Original Date: 07/08/2002
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Government Program Office/Contractor Co-location
In the mid-1990s, the Directorate for Missiles and Surface Launchers co-located with its prime contractor, the STANDARD Missile Company (now Raytheon). Representatives of both organizations operate in close proximity to each other and interact on a daily, if not hourly, basis. The co-location of the government program office and contractor has many benefits that directly lead to cost and schedule savings as well as an order of magnitude in the improvement of communication.
In the mid-1990s, the Directorate for Missiles and Surface Launchers (PEO TSC-M/L) co-located with its prime contractor, the STANDARD Missile Company (now Raytheon). Under this arrangement, the program management and prime contractor staffs share office space on the same floor of an Arlington, Virginia office building. In addition, PEO TSC-M/L has a small number of staff located at Raytheon’s facility in Tucson, Arizona. This arrangement is unique for programs under PEO TSC.
Representatives of both organizations operate in close proximity to each other and interact on a daily, if not hourly, basis. An example of this integration is a daily 7:30 a.m. meeting of senior program management staff and contractor personnel. This meeting sets the tone and priorities for the day ahead. When required, provisions are made for government- or contractor-only meetings. Both organizations share conference rooms and office equipment. Several examples of the benefits of co-location include improved communication between PEO TSC- M/L and Raytheon staff; PEO TSC-M/L has faster access to contractor personnel, which results in faster answers to questions and resolution of critical issues; reduction in trips taken by PEO TSC-M/L staff to Raytheon’s facility in Tucson (in general, travel has reduced from once a week, to once every several weeks, to once a month; since a work day is effectively lost traveling each way, there is a possible four-fold reduction in the PEO TSC-M/L staff travel time); and Raytheon representatives in Arlington sit in a dedicated Raytheon facility and have access to proprietary data that can be securely transferred directly to PEO TSC-M/L personnel if required, without concerns about sending proprietary data over non-secure systems such as e-mail. Many other benefits have been realized from co-location that PEO TSC-M/L has just begun to quantify.
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