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    Add as FriendPerformance Criteria For Professional Services

    by: Rogers

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    1 : Performance Criteria For Professional Services Service Acquisition Center of Excellence Opening Ceremony Mike Cameron November 18, 2004
    2 : A Short Story Long ago, a traveler came upon three men working beside the road. He asked the men “What are you doing?” The first man answered “I am shaping this rock.” The second man replied “I am building a wall.” The third man said “I am building a cathedral.”
    3 : How Does This Story Relate to PBSA? The first man described an activity—shaping a rock The second man described a process—building a wall The third man described an outcome—building a cathedral Traditional service procurements are like the first two men—describing activities and processes. Performance-Based Service Acquisitions are like the third man—defining a result in a way that reveals the purpose of the effort.
    4 : The Burning Issue! Legislation requires PBSA for service procurements—including professional services Many agencies—and industry—are struggling to understand how to use PBSA for professional services It’s not a small problem—professional services accounted for 34% of service procurements in 2003
    5 : “You Can’t Define Performance Criteria For The Kind Of Help I Need.” Existing examples typically illustrate PBSA for “commercial” services There is little, or no, guidance widely available that addresses professional service acquisition Without examples or guidance, many managers don’t know how to define performance criteria for professional services
    6 : Defining Performance—The Performance Work Statement The Performance Work Statement (PWS) provides Performance Requirements—unambiguous statements that describe specific, measurable results that must be provided Performance Standards—statements that define the acceptable quality of the delivered product or service Performance Measurements—statements that describe how performance will be measured The PWS focuses on results and avoids describing how the work will be performed The Performance Work Statement must answer Two Simple Questions: “What problem am I trying to solve?” “How will I know when I’ve solved it?”
    7 : PBSA Does Work For Professional Services! Professional services are fundamentally different from commercial services Understanding those differences is the key to writing performance criteria that are meaningful and measurable
    8 : Commercial versus Professional Services Commercial services are: A commodity in the marketplace Have adequate competition to set a market price Differentiated mainly by price Repetitive by nature Insensitive to context Professional services are: Usually highly customized Often fill a niche in the market Differentiated on factors other than price Non-repetitive Determined by context
    9 : Repetition and Context The key differences between commercial and professional services are repetition and context Repetitive services are those for which one instance of the service is fundamentally the same as any other Repetition allows frequent observation and determination of cause and effect When a service is sensitive to context, the outcome of the service will vary according to specific customer needs
    10 : Two Examples of Repetition and Context Commercial Services—Facilities Maintenance The results of the services—painting, repairs, and cleaning—are the same each time they are provided The primary function of the facility makes little difference to the delivered service Experiences gained from one project are directly applicable to another project Professional Services—Strategic Planning The specific form of the services will vary according to the need of the customer The result of the service will differ according to the unique situation of the customer Experiences gained from one project provide insight into other projects, but are not directly applicable
    11 : Back to the Two Questions “What problem am I trying to solve?” If you can answer this question, then you can identify the performance requirements… Performance requirements define the results that must be produced in order to achieve the desired solution.
    12 : Back to the Two Questions “How will I know when I’ve solved it?” If you can answer this second question, then you can identify the performance standards… Performance standards define the quality levels that must be achieved, or the conditions that must be satisfied, to make the results acceptable.
    13 : A Simple Example Objective Statement: You have been tasked to create a customer service portal for your agency and need decision support to select an appropriate technology solution. The exercise is to Decide what results are necessary to accomplish your objective Decide what conditions will make the results acceptable
    14 : A Simple Example—Analysis of the Problem Question #1: “What problem(s) am I trying to solve?” Answer: The measurable, specific results must be provided in order to satisfy the objective(s) of the program Complete a comparative evaluation of available commercial technology products and capabilities Recommend a product/capability based on relevance to the current project
    15 : An Example—Analysis of the Problem Question #2: “How will I know when I’ve solved it?” Answer: When I can identify the quality of service, or the delivery conditions that must be met, to make the results acceptable Complete a comparative evaluation… The evaluation shall identify the top five products and vendors, based on market share. The evaluation criteria for the analysis shall include all program objectives, program constraints, and constraints, and technical requirements The evaluation shall provide a detailed mapping of each product/capability against the evaluation criteria
    16 : An Example—Analysis of the Problem Question #2: “How will I know when I’ve solved it?” Answer: When I can identify the quality of service, or the delivery conditions that must be met, to make the results acceptable Recommend a solution… The recommendation shall provide a rationale for the selected product/capability The recommendation shall provide a lifecycle cost summary
    17 : How Well Did Our example Illustrate the Discussion? In this sample problem, the specific services required were Non-repetitive…this job will only be performed once Context sensitive…similar services provided to a different client will produce different performance criteria We have avoided any discussion of how the work will be performed, focusing instead on how well the work must be accomplished Our performance criteria answered The Two Questions
    18 : Tips For Implementing PBSA for Professional Services Decide that it can be done Translate objectives into a set of necessary results Identify the criteria that make the results acceptable Make the definition of performance criteria as simple and straightforward as possible Don’t be afraid of making mistakes…you will. But you will also learn from them Remember, the simplest solution is usually the best one

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