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Source Selection:  Best Practices in Streamlining the Process . Breakout Session # 810 Doug Zwiselsberger, Senior Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton Ashley Holahan, Senior Consultant, Booz Allen Hamilton Jennifer Latka, Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton April 25, 2007 2:40 – 3:40PM. Agenda.

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Breakout Session # 810 Doug Zwiselsberger, Senior Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton Ashley Holahan, Senior Consultant, Booz


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slide2

Source Selection:  Best Practices in Streamlining the Process

Breakout Session #810

Doug Zwiselsberger, Senior Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton

Ashley Holahan, Senior Consultant, Booz Allen Hamilton

Jennifer Latka, Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton

April 25, 2007

2:40 – 3:40PM

agenda
Agenda
  • Objectives
  • Phase 1: Acquisition Planning
  • Phase 2: Solicitation Development
  • Phase 3: Source Selection Evaluation
  • Summary
  • Questions
objective
Objective
  • Provide insights and best practices in the source
  • selection process, resulting in:
  • Reduced source selection time
  • Minimized risk of protest
  • Improved quality
  • Reduced cost
  • Best Value award
slide5

Phase 1: Acquisition Planning

Source Selection Model

The Source Selection Process

  • The acquisition planning phase is used to examine different acquisition strategies and program alternatives by assessing current environments to include cost and schedule ramifications.
  • The acquisition planning phase includes:
    • Forming a Team
    • Researching the Market
    • Determining the Source Selection Approach
    • Conducting Presolicitation Dialogue with Industry
    • Drafting a Source Selection Plan (SSP)

Planning

Communication

Documentation

Development

Evaluation

Standardization

The acquisition planning phase consists of: analyzing acquisition strategies and associated costs and schedules; developing the SSP; coordinating fact-finding and market research, etc.

first steps in planning an acquisition are forming a team and researching the market
First steps in planning an acquisition are forming a team and researching the market…
  • Ensures team
  • cohesiveness
  • Establishes
  • ownership
  • Improves quality

Example Team Members:

Contracting Officer

Source Selection Advisory Council

Source Selection Evaluation Board

Source Selection Authority

  • Forming a Team
    • Contracting Personnel
    • Technical Experts
    • Legal
    • Additional Key Stakeholders
  • Research the Market
    • Contact knowledgeable individuals regarding market capabilities
    • Review results of recent market research
    • Query Government or commercial data bases
    • Participating in interactive, on-line communication
    • Reviewing catalogs and product literature
  • Reduces the
  • acquisition cycle
  • time
  • Minimizes
  • protests

Example Techniques:

Central Contractor Registration (CCR)

Focus Groups

One-on-one Interviews

On-line feedback

determine the best source selection approach for the requirement
Determine the best source selection approach for the requirement…
  • The Government always procures products and services to obtain the “Best Value”
  • Best Value is defined in two ways:

Tradeoff: The Government will consider award to other than lowest

priced offeror or other than the highest technically rated offer.

  • Lowest Price, Technically Acceptable: The award will be made to the offeror
  • whose price is lowest among all proposals that were deemed to be technically acceptable.

Selecting the wrong source selection approach puts the Government at risk of awarding a task order that is not advantageous to the Government.

slide8

Conduct presolicitation dialogue with industry to ensure an accurate understanding of the requirement…

  • Issue Requests for Information (RFI) or Draft Requests for Proposals (RFP)
  • Hold meetings and conferences, including presolicitation conferences
  • In conducting presolicitation dialogue with industry, remember to:
    • Release information to all potential offerors on a fair and equitable basis
    • Protect all proprietary information
    • Request contracting and legal counsel advice if any questions arise

Example Outcomes of Issuing a RFI

Issue RFI

Obtain

industry

feedback

Gain

invaluable

insight

1. Ensures a mutual understanding of the

Government's need and industry's

capabilities

2. Minimizes inclusion of requirements

which have no added value

3. Promotes an effective source selection

process

Note the discriminators between industry feedback

slide9
Early development of the Source Selection Plan (SSP) will reduce the overall source selection cycle time…
  • Specifically, the SSP should:
    • Define the specific approach for soliciting and evaluating proposals
    • Describe the evaluation factors and sub-factors
    • Provide essential guidance to the solicitation developers and evaluators
    • Serve as an internal agreement and guide for the evaluation team on the conduct of the entire source selection from proposal evaluation, through the cost/price/technical tradeoff, award decision, and debriefing
  • Additionally, the SSP should include:
    • The roles and responsibilities of each source selection team member
    • The evaluation team's agenda and schedule (A REALISTIC TIMELINE)
    • Information on the training of the evaluation team
    • Security procedures for source selection sensitive/proprietary information
  • Benefits of an SSP include:
    • Establishing ownership of key stakeholders, allowing for early discussion and buy-in
    • Establishing clear roles and responsibilities up front, saving acquisition cycle time
slide10

Source Selection Model

Phase 2: Solicitation Development

The Source Selection Process

  • The acquisition development phase consists of developing the solicitation. The solicitation should be based upon the requirements and source selection approach defined in the acquisition planning phase.
  • The acquisition development phase includes:
    • Defining the Evaluation Criteria
    • Determining the Appropriate Source Selection Processes
    • Developing the Solicitation

Planning

Communication

Documentation

Development

Evaluation

Standardization

The solicitation includes two sections that have a significant impact on the success of the Source Selection: the Evaluation Criteria and the Instructions to Offerors.

slide11
Choose the appropriate evaluation factors and relative weighting leads to a manageable competitive pool…
  • When determining evaluation criteria, always consider:
  • Are the factors consistent with the requirements?
  • Are factor definitions easy for Offerors to understand?
  • Are there too many factors and sub-factors?
  • Does the weighting of factors accurately reflect what is most important?
  • Is the rating system clearly defined and consistent?

