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Managed services for project management in government contracts offer expertise, scalability, reduced administrative burden, enhanced security, cost savings, and continuous monitoring. OneLynk, combined with professional services, helps government contractors navigate challenges, instill necessary processes, and achieve compliance, offering a competitive advantage in the market.
Why Managed Services for Project Management Support
Once a project is awarded, the contractor must perform a series of tasks required to estimate, plan, manage and closeout the project. In Utilizing Managed Services for Contract Management, we defined the key metrics that must be tracked to ensure you deliver what was promised and make a profit.
AtWork Managed Services for Project Management
Powered by a DCAA compliant ERP system that supports the entire PM lifecycle including project
estimating, project planning, project control and project closeout.
estimating, project planning, project control and project closeout.
Contractors must build the processes and systems to manage the entire project management lifecycle. Your project management system must enable you to establish repeatable processes and systems and be supported by an experienced team with knowledge of government contracting. This can be challenging if you are a start-up just entering the government market, or you are a prime looking to mature your capabilities required to deliver on more complex projects.
In this blog, we discuss the project lifecycle as well as the project management experience needed to support managing government projects. We describe the typical project lifecycle, summarize the key tasks that need to be performed, as well as the project management experience required. Growing, training, and developing an experience project management team takes time, money, and a significant amount of patience. Utilizing managed services supported by a DCAA compliant ERP system can provide significant benefits.
What is the project Management lifecycle for Government Contracts?
The lifecycle for a government project refers to the stages involved in the execution and management of a specific project within a government contract. While the specific terminology and processes may vary depending on the project and the government agency, here is a general outline of the typical execution lifecycle for a government project:
Project Mobilization: Once the project is awarded as part of the government contract, the contractor begins the project mobilization phase. This involves setting up the project team, defining roles and responsibilities, and establishing the project's organizational structure. The contractor also establishes project governance, communication channels, and procedures necessary for project execution.
Project Estimating & Planning: The contractor develops a comprehensive project plan that outlines the approach, objectives, scope, deliverables, and milestones of the project. The project plan also includes a detailed schedule, resource allocation, risk management strategies, and a communication plan. This stage ensures that the contractor and the government agency have a shared understanding of project expectations and requirements.
Execution and Monitoring: The contractor executes the project activities according to the project plan. This involves managing project resources, assigning tasks, coordinating team members, and monitoring project progress against the established schedule. The contractor also implements project management processes to track and report on key performance indicators, manage risks, and address issues that arise during project execution.
Quality Assurance and Control: The contractor implements quality assurance and control processes to ensure that project deliverables meet the specified quality standards. This includes conducting inspections, performing tests, and verifying that the work meets contractual requirements and applicable regulations. The contractor may also implement quality control measures to continuously monitor and improve the quality of project outputs.
Stakeholder Engagement: Throughout the project, the contractor engages with various stakeholders, including the government agency, project team members, subcontractors, and other relevant parties. Effective communication and stakeholder management are crucial to ensure alignment, address concerns, and maintain strong relationships throughout the project lifecycle.
Change Management: In the event of changes to project scope, requirements, or other aspects, the contractor manages the change process. This includes evaluating change requests, assessing their impacts on the project, and working with the government agency to reach agreement on necessary adjustments. The contractor updates the project plan and implements change control processes to accommodate approved changes effectively.
Performance Reporting:The contractor provides regular progress reports and updates to the government agency. These reports typically include information on project status, accomplishments, challenges, and any deviations from the project plan. The contractor communicates project performance, risks, and mitigation strategies to ensure transparency and facilitate informed decision-making by the government agency.
Project Closure: When the project is nearing completion or at its conclusion, the contractor engages in project closure activities. This involves conducting final inspections, verifying completion of project deliverables, and performing any necessary handovers or knowledge transfers. The contractor may also participate in project review meetings or lessons learned sessions to capture insights and identify opportunities for improvement.
It's important to note that the execution lifecycle for a government project may be influenced by the specific requirements and procedures of the government agency, the nature of the project, and any industry-specific regulations or standards that apply. The contractor should be aware of and adhere to any additional guidelines or processes established by the government agency for project execution. In a related blog, Project Management Software For Government Contractors we define the detailed requirements that should be provided when selecting a DCAA compliant project management system.
What skills are required to support the project management lifecycle?
To support government contracts, project management skills are essential for effective planning, execution, and delivery of projects. Here are some project management skills that are particularly important in the context of government contracts:
Scope Management: Being able to define and manage project scope is crucial. This includes understanding contract requirements, identifying deliverables, and ensuring that project activities align with the defined scope.
Schedule Management: Government contracts often have strict timelines and deadlines. Project managers need to develop realistic and achievable schedules, track progress, and manage potential delays or changes in project timelines.
Cost Management: A strong understanding of project budgeting and financial management is vital. Project managers should be able to develop accurate cost estimates, monitor project expenditures, and ensure compliance with government regulations and funding limitations.
