Categories
Management

Request for Proposal Response

Abstract

Reviewing the opportunities on the Federal Business Opportunities website my small business is in search for a particular opportunity to support Microsoft applications.  This support would encompass both technical support and project management opportunities.  Solicitation Number: HC1028=13-D-0023 encapsulates the core business model my company offers.  The synopsis is “Microsoft Enterprise Technical Support Services (METSS) necessary to obtain highly- trained “Microsoft Blue Badge Cardholder-support”. These services require access rights to Microsoft’s proprietary (closed-source) code, which is licensed under exclusive legal right of Microsoft. The core requirements are for the contractor to provide Microsoft Consulting Services that include software developers and product teams to leverage a variety of proprietary resources and source code, and Microsoft Premier Support services such as tools and knowledge bases, problem resolution assistance from product developers, and access to Microsoft source code when applicable to support Department of Defense’s mission. The period of performance is a one-year base period and four one-year option periods for a total period of five years. Performance will predominantly be within the continental United States; however, support services may also be required at multiple overseas locations.”

The level of support and sustainment activities will extend beyond the normal customer support functions and will require hands on management of the core Microsoft technical support.  This level of support will rely heavily on project management best practices to implement the appropriate support services as well as develop and launch the sustainment model that will lead to first in class support.  The key members of the team will range from functional and technical subject matter experts, project managers, programmers and business analysts.  This mixture of IT and business experts will ensure that the requirements from the business are properly translated and implemented into the technical solution required by the business.

Cover Sheet

Administrative Business Lead:

Tamaste Jones

1313 Mockingbird Lane

Marengo Falls, Idaho

Phone: 812-898-5555

[email protected]

Technical Lead:

Cathy Jenkinson

7474 Julius Orange Lane

Sacramento, California

Phone: 812-798-5555

[email protected]

Solicitation Number

HC1028=13-D-0023

Name of Project

 “Microsoft Enterprise Technical Support Services (METSS) Program”

Subcontractors

N/A

Estimated Cost

$410,200,000

Duration

5 years (1 plus optional year by year extension for 4 years)

Key Staff Members

Resumes

Tamaste Jones

EDUCATION                     

University of Arkansas March 2004

Master of Science, Operations Management

University of Louisville May 2001

College of Business and Public Administration, Finance Major

Project Management Professional (PMP) certified through PMI

ITIL Foundation Certified

EXPERIENCE

Digitization Program Manager

May 2011-Present

  • Program Manager for Financial Management and Sourcing programs
    • Sourcing Financial Reporting
      • Improved 7 day financial review to instantaneous through continual process improvement and lean management techniques
      • Increased accuracy and precision of financial reporting by eliminating non-value add inputs and review
    • Reduced amount of unclassified financial data from $500M to $20M allowing enterprise wide cost allocation to specific operating units
    • Train, implemented and sustain quoting and bidding tool reducing overall costs for goods and services by 17% in first six months
  • Sourcing functional leader for Enterprise Resource Planning project for total revitalization and improvement of Procure to Pay business practices and function

Continual Service Improvement Program Manager

2007- 2011

  • Continuous Service Improvement Project for family delivery business
    • Reduced downtime of delivery downtime by 50%
    • Diminished worker overtime hours spent outside of delivery duties by 12.5% resulting in increased productivity for dollar spent
  • Financial Statement Review/Reconciliation and Budget Preparation
    • Review of Income Statement, Budget Sheet and Cash Flow Documentation
    • Streamlined process of financial management review by setting up a continuity folder and scheduled conferences with stakeholders to review budget and projections
  • Computer Repair/Upgrade/Utilization for small home businesses and individuals
    • Software/Hardware installation and maximization
    • Training on how basic computer skills
    • Training on Microsoft Office applications and internet use
    • Website Design/Enhancement


Cathy Jenkinson

EDUCATION                     

University of Kentucky March 2005

Master of Science, Information Technology

University of Idaho May 2001

College of Business and Public Administration, Basket Geneology

Microsoft Certification

ITIL Foundation Certified

ITIL Service Management Certified

IT Project Manager

2001-2007

The project manager is responsible for the ability to initiate, formulate, and deliver on a project which is fundamental to business achievement.  The Technology Project Manager supports business position by designing, planning, and executing innovative technology solutions in a dynamic environment.  The PM role understands IT strategy, development lifecycle and application/infrastructure maintenance.  Understanding of IT service and support processes promote a strategic advantage, create efficiencies and add value to business. 

