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Agile Procurement Playbook

A guide on how to apply the principles of agile to procurement.

Appendix C: Templates

Quality Metric Plan Template

QUALITY MANAGEMENT PLAN (QMP)

Introduction

This Quality Management Plan (QMP), which contains a Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan (QASP) and Quality Control Plan (QCP), is pursuant to the requirements listed in the performance-based [Performance Work Statement (PWS) or Statement of Objectives (SOO)] for [program that the procurement is being ran against], agile development services. This performance-based plan sets forth the procedures and guidelines the [agency name] will use in evaluating the technical performance of the Contractor’s services as required beneath the Task Order.

After acceptance of the quality management plan the Vendor shall receive the Government Contracting Officer’s acceptance in writing of any proposed change to his Quality Control system.

Purpose

This QMP has been developed to evaluate Vendor actions while implementing this [PWS or SOO]. It’s designed to provide an effective surveillance method of monitoring Vendor performance for each listed deliverable. By employing a fully developed QMP, the Government and the Vendor achieve an understanding of performance expectations and how performance will be measured against those expectations.

The QMP is designed to define roles and responsibilities, identify the performance objectives, define the methodologies used to monitor and evaluate the Contractor’s performance, describe quality assurance reporting, and describe analysis of quality assurance monitoring results.

The goals for the quality management plan are to provide the best means to ensure contract standards and deliverables meet their stated requirements and project management processes are appropriately followed to maintain a high metric of performance and quality.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Contracting Officer (CO) is responsible for monitoring contract compliance, contract administration and cost control, and resolving any differences between the observations documented by the Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) and the Contractor’s performance.

The CO will designate one full-time COR as the Government authority for performance management. The number of additional representatives serving as Technical Inspectors, such as respective Product Owner(s), depends upon the complexity of the services measured as well as the Contractor’s performance.

The COR is responsible for monitoring, assessing, and communicating the technical performance of the Contractor and assisting the Contractor. The COR will have the responsibility for documenting the inspection and evaluation of the Contractor’s work performance. Government surveillance may occur under the Inspection of Services clause for any services relating to the contract.

Performance Management Approach

The performance-based [PWS or SOO] structures the acquisition around “what” services are required as opposed to “how” the Contractor should perform the work. This QMP will define the performance management approach taken by the [agency name] to monitor, manage, and take appropriate action on the Contractor’s performance against expected outcomes or performance objectives communicated in the [PWS or SOO]. Performance management rests upon developing a capability to review and analyze information generated through performance metrics. The ability to make decisions based on the analysis of performance data is the cornerstone of performance management. The data generated in a performance management approach provides information that indicates whether or not expected outcomes for required services are being achieved adequately by the Contractor.

Performance management also represents a significant shift from the more traditional Quality Assurance (QA) concepts in several ways. Performance management focuses on assessing whether or not outcomes are being achieved and migrates away from scrutiny on compliance with the processes and practices used to achieve the outcome. The only exceptions to process reviews are those required by law (federal, state, and local) and compelling business situations such as safety and health. An outcome focus provides the Contractor flexibility to continuously improves and innovate over the course of the contract as long as the critical outcomes expected are being achieved at the desired levels of performance.

Performance Management Strategy

The Contractor’s internal quality control system will set forth the staffing and procedures for self-inspecting the quality, timeliness, responsiveness, customer satisfaction, and other performance requirements in the PWS. The Contractor will utilize its internal quality control system to assess and report their performance to the designated Government representative.

The Government representative will monitor performance and review performance reports furnished by the Contractor to determine how the Contractor is performing against communicated performance objectives. The Government will make decisions based on performance measurement metric data and notify the Contractor of those decisions. The Contractor will be responsible for making required changes in processes and practices to ensure performance is managed effectively.

Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan

The Vendor shall develop and maintain effective quality assurance metrics to ensure services are performed in accordance with this Task Order and include the Quality Assurance metrics either within the Quality Metrics Table or as an attachment to this QMP with their quote. The focus of quality assurance is on the processes used to deliver. Quality assurance ensures that processes are used effectively to produce quality project deliverables. It involves following and meeting standards, continuously improving project work, and correcting project defects.