Risk Management: Identifying and managing risks is essential to minimize the impact on project outcomes. Project managers should conduct risk assessments, develop risk mitigation strategies, and establish contingency plans to address potential challenges or issues.
Quality Assurance: Government contracts typically require adherence to high-quality standards. Project managers need to establish and implement quality control processes, perform regular inspections, and ensure that deliverables meet specified quality criteria.
Stakeholder Management: Government projects involve multiple stakeholders, including government officials, contractors, and end-users. Project managers should possess strong interpersonal and communication skills to effectively engage and manage relationships with stakeholders, address concerns, and keep them informed about project progress.
Contract Compliance: Government contracts have specific terms, conditions, and regulatory requirements that must be followed. Project managers need to understand these contractual obligations and ensure that project activities are in compliance with the contract terms throughout the project lifecycle.
Change Management: Government projects may experience changes in scope, requirements, or priorities. Project managers should be adept at managing and facilitating change requests, assessing their impacts, and implementing appropriate change control processes to ensure project success.
Reporting and Documentation: Accurate and timely reporting is essential for government contracts. Project managers should be proficient in generating progress reports, status updates, and other project-related documentation required by the government agency or stakeholders.
Team Leadership: Effective leadership is critical to motivate and manage project teams. Project managers should be able to build and lead high-performing teams, delegate tasks, provide guidance, and foster a collaborative work environment to achieve project objectives.
These project management skills, combined with the contract administration skills mentioned earlier, form a solid foundation for supporting government contracts successfully. However, it's important to note that specific project management requirements may vary depending on the nature, complexity, and size of the government projects and contracts involved.
What Are the Benefits of Utilizing Managed Services for Project management?
Utilizing managed services can provide significant support to the project management lifecycle in several ways. Here are some key benefits:
Expertise and Specialization: Managed service providers (MSPs) often specialize in specific domains or technologies, bringing deep expertise to the table. By leveraging their specialized knowledge, project managers can tap into best practices, industry standards, and the latest technologies relevant to their projects. This expertise can enhance the planning, execution, and delivery phases of the project management lifecycle.
Resource Scalability: Managed services offer the flexibility to scale resources up or down as per project requirements. This scalability allows project managers to adapt to changing demands, allocate resources effectively, and ensure the project progresses smoothly. MSPs can quickly provide additional staff, infrastructure, or specialized skills, ensuring the project remains on track.
Reduced Administrative Burden: Managed services can alleviate the administrative burden on project managers. MSPs often handle tasks such as infrastructure management, security, monitoring, maintenance, and support, allowing project managers to focus on core project activities. This support frees up time and resources, enabling project managers to devote their attention to strategic decision-making and project progress.
Enhanced Security and Compliance: Managed service providers are well-versed in security practices and compliance requirements specific to their domain. By leveraging their expertise, project managers can ensure that their projects adhere to relevant security standards and regulatory guidelines. MSPs can help implement robust security measures, perform regular audits, and provide ongoing monitoring and incident response, thereby reducing project risks.
Improved Efficiency and Cost Savings: Managed services can streamline operations, optimize workflows, and introduce automation to improve overall project efficiency. By leveraging the MSP's tools, technologies, and methodologies, project managers can achieve better resource utilization, faster turnaround times, and higher-quality deliverables. Additionally, managed services often offer predictable pricing models, enabling better budgeting and cost control.
Continuous Support and Monitoring: MSPs typically provide ongoing support and monitoring services, ensuring the project's stability and performance throughout its lifecycle. They can proactively identify and address issues, perform regular maintenance, and provide 24/7 support if required. This continuous support helps project managers mitigate risks, minimize downtime, and ensure the project's success.
Overall, utilizing managed services can augment the project management lifecycle by providing specialized expertise, scalability, administrative support, security and compliance measures, efficiency gains, and ongoing monitoring. This support allows project managers to focus on strategic aspects and achieve project objectives more effectively.
AtWork Systems designed OneLynk to enable GovCon's to navigate through the challenges of growing a GovCon business by providing a DCAA compliant ERP system to deliver exceptional performance. While a government contractor is maturing in the government market, as either a prime or subcontractor, OneLynk is there to instill the processes and systems needed to help achieve government compliance. AtWork Systems offers fractional subject matter experts - across functions like accounting, HR, financial, contract and project management - to help startups step out on the right foot or to help more mature firms transform ad hoc or inadequate processes into higher levels of performance. The combination of AtWork Systems' OneLynk and associated professional services is available as a comprehensive, secure, and affordable means of gaining the competitive advantage.
Learn More About AtWork Systems
AtWork Systems is an Arlington, Virginia based managed services and software development company. Its principals have decades of experience doing business with and working for federal, state, and local government. They developed OneLynk as a configurable and scalable SaaS platform that digitizes and optimizes processes while providing just in time business intelligence for decision making. OneLynk contains a suite of easily configurable web applications for automating and monitoring business transactions, including: human capital management, accounting, timekeeping, expense management, procurement, contracts and project management, payroll services and more. Discover the latest ERP System for Government Contractors at www.atworksys.com.
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