  • Responsible for managing and leading enterprise wide IT projects which have a direct impact on  the IT Operations environment that support Humana’s business units
  • IT Service Management Program Manager for all current CSIP/ITIL initiatives
  • Established new processes to allow the free flow of communication alleviating silos of information and allowing updates to senior leadership with real time information
  • Performed Gap Analysis, product roll out schedule, project plan and integration schedule
  • Project Leader for IT Perfect Service
    • Formed a team of director and higher leaders from all three VP’s
    • Planned and executed the initial IT Perfect Service Summit
  • 85% (186/212) of all the Voice of the Customer concerns were resolved with ITIL initiatives, Communication efforts in which I lead as Project Manager
  • Served as the Project Manager for the enterprise wide adoption of three ITIL initiatives
    • The original roll out date was June 2009 with the criteria of all three scoring a three on an ITIL based Maturity assessment. All three scored above a three and all three were at least five months ahead of schedule
  • Service Catalog-Security Access Front End
    • Project Manager for the entire lifecycle of the product from initiation to software implementation utilizing Agile Project Management methodology
    • In charge of 12-15 programmers during 1.5 year project resulting in enterprise wide adoption of forward facing web portal to address Role Based Access Control and Segregation of Duties to comply with SOX and industry requirements
  • In charge of vendor relations, requirements gathering, system integration, risk management, scope, schedule and cost management of multiple projects ranging in complexity, cost and schedule


Cyril Leroy

DoD Financial Manager

February 1998-Present 

  • Financial manager for multiple acquisition programs with budgets exceeding $50M while leading and managing five team members
  • Duties include planning, programming, budgeting and execution funds
  • Directs and formulates funding strategies/execution for squadron programs
  • Provides scheduling support for project planning and forecasting for 60-70 projects annually
  • Initiates and maintains communication with Major Commands, HQ Air Combat Command, Secretary of the Air Force and Air Logistic Centers
  • Ensures resources are effectively managed to meet war-fighter’s requirements-delivering on time and on cost
  • Identifies requirements and works with program managers to submit on time and on target budgets supported by estimates to funding Major Commands
  • Prepares funding program reviews for all levels of management up to Air Force level
  • Implements Earned Value Management (EVM) for projects to ensure project performance is on track in relation to technical, schedule, and cost performance
  • Identifies requirements and works with program managers to submit on time
    and on target budgets supported by estimates to funding Major Commands

Executive Summary/Approach (Technical/Business)

A project is by definition a temporary endeavor to produce a unique deliverable at the conclusion of the endeavor (PMI 2008).  Just as the foundation of a house supports the entire home to stand the test of time the definition of the scope of a project establishes the entire trajectory of the project and determines what resources and schedule will be needed to accomplish all of the requirements that constitute the scope.  Understanding what is needed within the project helps define the scope of the project and what will be needed to complete all of the requirements outlined by the customer.  My company’s focus on the principles of project management and ensuring the deliverables meet the quality expectations of the customer allows for a superior level of support and sustainment services.  The planning phase of project management includes developing the project management plan, collecting the requirements, defining the scope, assigning resources in a work breakdown structure and defining the activities.  Planning in a project establishes the ground work for the entire project’s lifecycle and will inherently become the foundation for success or failure when the project comes to a close.  In order to understand what is to be delivered at the end of a project there must be boundaries and guidelines established to set the parameters or scope of the project.  Defining scope is the process of determining a common understanding of what the project will include in or exclude out of the final deliverable (Magal and Word 2011).  Before the work is initiated a thorough review of the requirements are conducted and if possible the end user or customer is contacted to discuss in detail the specific details of the project. 

Scope management is a key success factor in completing any project.  Prior to submitting the proposal for this project a preliminary request for information (RFI) was sent to the Defense Information Systems Agency to ensure the requirements were interpreted correctly by my organization and the level of support and project management was understood by both parties.  With any project my company undertakes the process becomes a partnership at which both parties benefit from the relationship. This type of symbiotic engagement creates an environment for success and encourages open communication and understood expectations.

The business approach will ensure that project management best practices outlined by the Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK) are utilized during the project management phases of the obligation but there is also a technical support aspect of the project.  As part of the project team there are multiple highly skilled and certified technical resources that provide the insight and intellectual horse power to service and support the closed-source Microsoft code.  The Microsoft Consulting Services will also be provided by the certified Microsoft representatives that are employed by my company and will be assigned to the project to address any necessary development, support and resolution assistance that is required around the key Microsoft applications.  The ultimate objective is to provide project and technical resources to leverage the proprietary resources of Microsoft to benefit the Department of Defense’s mission.

            Through the utilization of the key functional leaders the sustainment and support levels required by the Defense Information Systems Agency will achieve their outlined key performance metrics which are outlined in the request for information.  Each one of these key metrics such as project inputs and outputs, service level agreements, functional and technical ability as well as accessibility to closed-source Microsoft application code is not only achievable but also can be met or exceeded by the current talent pool my company already employs.  The current business model utilized by my organization meets or exceeds all the required delivery and sustainment metrics outlined by the DoD and DISA.

