4.6.2 Early Industry Involvement: Industrial Capabilities
An Industrial Capabilities Review is a powerful tool available to PMs for
determining general industrial capabilities. To avoid potential problems in
the subsequent competitive process and to ensure that a “level playing field”
is maintained, an announcement in the Federal Business Opportunities
(FedBizOpps) should be made to inform all potential offerors that the
Government plans to conduct an Industrial Capabilities Review and to request
responses from all interested parties. Below is a general approach that PMOs
may find readily adaptable to any type of capability review. The basic steps
in the process are to:
- Obtain the Source Selection Authority’s approval to conduct the
- Establish the criteria for the capability.
- Identify the potential contractors who will participate in the
- Provide an advance copy of the review material to those
- Select the review team, ensuring that it has the necessary mix of
- Train the team on the purpose of the review and review criteria.
- Conduct the review and evaluate the results.
- Provide feedback to each contractor on the results of their review and
- Provide the results to the PM.
This review is an appraisal of general industrial capabilities and supports
identifying potential program risks and best practices rather than evaluating
Regardless of the approach, the PMO should determine what specific
information is needed. DoD 4245.7-M is a good guide to help tailor a set of
questions for the contractors. The questions generally focus on two areas
consistent with protection of contractor proprietary information.
- What is the state-of-the-art of the technology proposed for use in the
- What are the general developmental/manufacturing capabilities of the
potential contractors (including experience, tools, processes, etc.) as
compared to industry best practices?
4-2 shows some of the specific areas or sources for risk identification.
It includes a number of areas (threat, requirements, design, etc.) that have
been shown through experience to contain risk events that tend to be more
critical than others, and which ones should receive the most management
attention. Risk events are determined by examining WBS element product and
processes in terms of risk areas. Process areas are specifically addressed in
DoD 4245.7M. They are general in that areas of risk could be present in any
program from either source (WBS or process). They are intended as a list of
“top-level” risk sources that will focus attention on a specific area. The PMO
and contractor(s) will have to examine lower levels to understand the actual
risks that are present in their program and to develop an effective management
plan. The risks shown are not intended to serve as a simple checklist that one
should apply directly, then consider the program risk-free if none of the
listed risks are present.
An examination of the program in these areas can help to develop the final
program acquisition strategy and the risk-sharing structure between the
Government and industry. The PMO can also use the results to adjust the RFP
for the next phase of the program.