Welcome to the third post of this series, where we’ll discuss how to use Jama Connect for contractor requirements decomposition. 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 approval to release the RFP, and Part II, where I discuss source selections.
At this point, congratulations are in order. The program office has managed to build the RFI and RFP, issue the RFP, accept proposals, and finally make the contract award. That is a lot of work just to arrive at the starting point for the contract.
Now, unless the program office managed to break down the requirements sufficiently, the contractor will now take the requirements as stated in the contract and decompose those requirements into the requirements they actually build against. This is one of the earliest opportunities for a contractor to ensure vendor lock-in, but this requirements decomposition is a vendor-owned and controlled system. This makes it very difficult or impossible to transfer the decomposed requirements to a different contractor if the first contractor’s performance is unsatisfactory.
But, in this case, we have a smart program office that has Jama Connect. The contract requires the contractor to do the requirements decomposition in the Government-owned Jama Connect, and Jama Connect is provided as GFE/GFI to the contractor. This one decision ensures that the program office has visibility into the requirement decomposition process, allows improved collaboration between the program office and the contractor, and allows the program office to easily transfer what this taxpayer paid for work to a different contractor.
The contractor’s requirements decomposition of the contract requirements is standard use-case for Jama Connect, and Jama Connect is well-suited to enable the contractor to derive multiple levels and types of requirements. Jama Connect also allows the contractor to get quick reviews from the program office or other government subject matter experts on their interpretation of the requirements, so mistakes are caught early and corrective action can be taken.
What works really well in this situation is Jama’s ability to automate workflows. This allows the requirements to be moved from “draft” all the way through “government approved” within Jama Connect, with the program office/contractor approving workflow and reviews. It also captures the decisions made along the processes, allowing for full accountability and traceability.
Writing the requirements and getting agreement between the contractor and the government on the requirements is only one step in this process. The system still isn’t built, tested, and who knows what issues will arise during the development process. All of these unknowns lead into cost uncertainty and tracking, which will be our next topic.
- How Jama Software Supports Government Program Offices Part VII: Contract Recompetition - August 12, 2021
- How Jama Software Supports Government Program Offices Part VI – Contractor Deliverable Management - August 5, 2021
- How Jama Software Supports Government Program Offices Part V: Test Planning - July 29, 2021