Goals and Impact

            In order to meet the requirements of the project there must be a clear understanding of the key performance metrics, requirements and the desired end state expected by the Department of Systems Agency.  There also should be a clear and distinct factor or factors that provide that level of separation between this organization and that of its competitors.  The competitive advantage offered by this organization is the purpose driven tactics and the strategic intent for fulfilling the contract effectively and efficiently not only for the guaranteed one year opportunity but for the entire five year term of the proposal. 

The requirements of the project include:

  • Provide Project Management Oversight to METSS projects
  • Provide trained/certified Microsoft Blue Badge Cardholder-Support
  • Access/Service to Microsoft Closed-Source Proprietary Code
  • Licensed under legal right of Microsoft
  • Consult on Software Development
  • Program Software implementation/ Code Reviews
  • Provide Knowledge Base/Knowledge Transfer
  • Access to Source Code for DoD use

Each one of these requirements includes a breadth and depth of knowledge not only in the Microsoft applications and access but also key skills in programming and technical prowess.  The goals of the project are to meet the desired quality standards set forth by the customer and to meet the expectations of those quality standards.  To ensure that expectations are established and set prior to the project award, my organization took the additional forethought and requested a detailed listing of each requirement and walked through the details with the program manager listed on the solicitation.  This level of detail and purpose driven actions can be expected throughout the life cycle of the project.

After understanding the requirements my organization created a detailed response to each requirement with an outline of the organization’s ability to meet the defined requirements.

  • Provide Project Management Oversight to METSS projects

My organization applies the best practices outlined in the PMBOK.  These project management best practices transcend the nature of the project and can be applied to each project management initiative.  As a supplement to the best practices framework there are multiple subject matter experts on the team that cover project management, information technology systems, Microsoft applications, code/quality review, implementation and sustainment activities.

  • Provide trained/certified Microsoft Blue Badge Cardholder-Support

Once the project is awarded there will be four (4) Microsoft Blue Badge Cardholder leads assigned specifically to the METSS project.  These will be assigned 100% to the project and there will be four (4) additional certifications obtained within 6 months contract award.  While the certifications take longer than 6 months to obtain my organization’s focus is on Microsoft programming and our core business model includes maintaining the leading edge in education, access and ability.  The proactive approach to education and preparedness allows my organization to provide the leading edge experience while also maintaining the agility and flexibility to meet customer demands.

  • Access/Service to Microsoft Closed-Source Proprietary Code

            As part of the agreement between my organization and Microsoft there is a review process for access, modification and support of the proprietary code they provide.  The process is a documented and effective utilization of the change management process outlined in the Information Technology Infrastructure Library’s framework.  This framework is another best practice tool my organization utilizes to provide superior service and deliverables.  The access to the proprietary code is only awarded to those that utilize the best practices and adhere to the change management process.  All of which my organization utilizes and fully understands.  This facilitation will provide the seamless integration between requirements, project implementation and technology development that is unparalleled in the industry.

  • Licensed under legal right of Microsoft

As outlined in the legal agreement between Microsoft and my organization, only those certified will conduct code review, change, modification or other changes outlined in the change management charter.  This charter outlines all technical and operations changes that are allowed and the process for making those changes. 

  • Consult on Software Development

As part of the sustainment activities there is a level of consultation between my organization and the Defense Information Systems Agency.  This consultation is inherently limited to the METSS project.  While the limitation is specific to the METSS project all consultation regarding development is included in the contract.

  • Program Software implementation/ Code Reviews

The software development lifecycle will be managed from beginning to end by my organization as outlined in the project charter.  The project, from inception to closure, requires management of the scope, cost and schedule to be effective and promote the best environment for success.  This is included in the contract as the project management ability is a key and distinct aspect of my organization’s ability.

  • Provide Knowledge Base/Knowledge Transfer

My organization specializes in Microsoft based applications and programming.  This alignment with project management execution creates a unique competitive advantage for my organization.  This knowledge base is unparalleled in the industry when integrating DoD projects.  During the project my organization will generate and sustain until project completion and knowledge management database that can be referenced during the course of the project.

  • Access to Source Code for DoD use

The access to the source code for DoD use is available through the appropriate requests, processes and procedures through a tri-lateral agreement between my organization, the Department of Defense and Microsoft.  This is an agreement that has been accomplished by my organization in the past and the established process to obtain such access is within the realm of the project team’s ability.

Technical Plan

The technical plan outlines the approach my organization will take in regard to the project’s outlined in the requirements.  There are two major frameworks utilized by my organization with regard to project management and information technology projects.  That includes the use of the PMBOK for project management and ITIL for IT support and services.  These technical and business tools allow for best practices to forge the path to successful project implementations.  The technical framework provides the clear guidance on change, incident, problem and service management.  All of which will be required for this project.  The technical plan will outline the key milestones of the project that will focus on support, sustainment, enhancements and development of functionality for the DoD.  These key focus areas will be limited to the Microsoft applications outlined in the requirements documentation.

