RECOVERY

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Determine what the customer really wants. Discovery of this kind of situation

probably means you bid the requirement(s) incorrectly and could be in for

a lot of headaches. Further, you need to know why the requirements definition

(negotiating) team made the interpretation it did so the problem won’t happen

again. If you have a good negotiator and a reasonable customer, you may be

able to adjust the requirements document (contract) to incorporate the new

interpretation as added scope. If not, and if the award has already been made

and accepted, you’ll have to absorb the cost.

To adjust the requirements, use the following process:

Meet with the customer.

Go through each paragraph of the SOW that is or might be in question.

Come to an understanding with the customer as to exactly what he wants.

Come to an understanding with the customer on how recovery can be

made. This includes:

• Schedule Recovery

• Financial Recovery

• Technical Recovery

Document all those findings and cosign the minutes of the meetings.

If the award has not been made, go through the same process. In this case

you have more leverage because your obligation begins only after you accept

the contract.

One way to ensure that this does not happen again is to have the project

manager on the proposal team and the negotiation team. If it does happen

again, maybe you need a new project manager!

If your project does not have an SOW, create one. If you do not have an

outline for an SOW, use the following or consider the additional resources

below:

Task Description

Deliverable Documents List

Period of Performance

Schedule

Reference Documents

Modifying Factors (for instance, the number of labor hours of specific

disciplines that must be provided)

Specification

Any item in or referenced by the SOW is a legal part of the SOW. Therefore,

each of these items must be understood. It is a good idea to search the entire

SOW and find all the requirements and the modifiers and group them together

for your own purposes.

A properly defined SOW will contain (either incorporated or appended) the

findings of the requirements discussions (negotiations). These findings are as

much a part of the requirements document (contract) as the initial document.

Additional Resources:

MIL-STD-245

1b (NO) The SOW is not within our capabilities.

You can make a quick assessment of your ability to perform the task by using

the Experience Window in Table 4-2. Ask yourself the customer and product

questions and then compare your answers to the answers and capabilities shown

in the table.

That’s not the end of it, however. Just having customer experience and product

experience is not enough; it must be positive experience. If you have had

T a b l e 4 - 2 — E x p e r i e n c e W i n d o w

Have Customer Have Product Capability to

Condition Experience Experience Perform

1 Yes Yes High

2 No Yes Moderate

3 Yes No Low

4 No No Unknown

experience with this customer, but it was not positive experience, you must

neutralize the negative effects. If you do not do this, your ability to perform (or

win) is in doubt. The same is true of product experience. If you have negative

experience with a product, you are in the same boat. If either your customer

experience or your product experience is negative, it is likely you will move

downward at least two conditions on the chart. In other words, if you have

good product experience but bad customer experience, you no longer have a

high ability to perform. It is likely you now have a low to unknown ability to

perform. Generally speaking, negative experience is worse than no experience.

In addition to satisfying the conditions of the table, you must:

Provide the personnel required to perform the task.

Provide the facilities required by the task.

Provide the finances required by the payment schedule to support the

task.

Perform the requirements of the Specification (as evaluated under Cause

Description 2f).

Risk increases as the condition numbers become greater. Chances are that

you are here because your ability to perform is ‘‘moderate’’ or less. If it is ‘‘unknown,’’

you probably should not have bid the task in the first place. Nevertheless,

a problem exists that must be rectified.