Welcome to Part VI of our government program offices series where we’ll discuss how Jama Connect can help with contractor deliverable management. 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, Part II on source selections, Part III where I cover contractor requirements decomposition, and Part IV, where we discuss financial management, and Part 5 on test planning.
Welcome to the seventh blog post of this series. Congratulate yourselves on your stamina and perseverance. At this point the contractor and program office are chugging along. We have the requirements decomposed into something useful, the work packages defined, and test plans being developed. Outstanding.
I’m the first to admit that Jama Connect can do more than just shore requirements. It is basically a very fancy cloud database. The kind folks at Jama Software know this, but they don’t like admitting it. So, how else can Jama Connect help the program office? To make the folks at Jama Software happy, I’ll say that the deliverables from the contractor to the program office are “requirements.” Jama Connect is an excellent tool to enable online delivery of contract deliverables from the contractor to the program office.
Why would you want to use Jama Connect this way? Great question, and it has an easy answer. At this point Jama Connect has become the underlying program management platform for the program office. We have all of the contract requirements, the actual requirements, the test plans, and so on in this platform. Well, the deliverables can not only be tracked in Jama Connect , but they can provide useful information for those either writing, reviewing, or approving requirements within Jama. Allowing for all of this data to be stored in one location and accessible to all of the stakeholders makes everyone’s lives easier. A contract deliverable that is never read by the program office should have never been required and is a waste of taxpayer dollars.
Contractor Deliverable Management with Jama Connect
What is also really cool about using Jama Connect to track deliverables is that it is possible to ensure that the appropriate workflow is used. Deliverables may or may not be conditional on the program office’s acceptance. Sometimes the contract will state that the deliverables are automatically approved after a set number of days unless the program office responds. The problem I’ve seen is that it may be days before I know that the deliverable is there for me to review, and by the time I read it and realize that it w[as a mess, it is too late. Jama Connect reduces this issue though workflows, and notifications. Deliverables are not just delivered to the Contracting Office, but to the stakeholders that need to review them.
Better yet, the program office could require that deliverables such as reports are submitted within Jama Connect as drafts, allowing the program office to use Jama Connect Review Center to provide detailed feedback prior to the formal submission of the deliverable. This does include additional work on the part of the program office, but depending on the importance of the deliverable it may be worth it. The benefit of this is that if there are issues with the approach the contractor is taking, those can be identified early and actions can be taken to fix the issues before the situation becomes critical.
Throughout this series I’ve discussed how Jama Connect can be used by a program office. I hope that I’ve made the case that having a common requirements management platform within a program office that is shared by the contractor and other stakeholders can be a powerful tool. Life in a program office is about making decisions. The challenge has always been in having the right information at the right time to make the right decision. While no tool will solve that, Jama Connect if used effectively can certainly help both the contractor and program office leadership make decisions, and to do so in an open and transparent manner.
Stay tuned for the final post in our government program offices series!