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Team Approach


A team approach to large strategic enterprise software acquisitions is central to commercial best practices. In the commercial world, one group does not evaluate requirements, select the software to be acquired, and then throw the information “over the transom” to another group (who has not previously been involved) to negotiate and execute the transaction.

Under commercial best practices, a team is formed (under the auspices of the Chief Information Officer) including Program Management Functions, Engineering/Technical personnel, End-User representatives, Finance, Purchasing, and Legal.

The Technical/Engineering personnel work with End User personnel to determine requirements and best fit. Finance participates in cost/benefit analyses and trade-offs. The Purchasing group becomes involved, and together the team researches solutions, benchmarks, target pricing, target Ts & Cs, TCO measures, and then establishes the acquisition plan. All this is under the umbrella of a Program Management function. Finally, as the specific Ts & Cs are negotiated and the Agreement is evaluated, the Legal Team generally reviews, edits, and approves the transaction.

For the Government to successfully plan and execute a large, enterprise wide software acquisition, we should adopt the same general approach. A listing of functional involvement and key roles, for both commercial best practices and our Government equivalent, are shown below.

Commercial Best Practices - Composition of Team/Team Leaders/Roles Chief Information Officer (CIO)
Technical Team Lead/Lead Engineer
End User Representative (one or more)
Finance
Purchasing/Procurement
Legal Counsel (Access/Approvals)
DoD/Government Equivalent Team/Team Leaders/Roles Chief Information Officer (CIO)
Technical Team Lead/Lead Engineer
End User Representative (one or more)
Program/Business Financial Manager (BFM)/Cost Analyst Support
Contracting Officer (KO)
ESI Software Product Manager (SPM)

The Government Team roles and their functional involvement by stage of the acquisition are shown
in the chart below:

Functional Involvement in Acquisition Life Cycle

This image depicts which government personnel should be involved during each stage of an acquisition. Roles included in the diagram are: the Chief Information Officer (CIO), Program Management Office (PMO), Technical Team, End-User, Business/Financial Manager (BFM), Contracting Officer (KO), and ESI Software Product Manager (SPM).