CONTRACT LIFE CYCLE•Contracts have a defined beginning and end. The contract life cycle defines these parameters. The contract life cycle is broken down into several contract phases. The phases during the total life cycle can generally be categorized as: •Pre-award•Contract award •Post-award •There is also consideration of special competencies required based on the requirement, contract type, and processes employed in the contract life cycle.
PRE-AWARD PHASEThe pre-award phase actually begins with acquisition planning. Planning is an essential preliminary component to successfully completing virtually any effort. Acquisition planning is a critical first step in the contract life cycle. Competencies such as conducting market research, selecting the proper contract type, formulating the acquisition strategy, and preparing requirements documents are all part of this phase.
AWARD PHASE•Once the planning is completed, the next phase involves all of the work that leads up to an awarded contract. Some acquisitions are very simple, others are exceedingly complex, and the majority fall somewhere in the middle. This phase includes evaluating proposals, conducting negotiations, and completing source selection.•The award phase is a transitional phase that goes from signing a contract to notifying unsuccessful vendors. The elements of the contract award phase include completing contract award, addressing any mistakes in proposals, debriefing of unsuccessful offers, and addressing any protests or litigation.
POST-AWARD PHASE•This involves all of the contract management functions known as “contract administration.” The contract administration functions will vary greatly depending on the complexity of the contract. However, the basic premise remains the same. Is the seller delivering what the contract requires? The post-award phase includes the necessary contract administration activities in order to ensure performance and bring the contract to a successful conclusion. This includes executing contract modifications, addressing any issues arising during contract performance, and (upon completion of performance, invoicing, and payment) closing out the contract.
PRE-AWARD•The pre-award contract management competencies cover a variety of areas that impact contract management. A fundamental understanding of these areas is important before awarding and managing contracts, which is why they are in the “pre-award” category. The pre-award competencies cover eight topics that must be fundamentally understood before the contract management process begins. These competencies are relevant throughout the entire contract management life cycle and influence decision making.
PRE-AWARD - CONTINUED1.Laws and Regulations2.Contract Principles13.Standards of Conduct14.Socioeconomic Programs5.Contract Types6.Contracting Methods7.Contract Financing8.Intellectual Property