, and both industry and government stakeholders. This establishes Jama Connect as the authoritative knowledge base regarding the program. We will continue to build on this knowledge base in the following blog posts. Stay tuned!