Original Question: You have now been through the class. What are your impressions of contracting and their role in the Acquisition process.
Assignment: Respond to the 3 students below. Responses should be a minimum of 150 words and include direct questions.
STUDENT 1: Anthony
First of all, I would like to congratulate everyone on completing the course. Now that I am done with this semester, I am only 4 classes away from completing my degree plan. It will be pretty nice to come home after work and just play with my kids rather than juggling classes and homework assignments. As far as this semester goes, I will say that this course was my favorite. Turns out Program Appraisal (the other class I was taking) was not exactly what I thought it was going to be. Plus I thought that the work load for this class was a better arrangement. Even though there was more work to be completed in this class, it was more evenly spread out and applicable to the degree plan.
As far as the course content, I would say that contracting is an incredibly important piece to the government contracting process. If contracting is not executed effectively, you can leave a program exposed to some serious flaws and limiting factors. However, one thing that is becoming more and more evident to me is that contracting errors and problems can be eliminated or curbed by efficient execution and monitoring by the federal government. If the government does its job and works to ensure that the government gets exactly what it is paying for, then many of the issues that might occur during the contracting process can be avoided.
At any rate, congrats to everyone and I wish you all the best in your future educational goals.
STUDENT 2: Kevin
Good morning class. This eight weeks has flown by, at least for me. I have retired from the Marine Corps, moved to Florida, started my new civilian job, and been taking two classes. It has been exhausting but the good news is that after this week, I am down to just 4 classes left! I have thoroughly enjoyed this course and the interaction with classmates during our forums. It has made a difference in the learning and knowledge gained.
My impression of contracting in acquisitions is based on what I have learned both in my courses and my limited experience while in uniform. I see acquisitions as the overarching process of bringing two or more companies together with a mindset of gaining the goods, services, etc that are needed to accomplish the mission. The contract is the vehicle in which these goods, services, etc are delivered. So my impression on contracting and their role in acquisitions is that contracts are a key element in order to accomplish the acquisition. They provide definitions and requirements for schedules, cost, performance, etc throughout the acquisition process.
I have been happy with the flow of this course. I think the abstracts are a great opportunity to explore more information and knowledge on contracting, acquisitions and various program initiatives. I was able to learn a lot from these assignments that I may not have learned otherwise. I am a fan of the PowerPoint as the final for two reasons: I am not a fan of writing 8-12 page dissertations and I have experience with PowerPoint.
Overall, great class! Best of luck to everyone as you continue on your journeys.
STUDENT 3: Michael
Contracting and acquisitions do not occur without each other. Acquisitions defines what is need and then contracting defines how the need will be fulfilled. I just secured an internship in the acquisitions department at a federal entity, near Washington D.C. I am interested in implementing all that I am learning into practice. Having practical application will clarify some of the theory which we learn through coursework. The Acquisitions Department incorporates their contracting teams subordinate to the department head, who is also the department’s Head of Contracting Activity. They separate them into functions and then expand from there. The information I learned in this class certainly will be helpful.
This was an incredible course, and I would change nothing. I enjoyed the shift from papers onto abstracts, and from a final paper to a PowerPoint presentation. I feel as if stripped the information down to the meat and potatoes, which makes it easier for me to retain. The content and course structure were designed in a way to encourage two-way communication, with a focus that remained on topic. I appreciate that distance learning creates a collective input where everyone can teach and learn from each other. Professor you have been a great coach and facilitator. Porter, again, I appreciate all of the challenging questions and thought processes incited by you. The rest of the class you all have been great presenting different perspectives on a multitude of issues. I look forward to working with and communicating with you, in future coursework. I am sure we will all end up in classes together again.