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October 24, 2016

By John Knox | Harkcon's Senior Program Manager

There are many resources available on this topic with the gold standard being PMI’s Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, Fifth Edition, better known as the PMBOK® Guide. 

The PMBOK® Guide makes direct reference to five Project Management Process Groups:

  • Initiating Process Group

  • Planning Process Group

  • Executing Process Group

  • Monitoring and Controlling Process Group

  • Closing Process Group

These Process Groups are sequential, but also overlap in time.  The majority of time on a typical project is spent in the Planning Process Group and the Executing Process Group.  In fact, according to the PMBOK® Guide, the Planning Process Group encompasses every single knowledge area and contains the most processes versus any other process group.   

So what does this mean?   Before you can effectively execute a successful project, you must first effectively plan the project. 


October 18, 2016

By John Rutherford | Harkcon's Facility Security Officer 

The first step to doing work for the Federal Government is to complete the necessary GSA registration and other basic administrative work. Once this is done, finding opportunities, submitting proposals, and winning government business is a much more defined path than winning business in the private sector. However, if a company is interested in doing cleared work with the Federal Government, it must complete another step and obtain a Department of Defense (DoD) Facility Clearance (FCL).  

Does a Small Business Need a FCL to Do Business with the Federal Government?

It is not necessary to have a FCL to do business with the Federal Government. However, a FCL is necessary for companies that would like to compete for contracts that require security clearances (i.e., Top Secret, Secret, Confidential clearances) in order to access and create classified information. The ability to do cleared work can open up access to a lot o...

October 12, 2016

By Kristin Ghanem | Harkcon's Contract Manager 

Contracts are the lifeblood of your company. They are how you earn money, predict future revenue, and create professional relationships. In all businesses, especially government contracting, it is important to have an organized and easy to understand system for maintaining contract documents that allows you to quickly find the information that you need.  Read below for three easy tips to create a system that works for you.

1. One Boss

It is likely that several people will need access to your company’s contract documents.  However, this does not mean that everyone should be in charge of organizing and maintaining your contract management system.  It should be one person’s job to organize contract folders and ensure contract documents and modifications are properly filed.  Having a contracts “boss” will create a consistent system that will ensure all documents are filed correctly and enable everyone to easily locate files.

2. C...

October 4, 2016

By Jen Emswiler | Harkcon’s Program Control Analyst

As our business began to grow we realized that we needed a more mature program control system for managing, monitoring, and controlling projects.  We started by assessing our current needs, as well as our future needs, and began our search. To our dismay we ran into several obstacles and found that many management systems:

  • Were too expensive – even the more affordable systems quickly became expensive when we needed to tailor the system to align with our contracts.

  • Couldn’t be customized the way we needed per contract type (FFP, T&M, contract size etc.).

  • Were too time consuming to manage – the systems became too complex to manage on a regular basis. Transitioning to the new systems would have been too time consuming and the training provided was far from comprehensive. 

  • Not user friendly – the systems we tried were not easy to use.

After extensive research, trial and error, implementing two new systems and still not...

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