Transition Management Approach
Proper transition planning is critical to ensuring minimal disruption of support during the ramp up of a new contract and minimizes the time required to integrate employees into the contract infrastructure. This Transition approach is accomplished in 5 phases: planning, ln-processing, discovery, turnover, and closure. All transition activities will be executed to minimize the impact to the government. Our approach is flexible enough that the phases can be tailored to address the transition of one person (into an existent team or a new startup) to multiple teams supporting an existent contract.
Transition planning begins with an examination of the contract guidance for transition and then the selection of the proper transition model to achieve contract objectives. Generally I use one of two transition models to accomplish transition; they are the Step Up model and the Ramp Up model.
Step Up model. This model is used when a very quick transition (10 days or less) is necessary. This model is built on the assumption that we are delivering experienced SME’s who are able to step into their role with only a few days of orientation. For this transition model costing is simple, the old contract runs to the last day of the old contract POP. Then, on the very next day, the new contract billing begins. They may be a modest overlap of one half day for the on-going workload to be handed off to the new contractor. The planning, in-process, and discovery phases are accomplished before the first day of the contract, turnover begins on day one of the contract and closure occurs within the first 10 days of the contract execution.
Ramp Up Model. I use this model to design and implement transitions that take longer than 10 days to accomplish. This model is built on the assumption that outgoing contractor will gradually ramp down their support and the incoming contractor will gradually ramp up our support.
A second assumption for the Ramp Up Model is that total staffing requirements are usually equal to the outgoing contractor staffing requirements plus new staffing requirements for the new contractor. Our ramp up model starts out when the contract is awarded. The Planning and In-process phases for the Ramp Up model are accomplished before the first day of the new contract; Discovery begins before day one of the contract and continues for a few days after the contract has started; Turnover begins on day one of the new contract and continues for the specified transition period (approximately 11-90 days) of the contract execution. During the Turnover phase, we gradually increase our staff and the outgoing contractor gradually reduces their staff. The workload for each section or division drives the choreographed staffing increases and decreases. The goal is to maintain a constant number of contractors on the job (changing the ratio of outgoing vs incoming contractors until the outgoing contractor has depleted their staffing). Then we accomplish the closure phase of transition for the new contractor.
A key element of both transitions models is cost control. Both of the plans are designed to ensure the cost of a given transition day does not exceed the cost of a nominal contract operations day for the new contract.
The remaining sections of this transition discussion provide a modest definition for the transition phase common to both models. The following transition discussion is a ‘typical’ that would be tailored extensively for a specific contracts. The time line is presented to facility the discussion, the actual time line would be driven by contract requirements.
Plan the Transition. Upon contract award (at no cost to the government), the program manager conducts assessment of work areas, identifies the in-processing requirements, gathering data from the government, and meets with outgoing contractor to discuss transition strategy; establishes the rules of engagement, time line, determines current status of all major tasks; and complete a phone roster of government contacts, outgoing contractor, and incoming contractors; The program manager designs the transition staffing plan, determines who will arrive at the job site on day one, and determine how, who, and when we will progress to 100% staffing. The final decisions for staffing transition are accomplished mid way through the discovery phase. Finally, our program manager builds transition schedule, coordinates transition schedule with the government and the outgoing contractor. This schedule is a ‘living schedule’ that is updated constantly for the entire transition period.
A transition kickoff meeting is scheduled 5 days after contract award (at no cost to the government), the transition schedule and staffing plan is briefed. Each compass subcontractor and staff member is provided a checklist that outlines each step of in-processing required to obtain full access to the work place, and the objectives necessary to accomplish their transition analysis, turnover, and closure.
Security In-Processing Tasks. In-processing will be accomplished within a 10 business day window after contract award (at no cost to the government). Our security offices will provide the required information for submission of staff security clearances. Clearance documentation will prepared, all required signatures obtained by the program manager in advance when possible, the executed forms will be provided to the newly selected personnel in advance of their arrival at the work site. Once coordinated, these clearance requests will be submitted to the appropriate government security office. The program manager will coordinate additional access requirements with the government as needed. If the selected staff is filling a deployed position, we will accomplish the deployment processing requirements.
Discovery of task status. Our team takes steps to contact their outgoing counterparts (if they are not the incumbent) and their government POC’s. The program manager provides each staff member with a checklist of items to cover during the transition. The incoming staff locates and determines the status of document libraries, web portals, policy and process documents, COMSEC accounts, quality assurance reports, and configuration management archives. Additionally, In-coming staff identifies system access, meetings, tasks, projects, and programs they will support.
Our staff works closely with the government POC to identify recurring and ad hoc assignments, we review the status and formulate a personal business rhythm to ensure that all requirements are being satisfied. During discovery, the program manager will closely monitor new staff to ensure performance and quality standards are being met. Our program manager designs a seamless transfer of responsibility for each of the events/tasks/projects. The transition checklist is updated during discover to reflect SME findings. Discover should not take more than 4-5 days for either transition model.
Contract Turnover. Turnover begins on day one, as soon as our staff has access to the systems. We use the checklists formed during discover phase to ensure we take ownership of all tasks, systems, applications, libraries, data stores, equipment, office areas, meetings, documents, projects, and programs within the scope of the contract. For the Step up model, turnover will be completed in less than ten (10) business days. For the Ramp up model, Turnover will usually span 11-90 days.
Transition Closure. The program manager will work with the government POC and incumbent to develop a specific transition schedule that specifies all tasks, establishes turn over for each active task, and guides the completion of the transition as rapidly and effectively as possible but within the total requirement of thirty (30) calendar days from TO award, authorization to staff a new requirement, or to replace an incumbent. All transition plans, schedules, and artifacts are archived and turned over to the government. Closure should not take more than a few days for either transition model.