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.
In this second Behind the Buy podcast, OFPP Administrator Anne Rung interviews Jonathan Mostowski, the Contracting Officer at the U.S. Digital Service. During the episode, Jonathan explains how budgetary flexibility and cost savings are achieved during agile IT procurement. Listeners learn about Jonathan’s role in creating the TechFAR Handbook and how he leveraged Play #5 “Structure Budgets and Contracts to Support Delivery,” from the Digital Services Playbook to meet the business needs of the intelligence community.
Jonathan improved how the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) procured software applications (apps) in a commercial model by opening opportunities for software developers across America in NGA’s app environment. This resulted in the Government avoiding software development and sustainment costs by only paying for apps that end-users downloaded.
In addition to Play #5, Jonathan explains how to use other Playbook plays in combination to maximize IT service delivery. He discusses avoiding the pitfalls of past acquisition techniques by adapting the acquisition strategy to customers. Procuring small for software development allows for flexibility for changing needs and avoids cost-overrun. Using these Playbook strategies in combination ensures that both internal and external stakeholders needs are met efficiently and effectively.
About Behind the Buy:
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.
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.