Seaport-e Management Approach and Quality Assurance Program
The Acadia Team has a proven Management Approach that we have used to successfully support NAVSEA Warfare Centers in all seven zones for past five (5) years. We have customized our Management approach to meet the objectives of the Seaport-e Program. We have integrated Project Management Institute's (PMI) PMBOK™ project management principles into all aspects of our Program Management Approach. This ensures that risks are identified early, which in turn increases the predictability of delivery cost, and reduced variability in delivery schedules. Our Management approach is presented below in the format as required by the RFP:
1 APPROACH TO INTEGRATE PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES
Acadia is committed to delivering top quality professional support services within and across NAVSEA or the Virtual SYSCOM in a seamless, continuous, efficient and cost effective manner. We aim to realize significant Cost Savings for the Navy and the Marine Corps by integrating various professional support services within and across the NAVSEA organization. This will be achieved in the following manner:
- Centralized Program Management Office (PMO): Our centralized and lean PMO based out of our Rockville, Maryland office will provide NAVSEA Warfare Centers with the best quality integrated support services and cost savings. The primary responsibility of our PMO will be to provide direct technical and programmatic interface and execution accountability to the NAVSEA Program Executive Offices (PEO) and Directorates. The PMO will be headed by a dedicated Seaport-e Program Manager, who will directly report to our President, and will be the sole point of contact for the Navy for all issues related to Seaport-e Contract.
Integrated Program Management: Acadia uses an integrated Program and task order management approach that drives task planning, staffing, organizing, directing, conducting, producing, monitoring, and reporting for each task order and contract-wide programs to ensure effectiveness and on-time and on-budget completion. This standard operating procedure is flexible and can be tailored to the needs of each individual task, and it easily accommodates both standard and short notice tasks requirements. We use a formal, uniform system for tracking and controlling task activities and for measuring performance across all task assignments. This system is designed explicitly for the identification of activity dependencies and interdependencies across task assignments, and for the integration of these activities into an overall performance process, ensuring adherence to schedule, cost, and quality metrics.
This integrated approach to program management will allow us to effectively coordinate, maintain and control multiple project activities at single or multiple NAVSEA locations. Our Program Manager will have total responsibility and accountability to meet the cost, schedule, and technical objectives of the task orders awarded. The approach will be to utilize structured processes for defining and organizing all elements of the project, and to provide clear and concise delegation of responsibility and accountability to the project team. Our Team will evolve a full time Quality Management (QC Manager) position that reports directly to the Program Manager, is provided on a no direct cost basis and will be responsible for monitoring the quality of performance by the staff and coordinating the establishment and collection of work metrics. Acadia will also have regional Business Development Managers in our offices in each of the seven (7) zones. Each Task Order (TO) will be managed by a Project Manager and like all Zonal Business Development Managers, all TO Project Managers will report to the Program Manager. Further, multiple TOs will be managed by individual TO Project Managers, yet the Program Manager will be conversant with each Project at all times. This clearly integrates communication, as well as the services delivery.
Task Order Management System (TOMS): Our Seaport-e Program Manager and Task Order Project Managers will use our proven, secure and cloud-based Task Order Management System (TOMS) to track, monitor and control task activities, measure performance across all and simultaneous Seaport-e TOs, and generate automated status and performance reports for the Navy and Marine Corps stakeholders on a real-time basis. TOMS identifies activity dependencies and interdependencies across task assignments, and integrates these activities into an overall performance process, ensuring adherence to a pre-defined 'Performance Tracking Metric' (PTM) that measures Quality, Effort, Schedule and Cost on an ongoing basis. This will ensure on-time and within budget delivery which will result in huge cost savings to the Navy.
TOMS is fully integrated to our cloud-based Microsoft SharePoint online intranet portal, which serves as a repository for corporate processes, documents, forms, knowledge library, and project data and offers extensive records management capabilities that will be available to our Seaport-e project team members at the click of a button. TOMS has features like Document Management, Time Sheet Management, HR Management, Program Asset, Schedule and Cost Management. It is integrated with our company's cost accounting system and also has a detailed reporting/feedback system.
TOMS operates as a password-protected Internet site accessible only to selected individuals from ordering agencies and our Program Manager as well as the TO Project Managers. Authorized users will be issued passwords providing access priorities to specific performance data. This system will further integrate the whole process of service delivery across and within NAVSEA or Virtual SYSCOM and will result in significant cost savings for the Navy.