Use evaluation criteria to drive the competitive pool and discriminate among Offerors.

slide12
The source selection process should include the appropriate processes to help evaluators determine the best value award…
  • The Government has various processes it may employ during the evaluation process in order to determine the best value award.
  • The evaluation process should be tailored to fit the requirement. For example:
    • A pre-proposal conference provides the opportunity to give additional detail on complex requirements, which could save significant time and effort during proposal evaluation. It could also serve to generate more interest from industry and encourage teaming arrangements.

Example Processes

Pre-proposal conferences

Oral presentations

Demonstrations

Due diligence

Negotiations

No discussions

slide13

Solicitation Contents

  • Section L – “Instructions to Offerors”
    • Proposal Preparation Instructions
    • Proposal Contents
    • Proposal Submission
  • Matrices cross mapping skills to requirements
  • Index of proposal contents
  • Page limits
  • Specific formatting requirements
  • Section M – Evaluation Criteria
    • Basis of Award
    • Technical Evaluation
    • Cost / Price Evaluation
  • Clear, concise evaluation factor definitions
  • Factor weighting
  • Detailed evaluation process for offerors to understand
Detailed instructions to Offerors and clear evaluation criteria in the solicitation will streamline the source selection process …

Best Practices

slide14

Source Selection Model

Phase 3: Source Selection Evaluation

The Source Selection Process

  • The evaluation phase is used to determine the best value to the Government by consistently evaluating each Offeror’s proposal and then reaching consensus.
  • The source selection evaluation phase includes:
    • Standardizing the Evaluation Process
    • Training the Source Selection Evaluation Board (SSEB) Members
    • Facilitating the Source Selection

Planning

Communication

Documentation

Development

Evaluation

Standardization

Standardizing the evaluation process and training the SSEB members leads to an efficient source selection and minimizes the risk of protests.

standardizing the evaluation process facilitates a fair and unbiased evaluation
Standardizing the evaluation process facilitates a fair and unbiased evaluation…
  • Develop standard templates for use in all source selections
    • Technical evaluation templates
    • Cost/price evaluation templates
    • Consensus templates
  • Using standard templates forces consistent, thorough documentation and allows SSEB training to be more specific and thorough
  • Resulting in the following benefits:
    • Efficiency
    • Complete, proper documentation
    • Reduced risk of protests
  • Templates should be developed based on the standard rating scale and adjectival definitions that have already been defined in the development phase
  • Templates should be developed to capture complete documentation of the source selection process and outcomes
training sseb members on how to properly document a source selection evaluation is critical do s
Training SSEB members on how to properly document a source selection evaluation is critical…DO’s…
  • Proper evaluation documentation ensures the award decision is fair, consistent, and defendable.
    • DO: Ensure all documentation dealing with the evaluation criteria is consistent with solicitation.
    • DO: Try to anticipate what the Government values and make sure it can be clearly reflected in the evaluation.
    • DO: Evaluate each proposal against solicitation requirements.
    • DO: Give each proposal the same consideration up front.
    • DO: Ensure evaluation comments are detailed yet clear and concise. Comments should contain references to the solicitation and relate directly to an evaluation factor.
slide17

Training SSEB members on how to properly document a source selection evaluation is critical…DON’Ts…

  • Proper evaluation documentation ensures the award decision is fair, consistent, and defendable.
    • DON’T: Compare one proposal to another.
    • DON’T: Make assumptions about Offerors’ intentions.
    • DON’T: Evaluate cost factors until the technical evaluation is completed. (Technical and Cost should be considered together when conducting trade-off analysis.)
a facilitator can guide the source selection and keep the process on track
A facilitator can guide the source selection and keep the process on track…
  • The role of a facilitator may include…
    • Scheduling
    • Logistical preparation
    • Providing general source selection training and guidance
    • Answering general source selection questions
    • Facilitating the consensus meeting

Example Facilitators:

Non-Voting SSEB Chair

Non-Voting SSEB Member

Member of the SSAC

SSEB Contractor Support

summary best practices in the source selection process

Planning

Documentation

Communication

Source Selection Model

Development

Evaluation

Standardization

Summary: Best Practices in the Source Selection Process…

…Results of Best Practices:

  • Reduce the source selection time
  • Minimize the risk of protests
  • Improve quality
  • Reduce cost
  • Lead to a Best Value award
questions

Douglas Zwiselsberger

Senior Associate

Ashley B. Holahan

Senior Consultant

Booz Allen Hamilton

Three Skyline Place

5201 Leesburg Pike

Falls Church, VA 22041

Tel 703 824 3783

zwiselsberger_douglas@bah.com

Booz Allen Hamilton

Three Skyline Place

5201 Leesburg Pike

Falls Church, VA 22041

Tel 703 824 3871

holahan_ashley@bah.com

Jennifer Latka

Associate

Booz Allen Hamilton

700 Thirteenth Street, NW

Suite 1100

Washington, DC 20005

Tel 202 508 6527

latka_jennifer@bah.com

Questions

For more information please contact: