Outcomes Matter More Than Ever in Services Contracting

The second habit of Steven Covey’s influential and long-lived book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, is “begin with the end in mind.” This is the fundamental tenet of outcome-oriented acquisition and its associated methodology, The Seven Steps to Performance-Based Acquisition.

Performance-based acquisition is central to defense and civilian agency initiatives to improve the outcomes of the 63 percent of federal procurement spending that goes to acquire services, some $283 billion of the $447 billion in procurement in fiscal 2014.

For example, the Seven Steps are the foundation of the new Defense Department instruction for services contracting, which accounted for 53 percent of fiscal 2015 defense procurement. Similarly, the new governmentwide category management effort is building performance-based acquisition into the operating instructions for the Professional Services category.

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