- Reviews: Our Management Plan calls for regular status reporting a well as status review meetings with the Government. Issues will be identified and resolved promptly.
1.1 COST REDUCTION INITIATIVES
Throughout the life of the Seaport-e Program, we will aim to reduce cost by providing low pass-through burdens, by using our (better, faster, cheaper) technical solutions, by reducing task management, and by improving and expanding our IT tool capabilities for easy program integration. Cost savings will be addressed in individual task orders. The collective savings from each TO will be effective when we have enough TOs in place to apply our approach on a larger scale, effecting greater economies within the NAVSEA organization leading to cost reduction.
Cost Reduction through Program Support: We will create a significant savings to the Seaport Enhanced Program by providing a lean program office consisting of a program manager with minimal administrative support. Through our Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) based TPM, we will integrate our team electronically. Our program liaison representatives assigned to the seven zones will assist regional NAVSEA Contracting Officers and technical customers with industry feedback on potential task order requirements, timelines, and other program considerations. The Acadia program and technical liaison personnel are not directly charged to this contract, our commitment to add value to the communication process with NAVSEA.
Cost Reduction through Innovations: We propose innovative initiatives that offer both process enhancements and long term cost reductions. These cost reduction initiatives will add value to NAVSEA and its support activities.
Cost Reduction through Integration: We will facilitate access to NAVSEA integrated product teams, and ensure that the lessons learnt are shared horizontally throughout the organization. We will deploy an initial lessons-learned database acquired from similar contracts, which will be made available to NAVSEA within 30 days of contract start. We will provide rapid reach-back for task orders with operational surges.
Earned Value Management (EVM): Our EVM system, via our TO Program Management System (TPM), incorporates information form our internal control systems (Project Management, Time and Expense Tracking, Accounting, and Costing) to provide a variety of metrics that are used to track, assess, and control the delivery of value for each TO. It is based on frequent schedule and cost reviews on each TO ensuring that all parts of the team see early warning signs, and reduces the occurrence of variances in costs and schedule, thereby saving significant costs.
2 Mold, Manage, and Maintain the Effort
2.1 Capability to manage the effort
We will use an integrated TO management approach that drives task planning, staffing, organizing, directing, conducting, producing, monitoring, and reporting for each TO and contract-wide programs to ensure effectiveness and on-time and on-budget completion. The TO Project Managers will manage the TOs and using our TPM will ensure that they are executed on time and within budget. The TO Project Managers will regularly report the status of their projects to the Program Manager, who will be accountable and responsible for our performance on the entire Seaport-e program.
Our proven staffing methodology would be used to staff each TO. Given a large pool of our collective internal resources (employees), and past experience in supporting various NAVSEA Warfare Centers, we have the ability to staff each TO very quickly. Our subcontractors will be treated as an integral part of the team and will be involved in the staffing process. Once staffed, each TO team member would be required to fill their detailed online time sheets and provide regular progress and status reports to the TO Project Manager.
We will aim to build a good working relationship with the NAVSEA personnel. Communication, both formal and informal, with the designated Government Project Managers and Contracting Officers will be continually established. Regular status reports and status meetings will be conducted with the aim of identifying and resolving all issues in a timely manner. Our QC Manager and Contract Specialist will support the program without any cost to the Government. The QC Manager will use our TPM system to monitor and continually conduct internal Quality Audits on various TO teams. A detailed QC Plan will be drawn before the start of the project and will be continually adhered to. We will integrate the proposed quality assurance (QA) function with day-to-day quality control (QC).
We will develop a Risk Management Plan upfront, and identify top ten project risks based on our collective experience. The TO Project Managers will continually monitor and alleviate these risks. The Program Manager will meet on a quarterly basis with the ordering agency stakeholders to review our performance against contract requirements and performance metrics, identify areas for improvement, assess overall contract performance, and address any contract issues or risks. The Program Manager will have the authority to commit company resources, as needed, to support the execution of the contract. Finally, subcontractors are considered an integral part of our team, report to the TO Project Manager and are held to the same standards of performance as Acadia employees. They are also required to regularly fill our time sheets and their performance is monitored in exactly the same manner as our employees. Any issues with the subcontractors' performance are resolved with the subcontractor employee, and if need be, with the subcontractor PM.
