has a repository of lessons learned and
effective PWS language that can be
used more than once, he allows. This
reuse will reduce the time allocated for
In contract administration, Packard
continues, if few issues arise and the
language works, “you kind of know
you have hit a sweet spot that indus-
try understands.” The agency tracks
the number of contract modifications
it makes and how well a contract was
understood, including how many ques-
tions were asked before an award. Those
indicators, along with lessons learned,
help DISA cultivate best practices.
That is also the idea behind examining acquisition strategies and plans. “Do
we need a 14-page test plan, or do we
need two pages to get the work done?”
he asks theoretically. The goal is to tailor
plans to exactly what DISA needs to do
The agency also is targeting the number of lead times for procurement.
Packard relates that several years ago,
DISA had seven lead times, but that
number has risen to more than 20. Now
the agency is looking at how long it
should take to carry out a single procurement process compared with how
long it really takes.
Overall, Packard’s goals are built
around DISA’s priorities as outlined
by its director, Lt. Gen. Alan R. Lynn,
USA: people, build, operate and
defend. To develop DISA’s people,
Packard’s focus is on building their
soft skills, including verbal and written communications, as well as teaming up general schedule (GS) and
senior executive service (SES) officials to learn the dynamics of decision
making and trade-offs.
The build focus emphasizes collaboration within the procurement
office. Integrated process teams hash
out issues in conference instead of
through extensive and time-consuming paperwork, Packard reports.
His office concentrates on category
management for the operate focus.
It examines categories with an eye
toward consolidation and keeps small
business concerns at the forefront of
this effort. Another part of this thrust
is what DISA calls the mesh network.
How it works: If the agency buys five
circuits that go into a single facility,
it saves time, effort and resources by
awarding a single contract for all five
circuits to one firm that is responsible
for ensuring they work together.
For the defend focus, Packard’s
office stresses DISA’s cyber certification and accreditation functions.
DISA also certifies the Defense
Department and the Office of Management and Budget, he says.
Among the many challenges Packard’s office faces, setting priorities for
the various programs is the biggest.
“Every program has a No. 1 priority,” he explains. “Every program
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