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7 Steps for Enabling Acquisition Success

The Procurement Process Isn’t Easy

We know that the procurement journey isn’t easy. In fact, there are several obstacles that can lead to poorly executed acquisitions. Program managers are asked to do a lot when it comes to getting critical mission support contracts in place. Unfortunately, navigating the acquisition processes is extremely time-consuming and confusing. And the stakes are high, where mission success often hinges on the performance of these critical acquisitions.

The most common obstacles to successful acquisitions

Conflicting Stakeholder

priorities due to limited resources and inefficiencies between contracting and the program

A Complex Acquisition Process

rife with required steps, approvals and, documents that are difficult to understand can lead to the process becoming the focus over outcomes

Underleveraged Vendor Capabilities
due to contracting rules and insufficient proposals that often obscure the potential innovative vendors and solutions
Inadequately Define Requirements

due to a poorly defined scope that causes a misalignment between program needs and contractor capabilities/performance

Best Procurement Practices

Define Desired Outcomes
Every good acquisition starts with a clear definition of what desired outcomes the acquired goods or services should deliver. Be specific as to how this contract supports and enables the program’s mission and goals. Defining what you want to achieve is the first step to success
Build A Checklist and A Plan

The acquisition process is not one size fits all. And it can’t be done well without enough time. Begin by building a project plan that includes a list of key acquisition documents that you need to put together and a realistic roadmap to get there. Establish milestones and timelines that will guide progress and accountability to ensure things keep moving forward

Assemble the Right People
Stand up a cross-functional team from across the program, ideally with a representative from Contracting right from the start. The more input from those with a vested interest in the contract the better, building support and buy-in along the journey. Through collaboration with program and acquisition personnel, you can develop a solution that will achieve program objectives in a fully compliant and risk-mitigated way
Conduct Deep Market Analysis

Leverage externally available information and research to build a comprehensive understanding of the market. Use vendor interviews, analyst reports, and secondary market research to build a fact base of what the market offers, how it delivers it, and who the potential suppliers are

Engage Suppliers Early

Engage suppliers throughout all phases of the acquisition, right from the beginning. There are some things you can and can’t do but don’t shy away from engaging suppliers out of compliance fear. The FAR both allows and encourages meaningful engagement with the vendor base. They are often the ones best positioned to help you understand how to maximize the taxpayer value generated by the procurement

Define the Right Requirements
Poor requirements definition is the number one cause of why acquisitions fail or don’t yield the desired value. Since suppliers will propose and deliver only what is stated in the scope, you need to directly and clearly define what you really need. When acquiring services, for example, think beyond just defining roles and the activities that the vendor will perform and instead strive to define outputs and outcomes
Get Insights from Experts
Program leaders are experts in their mission, not in acquisition. Obtaining external procurement or category subject matter expertise can make all the difference in establishing a contract that truly enables mission outcomes to be achieved

You don’t have to go at it alone

Censeo Consulting group brings a world-class team of leading federal acquisition and technical experts with a track record of success. We employ a proven and flexible critical procurement support approach that will enable your organization to successfully navigate the acquisition process and ultimately get the results that the program needs.
Censeo’s Critical Procurement Support
16 years of
150 critical
$120B total projects

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