A Journey in Federal Contracting

Hello humans!

My name is Ian Thomas, and I have an unreasonable affinity for Federal contracting. I’ve been working in this space for too many years, and I tend to bore my friends with endless conversation about policy, spending data, and the joys of capture management. In order to give them a bit of peace, I’ve decided to start this little blog.

I am setting out on a personal journey of discovery, focusing on some things I think need improvement in my beloved Federal marketplace. I will be keeping a live journal describing the books, journals, and blogs I read as well as a few conversations with smarter minds than mine. Perhaps some interesting ideas will come up along the way.

I am sharing this in various venues, hoping that my esteemed colleagues from all walks of life will help me with comments and criticisms. Your input will help me refine my ideas and guide me to new resources and paths I would not have otherwise seen.

Here are the problems I will be addressing:

  1. Small businesses face massive barriers when accessing or growing within the Federal marketplace. This stops some of the best ideas from getting to the government. The process is simply too time consuming and too costly.
  2. Business development, capture, and proposal development are far too costly when done “right.” This builds a massive overhead debt, driving down salaries, stopping companies from attracting the best talent, and adding cost to the government.
  3. Sales functions are separated from on-the-ground delivery. This adds inherent waste to the process. With a good Quality Management System (QMS) and other tools, most of the information needed for proposals is already documented. Technical staff spend far too long reinventing the wheel instead of innovating.
  4. The vast majority of the small businesses I’ve seen talk about Agile software development as a core competency. Rarely do I see a company that truly practices Agile. I believe that Agile methodologies can truly transform an entire organization, even (especially) the sales process. That said, I know about as much about real Agile in practice as the folks I mentioned above. I’ll be reading a lot and bouncing ideas off some amazing colleagues to see what works and what’s crazy.

I hope to come out of this with a few ideas that make sense.  That said, this blog is about the journey and not the goal. I hope you’ll enjoy travelling with me.


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