GSA’s Search for a New Agile Software Procurement Vehicle
January 15, 2015 Leave a comment
Many view GSA to be a regulatory value-add agency with a budget designed to assist other agencies with their strategic plans. However, GSA is not just composed of grant money, and occasionally creates an opportunity for industry to engage directly. With constantly shrinking budgets it is undoubtedly difficult to find the right office to help build out systems, so when a small agency such as the GSA comes out with a large initiative, you better be on your toes. Since the majority of agencies are facing funding cuts — in a world of ever evolving technology demands — the GSA has submitted an RFI on Federal Business Opportunities for a new procurement vehicle pertaining to agile software development. This BPA (blanket purchase agreement) will shorten the software acquisition cycle for agile software procurement to less than a month’s time — making it comparable to SEWP’s timeliness and readiness. The procurement vehicle will be developed in-house and used to expedite the purchase of products and services. The development of this BPA will include streamlined processes, agile demonstrations, onboarding support, flexibility, and small business friendliness.
Once underway, the agency will purchase under GSA schedule 70 SIN 132-51, which means if you are a systems integrator and are not on the GSA schedule, you’ll want to team-up with a contractor that is. GSA has already begun reaching out to technology vendors that have experience in agile development for information on their capabilities. The agency is also encouraging innovators with ideas, to respond regardless of their history in the field. If you plan on submitting information to the RFI, make sure cost, scheduling, and quality have all been considered at length when forming the input. The RFI responses are due on the Friday, the 23rd of January, so it’s the perfect time to begin strategizing on the most effective way you can present your technological proficiencies to GSA. It’s important to be cognizant that the RFI is intended to get solution innovators to collaborate with each other, so make sure to include language around your willingness to cooperate with other solution providers.
A week after the due date, GSA’s Office of Integrated Technology Services will host an industry day on the potential agile BPA. SIs are encouraged to attend the event to further sculpt how the tool will be conceptualized. Since the procurement vehicle has not been budgeted for and has an indefinite future, it’s vital for attendees to read up on its potential use and urge decision makers just how necessary it will be, before advocating a product or solution. If this solution takes off, as a COTS vendor, you’ll want to make sure you’re strategically aligned with systems integrators that offer agile development expertise.