Quality Control Plan

The Vendor shall develop and maintain effective quality control metrics to ensure services are performed in accordance with this Task Order and include the Quality Control metrics either within the Quality Metrics Table or as an attachment to this QMP with their quote. The Vendor shall develop and implement procedures to identify, prevent, and ensure non-recurrence of defective services. The Vendor’s Quality Control Plan is the means by which the Vendor assures that their work complies with the requirement of the contract.

The focus of quality control is on the deliverables of the project. Quality control monitors project deliverables to verify that the deliverables are of acceptable quality and the customer is satisfied.

Evaluation Methods

The methods of evaluating Vendor compliance may vary depending on the PWS. The COR is responsible for selection of the method(s) to be used and the specific detailing of the method(s). The following describes alternative methods of observation:

100 Percent Evaluation

This is the appropriate method of evaluating infrequent tasks or tasks with stringent performance requirements — for example, where safety or health is a concern. With this method, performance is inspected/evaluated at each occurrence. One hundred percent inspection is too expensive to be used in most cases.

Random Review

This is an appropriate method of surveillance for recurring tasks. Random sampling works best when the number of instances of the services being performed is very large and a statistically valid sample can be obtained.

Customer or Other Government Feedback

Customer feedback can come from interaction with the general public or through interaction with Government employees and other Government Offices/Agencies. Although usually not a primary method, this is a valuable supplement to more systematic methods. For example, in a case where random sampling indicates unsatisfactory service, customer complaints can be used as substantiating evidence. In certain situations where customers can be relied upon to complain consistently when the quality of performance is poor (for example, dining facilities, building services), customer surveys and customer complaints may be a primary surveillance method.

PERFORMANCE CRITERIA

Acceptable Performance

Acceptable performance meets the specified standard and doesn’t exceed the allowable deviation. The Government may conduct trend analysis of surveillance results to increase or decrease the level of surveillance for specific requirements.

Unacceptable Performance

Unacceptable performance doesn’t meet the specified standard and exceeds the allowable deviation/acceptable quality level. The Contractor may receive deductions or even termination based on failure to perform/deliver at the acceptable quality level. The following criteria apply for determining appropriate action:

  1. Notifications. Consistent with FAR Part 49, the CO shall notify the Service Provider of failure to meet standards through quality performance monitoring forms, cure notices, or show cause notices and shall inform the Service Provider Project Manager or designated alternate of such notices.

  2. Deductions. The Government has the right to withhold a percentage or value of payment of the iteration cost for performing particular services based on failure to meet performance standards/metrics. The percentage or value of such withholdings is identified in the Quality Measures/Metrics Table.

  3. Termination. If the CO determines that the Contractor has failed to perform to the extent that a termination for default is justified, the CO shall issue a notice of termination, consistent with FAR Part 49.

  4. Government Remedies. “The Government Contracting Officer shall follow FAR 52.212-4, “Contract Terms and Conditions-Commercial Items” for Vendor’s failure to perform satisfactory services or failure to correct non-conforming services.”

Performance Criteria Quality Measures/Metrics

QUALITY MEASURES/METRICS TABLE

Process / Deliverable Delivery / Performance Standards Allowable Deviation / Acceptable Quality Level Method of Assessment Date / Schedule Iteration Payment Impact
Instructions: Indicate Tasks from SOO. Please add any additional tasks, as needed. Instructions: Indicate expectations or standards. Instructions: Indicate “none” if there’s no allowable deviation or, for example, “100% of calendar arrangements are correctly processed within 6 days” or “2-day slippage allowance from due date.” Instructions: Indicate how often this task will be reviewed, for example, “Random review,” “100% review,” or “Quarterly review.” Instructions: Indicate when the task is due with a specific date or, for example, “Ongoing,” “daily,” or “quarterly.” Instructions: Indicate what the associated impact to payment of iteration is or if not applicable.

18F has a great example of a Quality Metrics Table that includes a QASP.