Author’s Note: The "Behind the Buy" podcast features audio stories told by members of the Federal acquisition workforce who have successfully executed best practice IT contracting strategies from the TechFAR and Digital Services Playbook to help their agency meet its mission.
Last year, the Administration released two crucial tools to build upon successful efforts to fundamentally improve the way Government delivers services to the public. The Digital Services Playbook outlines key "plays" drawn from private and public-sector best practices to help Federal agencies deliver services that work well for users and require less time and money to develop and operate. The TechFAR Handbook explains how agencies can execute key plays in the Playbook in ways consistent with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), which governs how the Government buys goods and services from the private sector.
To share best practices from tools like the Playbook and TechFAR, members of the Federal acquisition community recommended we use more innovative communication channels. The workforce wanted an interactive way to send and receive solutions that enhance the value of IT procurements for customers and taxpayers. Those suggestions led to the creation of the Behind the Buy audio series, or podcast, a human-centered design approach that allows procurement and program offices to listen and learn about innovative IT contracting strategies while carrying on their daily work responsibilities.
In this inaugural Behind the Buy podcast series, OFPP Administrator Anne Rung interviews Mark Naggar, the project manager for the Buyers Club at the Department of Health and Human Services. During the episode, Mark explains how the TechFAR and play #4 from the Playbook, Build the Service Using Agile and Iterative Practices, enabled his procurement team to quickly compete and contract for development of IT system prototypes from multiple vendors, which increased customer satisfaction and vendor engagement and ultimately cut time to delivery from six months to eight weeks.
Both the Playbook and TechFAR are edited on GitHub, where they serve as living documents that can be shared and shaped by digital experts across the country. If you have a “Playbook or TechFAR-related” experience, let us know! We’d like to hear about your success story and take the Federal community Behind the Buy.
Anne Rung is the Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. Mark Naggar serves as the Project Manager for the Buyers Club at the Department of Health and Human Services.