15 Mar Stop dusting off RFPs. Acquisition should inspire innovation.

Certainly the acquisition phase, with RFP and scope development, are often rushed elements of the project. Without this critical first step, the project could be doomed before it begins. Many times the easiest route to acquisition for Owners is just to copy a recent acquisition package and change it a little for a new project or service.

This not only prolongs old thinking, but also does not allow industry to solve the Owner’s problems most effectively. For that to happen, Owners need to define and stress the problem they are trying to solve. In doing so, they need to clearly demonstrate the objectives and performance metrics to be achieved, rather than trying to spell out their version of the solution.

Allowing industry to work the problem, allows and applies innovation. And to the project and program manager coming to the rescue as an incubator, I could not agree more. Understanding the full life cycle, and all of its systems, is best understood by one assigned PM with overview responsibilities….it entails getting the best out of technical resources and connecting their profession to often times non-technical senior stakeholders.

This post was written in response to Project management: The incubator for acquisition reform in Federal Times.


Leigh Valudes

Leigh Valudes leads the Solutions Division, which focuses on Markon’s core competencies—Facilities, Acquisition, Finance, and Security. He is responsible for quality control, branded solutions, and Markon University. During his 19-year consulting experience, Mr. Valudes developed expertise in strategic planning, mission analysis, requirements programming, facilities project management, design and construction management, business operations, and strategic marketing. For most of his career, Mr. Valudes has been embedded directly with the client at secure government sites, providing owner representative services to agencies such as DoD, DIA, ODNI, NRO, DHS, FBI, and GSA. He has also supported commercial, state and local governments, and university clients. During his first five years with Markon, Mr. Valudes served as Program Manager for one of Markon’s largest contracts, the Intelligence Community Campus – Bethesda (ICC-B), leading an on-site 18-person program management team to redevelop the former National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Headquarters. Before joining Markon, Mr. Valudes supported world-class programs such as the $5.5B Pentagon Renovation Program and the $4B DHS Headquarters Campus Program. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware majoring in both government and history and graduated from American University’s Washington National Semester Program with a focus on national and foreign policy. Mr. Valudes is a Project Management Institute (PMI)-certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and holds a LEED AP certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).