If you teach someone traditional government procurement, you’ll get better procurement. But if you use agile learning methods and immerse the same person in real-world digital services buys, then you might help transform government acquisition.
That’s the theory behind the Office of Management and Budget’s outside-the-box approach to creating a training program for digital services contracting that’s as innovative as the methods to be bought.
OMB’s Office of Federal Procurement Policy launched a $360,000 challenge in May seeking proposals for the program. The Digital Services Contracting Professional Training and Development Program is intended to develop professionals who can embed with agency digital service teams as their business advisers, as well as acting as advocates for digital services procurement governmentwide.
Three challenge finalists — teams from GovLoop, Management Concepts Inc., ICF International, and my company, ASI Government — received $20,000 each to expand their initial responses, deliver oral presentations, and instruct a one-hour classroom session. The ICF-ASI team won the grand prize: an opportunity to test our proposal by training 30 certified contracting professionals, along with $250,000 to cover our costs. There’s another $50,000 in prize money available for developing an ongoing program.
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