What can LinkNxtGen do for you?

LinkNxtGen is a hybrid resource management, project management and process and procedure management tool based on Industry best practices. LinkNxtGen captures detailed, self-reported information on the processes, procedures, tools, and deliverables that staff use to perform their work assignments. LinkNxtGen can also capture the time spent on those processes and procedures. LinkNxtGen offers companies insights into their organization and customers by: 1) Supporting all levels of the organization including strategic, mid-tier management, and operations; 2) Supporting continuous process improvement and recording all changes that occur within the system for future reference; and 3) Storing over 125 predefined, commonly used Technical Labor categories in its databases with definitions.

LinkNxtGen is available across multiple platforms (Apple OS, Android, desktop) and staff can use it anywhere and at anytime. LinkNxtGen offers a platform that can automate business processes and responses throughout the life cycle of any given project. Using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, LinkNxtGen allows management to have transparency into the full life cycle of their organization by standardizing critical processes.

Click HERE to learn more about LinkNxtGen!

Making it easier for Small Businesses to become Government Contractors

[Reprint from Medium.com]
Author: By Andrés Colón Perez & Alberto Colón-Viera

How rebuilding a maps app is bringing economic opportunity to disadvantaged areas
The USDS team at the Small Business Administration is excited to announce the public release of the modernized Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) map tool.

Small businesses are encouraged to participate in the HUBZone program to gain access to competitive and sole-source contracting, sub-contracting opportunities, and a 10% price evaluation preference in full and open contract competitions. The Federal Government has a goal of awarding 3% of all dollars for federal prime contracts to HUBZone certified small businesses. The goal of the small business certification program is to promote economic development and employment growth in distressed areas by providing access to more Federal contracting opportunities, and modernizing the HUBZone map tool is one step toward accomplishing that goal.

To qualify for the Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Program, a business must be headquartered in a HUBZone. Common examples include Native American Reservations and areas where unemployment has sharply increased. Additionally, 35% of the business’ employees must reside inside a HUBZone. Generally, companies don’t apply for the program unless they know they qualify, which makes an updated map central to the process. The previous map was no longer meeting user expectations, it was difficult to use and read, took months to update instead of days, and confused users with a language oriented towards policy, making it a hurdle for small business owners who may have otherwise applied for the program.

The recently launched HUBZone Map features significant improvements to usability and accessibility, including simplified language, intuitive searching capabilities, modernized mapping technology with the latest HUBZone regulation and designations changes, and support for mobile devices. These improvements will incentivize business owners to locate in economically distressed areas, correctly identify themselves as HUBZone employers, and have the ability to access additional federal contracting opportunities.

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DOD’s Section 809 panel proposes a revolution in contracting

[Reprint from Medium.com]
Author: Steve Kelman

An unlikely band of revolutionaries has proposed major changes in how the Department of Defense chooses what contractors to do business with. These change agents are members of the Section 809 panel on streamlining and codifying acquisition regulations, set up by Congress in 2016. They include a number of well-known names in the contracting world, several of whom I have known since myself serving as the administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy in the nineties.

That latter group includes David Drabkin, the committee chair (who worked on acquisition reform at DOD as a civil servant and later spent many years at GSA); retired Gen. Darryl Scott (maybe the best contracting professional I ever met — I wanted him to be my successor, but that was impossible while he was in uniform); Allan Burman (my predecessor); and Elliott Branch (head of contracting at the Navy).

The lead on the source selection portion of the report was Charlie Williams, who retired a few years ago as a senior DOD civil servant after a number of jobs including director of the Defense Contract Management Agency. This part of the report hasn’t been discussed much; for example it was unmentioned in FCW’s article on the issuance of the report.

The report has recommendations in many areas, and I would probably need at least five blog posts to discuss them all. I will concentrate here on the recommendations on how the government does source selection for DOD buying — the process of choosing to whom to give a contract. This currently is a resource-intensive activity for government, with RFPs, proposals, and proposal evaluation, as well as the possibility of bid protests on the government’s decision. It is also at the center of how contractors do their job in interacting with the government. Source selection is a big deal.

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Changing Workforce Demands Diversity and Flexibility

[Reprint from Medium.com]
Author: By Andrés Colón Perez & Alberto Colón-Viera

Today’s workforce is changing — not only with younger generations of employees but with all types of workers, especially contractors.

For author and consultant Alexandra Levit the changes are important. They are the major trends affecting the workplace of tomorrow.

She and Forbes analyst, brand strategist and TalentCulture chief executive officer Meghan M. Biro discussed why it’s a competitive advantage to have a flexible and systemized contract workforce.

“I get to work with people from all generations — from brand-new college grads to people in their 70s,” Biro said. “Age diversity definitely makes our workforce richer.
“We’re all going to have the opportunity to learn how to communicate with people who come from a different generation,” she said. “That’s a challenge, but honestly, it’s fun and keeps me young.”
Communication will make or break workforce relationships.

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Institutions vs. collaboration

[Reprint from Ted.com]
Author: Clay Shirky

In this prescient 2005 talk, Clay Shirky shows how closed groups and companies will give way to looser networks where small contributors have big roles and fluid cooperation replaces rigid planning.

How do groups get anything done? Right? How do you organize a group of individuals so that the output of the group is something coherent and of lasting value, instead of just being chaos? And the economic framing of that problem is called coordination costs. And a coordination cost is essentially all of the financial or institutional difficulties in arranging group output. And we’ve had a classic answer for coordination costs, which is, if you want to coordinate the work of a group of people, you start an institution, right? You raise some resources. You found something. It can be private or public. It can be for profit or not profit. It can be large or small. But you get these resources together. You found an institution, and you use the institution to coordinate the activities of the group.

View the Full Ted Talk video on TED.COM

Work matters. HRM would be easy, if it weren’t for the people.

[Reprint from Medium.com]
Author: John Cousins

Human Resource Management (HRM) refers to the functions in an organization that designs the jobs, recruits, hires, creates and administers the rules of employee conduct and the relationship between employer and employee, and manages termination through firing, severance, or retirement. HRM has become very sophisticated in the last several decades as a greater appreciation of the strategic importance of leveraging an organization’s talent pools has developed.

Designing jobs
What amount of tasks and responsibilities constitute a full time position? Like Goldilocks, the scope and requirements of a job need to be not too much and not too little work. In designing jobs and the requirements of a position, the challenge is to hit the sweet spot between full engagement and overload.

Designing jobs starts with an analysis of workflow and how products and services get made and are delivered, and the nature of the support services that are required. The tasks associated with a particular position are then delineated and a job description is developed. Skill sets are identified to fulfill the tasks and this information is then used to seek out qualified candidates and then to assess their performance once hired.

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Steve Jobs, Think Different (1997)

These were the kinds of people Steve Jobs was looking to hire; renegade talent that could think and act creatively and move things forward rapidly. He wasn’t afraid to hire smart people; smarter than him. Their challenging, probing questions, aptitude and attitude didn’t intimidate him. He knew that hiring mediocre talent would lead to a downward spiral.
When a company is small, it’s determined to hire only A players. But as the company grows, fear and politics set in. Some leaders fear that a new employee will be better at something than they are. They may even show them up or take their job. This fear leads to what Guy Kawasaki (who worked for Apple) refers to as the ‘Bozo Explosion’. The moment you hire a B player is the moment the ‘Bozo Explosion’ starts; the B player hires a C player, the C player hires D players, until one day you wake…and you are surrounded by bozos.
Hire the best. If possible, hire people who are better than you.

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