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Industry official: If the baby is ugly, say so

Don't count on the government to build government/industry trust all by itself, said Trey Hodgkins, vice president of national security and procurement policy at TechAmerca.

"Industry has to change its behavior also to build the trust that’s being discussed,” Hodgkins said. “Industry has to be able to tell the government customer, ‘you’re off on the wrong foot, your baby is ugly.’”

 Hodgkins was serving as a panelist at an event hosted March 1 by the Association of Management Consulting Firms.

The discussion continued an ongoing theme of building those relationships.

Posted by Alyah Khan on Mar 01, 2011 at 12:11 PM

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Reader comments

Thu, Mar 3, 2011 SPMayor Summit Point, WV

Trey's comments deserve more consideration than they are being given. I am not naive enough to think that big P and little p politics don't exist, but I do think they play less of a role than is being asserted by OhPlease. I think more commonly the observations shared by contractors are seen as self-seving - the presumption being that if it's not their baby then it will always look ugly. Contractors need to do a better job of simply communicating the reasons why a Government requirement is incomplete or imperfect.Simple means without all the contractor specific jargon that represents their 'brand'or solution. Sometimes its more a question of who is doing the communicating. If a contractor's representatives come across regardless of their dress, degrees or 'polish' as purveyors of used cars then I can assure you the message is perceived, received and conceived as being nothing but a hustle. Alternatively, Government needs to do a better job of listening. While Government managers and staff may think their mission or program is sacrosanct and no one but them can understand it as well as they do, the issues most commonly being faced are similar to those being faced by many other programs.

Wed, Mar 2, 2011 OhPlease

I love talk like this! Not! The average GSer has absolutely no interest in listening to industry and they do not reward contractors that tell it like it is. They want to hear whatever supports their political agendas (small p). That is why all the mid level GSers are running into trouble with the Administration's 'disruptive' IT agenda. Status Quo vs. Must Go. And contractors get stuck in the middle... again.

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