Metrics tracking metrics

A managed services contract is only as good as the metrics it's based on. Metrics must accurately gauge contractor performance. The measures also must reflect the value of the services to the agency's mission.

Officials from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) will be working closely with EDS officials to set, measure and modify the performance metrics for the technical solutions and systems that are included in the five-year contract, said Don Scott, senior vice president for EDS Government Solutions.

"The partnership will adjust those metrics because both parties will learn as we go along whether they're set too high or too low," he said. "We certainly learned that" on the Navy Marine Corps Intranet contract, which the company also leads.

Metrics can be devised to evaluate whether performance metrics are focusing on the right issues and measurements, said Scott Bessette, EDS' Justice Department client executive.

The ATF contract is designed to emphasize how the information technology supports the agency's mission, something that is an important example for other agencies that are struggling to make that link, said Chip Mather, senior vice president of Acquisition Solutions Inc., a consulting company that helped the agency develop its solicitation and will continue to serve during management of the contract.

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