2.2 Ability to manage change to preserve stability and maintain technical expertise in the workforce
We will develop a change management plan as a part of the Program Management Plan, which will include detailed impact analysis along with the resources required to transition in a smooth manner. Additional resources and experts will be added as required. A detailed log will be maintained which will record who authorized the change and when; who managed the change and when; what issues arose, and how were they resolved.
Acadia has an attrition rate that is lower than 2% over past 5 years. We strive hard to ensure that our employees are not only compensated better than the industry levels; but also are treated with respect and fairness by the management. We have established human resources policies to ensure that both the work environment and the technical environment enhance employee retention. Our employees work with the most modern technologies in a healthy and positively competitive workplace environment. Our competitive compensation and benefits make us a small business of choice to work for. Employee recognition and rewards, education assistance, financial assistance, and 401(k) matches are a few of the many programs available to our employees.
We will continue to maintain a high retention rate using a combination of competitive compensation, comprehensive health benefits, family-friendly programs, and a profit-sharing/savings plan. We provide both company and skill-improvement programs that keep employees current with the rapid change in technology and give them the opportunity to grow professionally and personally. We offer a variety of programs designed to improve leadership, responsiveness, teamwork, productivity improvement, and effective program execution. This further keeps the employee morale high, and mitigates attrition rate.
2.3 Ability to monitor and maximize quality
As detailed earlier, our PMO will house a full-time QC Manager at no cost to the Government. The QC Manager along with other technical specialists (included on a TO requirement basis) will constitute a Quality Control Team (QCT). The QCT will continually monitor the performance against the Acceptance Criteria, conduct internal audits continually, identify the root causes of variances from the Acceptance Criteria and work with the concerned TO team members to eradicate them. As most of the TOs on the Seaport-e contracts will be Performance Based, we will use our above detailed, and proven EVM system (that in turn uses our TPM, detailed earlier in this section) to monitor and maximize quality.
2.4 Approach to guarantee responsiveness to and cooperation with customers
We consider Seaport-e Contract as a very important tool for corporate growth. Our senior corporate management is committed to the success of our Seaport-e Contract. This is proven by the fact that our Program Manager will directly report to the company President. The idea is to ensure maximum customer satisfaction and prompt resolution of issues as they are identified. Our approach to guaranteed responsiveness and cooperation with the customers involves pro-active and continual communication with the customer and the establishment of a sincere and prompt feedback mechanism. Our Program Manager will regularly attend status meetings with the customers and will be responsible for pushing the right buttons to ensure timely responsiveness and cooperation by all team members with the customer. Open and proactive communication and a solid feedback mechanism will enable us to identify the issues and resolve them promptly.
2.5 Approach to problem resolution
Through our established communication processes and procedures (particularly the TO management and review process) and open communications with the customer, we will identify and resolve issues quickly at the lowest organizational level possible. Once a problem is identified, we will work with the Government to identify the root cause of the problem and will discuss ways to eradicate the problem. Should the problem remain unresolved at the lowest level, it will be escalated to the Program Manager and eventually to the company President. Our Senior Management's hands-on approach will prove to be very beneficial in quick resolution of even contentious issues.
2.6 Flow down of incentives to your team partners
We consider our team partners as absolutely essential for our success and therefore will aim to promptly pass on the incentives to them to ensure the success of this program. Acadia has had an excellent long standing working relationship with each of our subcontractors. Our teams have worked together on several Federal Government contracts. Further, we have already executed the teaming agreements with our partners clearly identifying the role of each partner. Acadia will promptly pay our partners' invoices within 30 days of receipt, as mutually agreed upon in our agreement.
3 SUBCONTRACTORS MANAGEMENT
We fully understand the requirements of the U.S. Navy and the Marine Corps as laid out in the RFP, and have carefully selected Orion and System Edge as our subcontractors for the Seaport-e contract.
Both Orion and System Edge are full-service suppliers to several Navy prime contractors like Deloitte/Bearing Point, SAIC, Ernst & Young (E&Y), Lockheed Martin Information Technology (LMIT), and Computer Science Corporation (CSC), and commercial maritime industry. Orion provide naval architecture and marine engineering, electronic systems engineering, vessel system assessments, maintenance engineering and program development, shipyard industrial engineering, and complete logistics services, from technical manual development to provisioning documents, spare parts management and training. Acadia already has Teaming Agreements in place with both Orion and System Edge.