Management Plan

The team will consist of the following:

1-Program Manager

3-Project Managers

3-Technical Leaders

3-Business Analysts

4-Certified Programmers

4-Certification in Process Programmers (transitioned after 6 months to certified)

2-Hardware/Configuration Leaders

1-Logistic Coordinator

1-Service Support Team Leader

10-Service Support Representatives

Each member of the team will play a critical role in implementation, sustainment or support.  There are multiple aspects of the project lifecycle that will take place over the course of the initial contract award as well as the following option four year period.  My organization focuses on low turnover of personal which allows for organizational continuity and sustainment of the integrity of the knowledge base.

The Program manager is the overall responsible and accountable individual for the entire program.  This includes three distinct areas of the program.  The first is the enhancements, next is knowledge base creation and lastly is the sustainment and support of the applications.  Each area will have a veteran project manager leading these functions.  To support the project manager there will be a technical leader that works in conjunction with the programmers and developers to facilitate the project’s development efforts.  Each one of these members provides key inputs and efforts to provide the necessary deliverables per the customer’s requests.

The business analysts are trained professional leads that help develop the requirements and user stories required for the sub-projects of the contract.  The business analysts take the burden of project requirement development off of the primary organization so that they can focus on their primary objectives.  The objective of the project managers, business analysts, developers and other project members is to create the necessary changes or enhancements to the applications so that the Defense Information Systems Agency can perform to the DoD’s expectations.

Cost Management

Within the project there will be costs associated with meeting the goals and objectives of the project.  In order to provide the highest quality for the most reasonable cost there are certain tools and techniques required to monitor and control costs. Project cost controls are vital in managing and establishing a framework for success of any project.  Depending on the complexity and intricacies of the project there are multiple ways to manage and control the costs.  The important aspects of managing and controlling costs include establishing a baseline, determining the tools necessary to manage and control the variations and taking corrective actions to keep the project on track regarding schedule and cost variance.  This project is utilizing a bottom-up cost estimation analysis which provides a cost and duration for specific work packages.  With this information we can use Earned Value Management to help monitor the cost and schedule variances.  Using the baseline project cost and implementing the EVM tool my organization can provide a superior level of monitoring and controlling ability.  To do this my organization will use key performance indicators and best practices to manage the project.

Throughout the project execution there will be multiple tollgates the project must proceed through in order to not only level set the stakeholders on the process of the project but to also ensure the project track the team is on is still on track for delivery of the expect results.  Through the project management life, the business will go through operating cycles, budget cycles and project evaluation.  Through the use of project cost management and the tools of monitoring and controlling the project by documenting and utilizing EVM, the stakeholders will have a fair and accurate depiction of the project’s scope, schedule and cost as well as areas that have meet, exceeded or missed meeting their intended objectives.  Each functional area will report up their costs associated to each work package and it will individually be measured against the scope, schedule and costs associated to that work package.  The overall project will then include all of the individual tasks brought together into an overall project budget, including overhead and other associated costs that are necessary for the project as a whole but not necessarily attached to a specific task.  If each of the functional areas are moving along according to the project plan, meeting their specified deliverables while also meeting their intended schedule requirements there are no necessary changes.  If there are areas that need adjustment the project manager must take action and make the appropriate changes to scope, schedule or costs.  It is ultimately the responsibility of the project manager to identify and flag risks to the project (Cooper, Grey, Raymond, & Walker. 2005).

Summary

The project requirements will be met by my organization by providing key leadership ability; functional expertise and the access to the key develop resources required by the Defense Information Systems Agency.  The management of cost, schedule and scope will be managed by project management professionals and will be held accountable not only up my organization’s chain of command but will be held to the highest standards to ensure the entire contact is fulfilled to the specifications outlined in the requirements document.  The balance and integration between technical expertise and adherence to project management best practices establish a unique and absolute distinction for my organization.  This ability to meet the goals and objectives of the contract as well as provide the key metrics and measurable achievements provide solid quantifiable results as well as a transparency into the management of the program.

References

Budd, C. I., & Budd, C. S. (2009). Earned value project management. (2nd ed.). Vienna, VA: ManagementConcepts.

Cooper, D. F., Grey, S., Raymond, G., & Walker, P. (2005). Project risk management guidelines, managing risk in large projects and complex procurements. John Wiley & Sons

Dobson, M. (2004). The triple constraints in project management. Vienna, VA: ManagementConcepts.

Fleming, Q. W., & Koffleman, J. M. (2010). Earned value project management. Project Management Institute.

Magal, S. R., & Word, J. (2011). Integrated business processes with erp systems. RRD/Jefferson

            City: Wiley.

Project Management Institute, P. M. (2008). A guide to the project management body of

            knowledge. (4th ed.). Newtown Square: Project Management Inst.