Tag Archives: project management

10 Categories Where Federal Agencies Spend the Most on Contracting

 

For the last several months, the Government has trumpeted its initiative to simplify the federal acquisition process.

The main component of that overhaul is “category management” — sorting agencies’ purchases into the most common groups of products and services. The General Services Administration is currently developing a website to help procurement officers, called the “common acquisition platform.”

The platform will serve as the single access point for agencies looking to purchase goods or services from those categories, each of which will have its own “hallway” of product options, as well as digital services offering advice and information, such as industry trends and existing contract vehicles.

GSA and the other six largest and highest-spending agencies, known as the Strategic Sourcing Leadership Council, met last month to move the development of the acquisition overhaul forward. In a blog post Wednesday, Anne Rung, the White House’s Federal Procurement Policy Office administrator and Tom Sharpe, the Federal Acquisition Service commissioner, spelled out what the categories might look like.

Related: 10 Top Tips For Winning Large Bids and Tenders

Once the online portal is fully operational, Rung and Sharpe said category management will provide “a new and transparent view of the fragmented federal acquisition landscape that will help drive the government to buy and act as one.” Ultimately, they expect the changes to lead to more informed decision making and, in turn, dramatic savings for agencies and taxpayers. The categories below, listed by amount spent across government, cost agencies $277 billion in fiscal 2013.

  1. Facilities and Construction: $72.1B. Includes construction and building materials and services, as well as real estate purchasing and leases.
  2. Professional Services: $64.4B. The broadest of the proposed categories, this includes legal, financial and marketing services, public relations and technical expertise.
  3. Information Technology: $47.4B. Includes software, hardware, consulting, security and outsourcing, as well as telecommunications.
  4. Transportation and Logistics Services: $34.1B. Includes package delivery, logistics support, motor vehicles and fuel, among other things.
  5. Medical: $33.2B. Includes pharmaceuticals, health care services and medical equipment.
  6. Industrial Products and Services: $11.8B. A catch-all category for tools, machinery and maintenance.
  7. Security and Protection: $4.8B. Includes systems, services and animals.
  8. Human Capital: $3.6B. Includes educational services, vocational training and human resources investments.
  9. Travel and Lodging: $3.6B. Contracts for passenger travel and accommodations would fall into this category.
  10. Office Management: $2.1B. This category would include products such as furniture and office supplies.

Related: The Decline of American Entrepreneurism

Credit: Eric Katz

Photo Credit: Balboa-Pacific.com

CMG Business Group…. Propelling Industry to New Heights!

 

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Get The Most Out of Your Startup Team

 

Many associate startup with spontaneity and a can-do attitude, but not as much with project management. This is not terribly surprising. With the overwhelming burden of starting a business and all of the costs and decisions that go into it, project management can often fall to the bottom of the list. However, entrepreneurs embarking on a new business adventure should take time to explore the benefits of this resource to monitor and maintain their team’s productivity.

There are many uncertainties surrounding startups, and the only sure thing is often a lack of time and money. A startup can be a risky business, but employing project management tactics can help startups mitigate these risks and grow into successful businesses.

Finding the right project management methods often depends on the individual startups, their size and also the industry. Even if a startup does not have many customers and employees, project management tactics are key in maintaining a successful workflow. Some methods may seem obvious and others not so much, but having a strong PM strategy in place can bring more order and efficiency into the critical early days of a company’s development.

Related: Productivity Tools You Need In Your Toolbox

Here are some steps entrepreneurs can take to help their new endeavour thrive:

1. SET REALISTIC GOALS

Being an entrepreneur is all about being proactive and spontaneous, right? Wrong.

It is a common misconception that startups begin on a whim. While passion and enthusiasm are integral to success, a business cannot survive on these traits alone. Business owners need to have a clear idea of what their goals are. For a startup selling a product or service, having a recognisable brand from the very beginning is important and it will set you apart from the competition.

2. MAKE A PLAN

After developing goals, entrepreneurs need to create a plan on how to achieve them. Do not underestimate the importance of planning. The project plan needs to state the goals and objectives clearly, but also the resources needed to reach them.

Start by making a list of all the tasks that you have to do. Then, break down each into smaller, more manageable ones so that you won’t be too stressed out by having to do too many things at once. Project management methods can help to prioritise tasks, allowing you to focus on the most essential duties.

Related: Make The Entrepreneurial Difference

3. SET SCOPE, BUDGET AND TIME

In addition to developing the project scope, a product scope also needs to be decided on. What features will your product have? If you have a clear idea of these two things, you can set a timeframe and budget to deliver them.

Time is an essential aspect for a startup as it is vital to get your product or service out into the world as to quickly gain as much market share as possible and beat out the competition. The startup cycle moves rapidly so if your project takes too much time, you might miss the window of opportunity to put your product out there.

Something like Gantt charts can aid in planning the duration of your tasks and adjusting your progress in real-time for more accurate estimates.

4. ENSURE QUALITY

While it is important to get your product or service out as soon as possible, do not neglect the quality. A good reputation is important for any business, but it is particularly important for a startup. The best way to build a good reputation is to offer your customers high quality products and services. Or at least the highest quality possible that is within your budget.

Getting your name out there through organic promotion, such as word-of-mouth, is invaluable for a startup. It will help you get new customers and in turn attract more funding. Use this funding wisely to provide your customers with products and services that they want or never knew they needed. If a product does not deliver, work on raising its standard instead of ignoring it and assuming that it will be resolve on its own.

You can use the Scrum method, for example, to assess whether your product deliverables are up to standard or not.

Related: Your Startup is up and running. What now?

5. CHOOSE YOUR TEAM

One of the biggest risk factors in a startup are its human resources. Having the right team with the necessary skills set is vital.

A person could be great at developing new products, but could be terrible at planning a project or managing clients. This is why it is important to assign the right jobs to the right people. This can also help provide a checks and balances system that will help you make better decisions that factor in all aspects of the project.

Make an effort to know the strengths and weaknesses of your team. By doing so, you can set realistic goals and deadlines that your team members can finish on time and deliver a quality product. Assign manageable tasks that can be finished without delay as it will keep the team motivated when they reach a milestone. A motivated team that is passionate and enthusiastic about their work is as important to a startup’s success as having a great product.

Credit: Andreas Tremel

Photo Credit: EditMe.com

Related: Seven Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires

CMG Business Group…. Propelling Industry to New Heights!

 

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