Orion and System Edge are currently supporting Warfare Centers on active NAVSEA programs. Additionally, an important feature of our Team is that the personnel, facilities, and Government-to-contractor relationships are already established and functioning. We will continue to support the Warfare Centers without interruption and the ongoing relationship will not be altered or impaired.
Our subcontractors are an integral part of our Seaport Enhanced Team and ensure that both current and future requirements of the Seaport Program are supported seamlessly. Our program management office regularly monitors the quality, cost, and schedule elements of our Teammates. We maintain frequent communication with our teammates' personnel and they are held to the same standards of performance as the Acadia personnel. These communications are both in the form of formal meetings, status reports and emails as well as informal relationship building.
Our teammates' personnel are also required to regularly and accurately fill in their time sheets. Time Sheets, Status Reports and Meetings enable us to monitor the subcontractor performance and identify issues and potential problems in a timely manner. They also enable us to eradicate variances with regards to costs and schedule.
Acadia's Program Management Office will work with the erring subcontractor personnel to correct the defects or performance issues. Unresolved issues will be promptly escalated to the concerned subcontractor's Senior Management, and efforts will be made to resolve them in an expeditious manner.
We will focus on the following key enablers in making the subcontractor management process work smoothly:
Structure. The Team organization is straightforward and provides single point leadership and clear lines of authority. All employees, regardless of company affiliation, function as members of one integrated team. Subcontractor roles are clear and work shares are well defined.
Agreements. In all subcontracting agreements, Acadia spells out in detail the procedures for prompt invoicing and payment, the promotion of fairness in the division of work share, general communications, and conflict resolution. Having a set of standards ensures a common understanding of purpose and consistency of action.
Leadership. The Program Manager will have direct oversight of all subcontracts and review team member performance on a regular basis. This person also will serve as our Teaming Coordinator and the single point of contact for subcontractors. The Program Manager will continuously review the marketplace for companies that provide new and innovative products and professional services that add value to meeting the customer's needs.
TO staffing. Upon task award, and based on the individual subcontractor's teaming agreements, an authorized, discrete work package will be developed for each subcontractor. The authorized work package will define the work to be completed based on the specific customer requirements; establish subcontractor deliverables; provide a master program schedule; establish budgets that include labor, material, etc.; and develop a reporting structure that is directly linked to the WBS and the contract organizational framework. The subcontractor will be assigned organizational responsibility consistent with the WBS and the teaming agreement. Where required, a flow down of contract provisions, risk, and reporting requirements will be a part of the individual work package requirements. Specific SEI-CMM/CMMI, ISO, CM, QA, EVMS, and other process requirements also will be included. This methodology will provide consistency of effort and allow for a full accounting of task completion.
General communication. These procedures take several forms. In order to have an effective and efficient team, rapid and coherent intra-team communications will be established and maintained among all members of the team. The rules regarding communications with the customer and other external agencies will be spelled out. The team speaks with a common voice when answering questions raised by the customer, but, more importantly, such rules ensure that the customer gets the right answer from someone authorized to provide it.
Quality control. In order to ensure quality of services and compliance, the Team will use an established set of standards and processes with which all team members agree to conform. The principles of these two important elements are established first in the subcontracting agreements, and, finally, in the QC Plan. Our standard TO management processes and risk mitigation strategies will be used to measure subcontractor performance. In addition, Acadia will survey the team members on a semi-annual basis to determine the team's performance and to invite recommendations to improve the in-place organizational structure and management processes. This will be supported by our in-place Service Level Agreement (SLA).
Conflict resolution. In every business relationship, issues and problems arise requiring immediate resolution and attention. Through our established communication processes and procedures (particularly the TO management and review process) and open communications with the customer, we will identify and resolve issues quickly at the lowest organizational level possible. In the event of the issues not getting resolved at the lowest level, it will be escalated to Senior Management of the subcontractor and resolved promptly. Example-If the performance related problems are due to lack of subcontractor personnel's ability or poor attitude, Acadia would put in an immediate request to the subcontractor senior management urging them to replace that individual within 48 hours, with another who is better qualified and customer oriented.