The Business of Government Hour

 

About the show

The Business of Government Hour features a conversation about management with a government executive who is changing the way government does business. The executives discuss their careers and the management challenges facing their organizations. Past government executives include Administrators, Chief Financial Officers, Chief Information Officers, Chief Operating Officers, Commissioners, Controllers, Directors, and Undersecretaries.

The interviews

Join the IBM Center for a weekly conversation about management with a government executive who is changing the way government does business.

Mark E. Krzysko interview

Friday, August 13th, 2004 - 20:00
Phrase: 
"E-business is about delivering technological solutions to our people to support the war fighter."
Radio show date: 
Sat, 08/14/2004
Guest: 
Intro text: 
Contracting ...

Contracting

Complete transcript: 

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Arlington, Virginia

Mr. Lawrence: Good morning, and welcome to The Business of Government Hour. I'm Paul Lawrence, partner in charge of the IBM Center for The Business of Government. We created The Center in 1998 to encourage discussion and research into new approach to improving government effectiveness. You can find out more about The Center by visiting us on the web at businessofgovernment.org.

The Business of Government Hour features a conversation about management with a government executive who is changing the way government does business. Our conversation this morning is with Mark Krzysko, the Deputy Director of Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy e-Business in the Office of Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics.

Good morning, Mark.

Mr. Krzysko: Good morning.

Mr. Lawrence: And joining us in our conversation, also from IBM, is Linda Marshall.

Good morning, Linda.

Ms. Marshall: Good morning.

Mr. Lawrence: Well, Mark, let's start by getting right to it. Could you tell us about the modernization of DoD's acquisition process?

Mr. Krzysko: Yes, I will. What I'd like to talk about is over the past several years, we've been moving forward and modernizing the acquisition business process. Last year, we took a major step within the Department of modernizing the acquisition process, and that is the 5,000 processes we call it there. This year, we're working on the defense acquisition regulation and attempting to streamline our regulations to make it easier for people to do business. That modernization is to remove a lot of the regulatory aspects of what we're trying to do so we can become more commercialized in the way we do business as a department.

Now, certainly, we can't be perfectly commercial as an entity because we are a federal government and have rules and regulations. But to ease that pain and move forward in the regulations through those two major initiatives, as well as other initiatives, that principally being what I have to do is work with the business modernization program on how we would reengineer the business process for the acquisition community, and that, too, is also another significant effort.

Mr. Lawrence: How do you ensure that what you're doing is supporting the war fighter?

Mr. Krzysko: I believe we begin and end always with the war fighter, because it's not about the business process; it's how we improve the business process and support the war fighter. Quite simply, it's getting goods and services to the war fighter in the field, and that's what our role is. We do that within the Department of Defense and we try to measure that in our goals of being sure that we meet the role of the war fighter, because in purchasing goods and services, it's the significant aspect of what we do.

Ms. Marshall: Mark, to give our listeners a sense of the magnitude of business that flows through DoD, could you tell us the amount of contracts awarded daily, monthly, annually by DoD?

Mr. Krzysko: I pulled to metrics, one from '02 and one for '03 in the fiscal year. In '02, we awarded 5.4 million actions that account for almost $180 billion worth of business. In '03, we had 5.9 million transactions for almost $220 billion. I did the math with that, and that's about 15,000 transactions daily, amounting to almost $500 million a day.

Mr. Lawrence: Is there an equivalent that people could think about in another sector in terms of the magnitude of those transactions?

Mr. Krzysko: I have not been able to find the one that can amass that amount of transactions. When we look across the federal government, the Department of Defense accounts for about 60 percent of the business either in transactions or in dollars.

Ms. Marshall: Can you describe the kinds of skill sets of the people that work for the Office of Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy?

Mr. Krzysko: I'd like to answer that two ways: one within the Department and one within my directorate, as well as what we do within the acquisition community, because if you look at the acquisition community as a whole, we span the gamut, everything from systems engineering and engineers, logistics, contracting, financial management to the broad skill set even with the e-Business Directorate, which are principally programmatic skills, acquisition management skills, contracting skills. In the e Business Directorate we also had the other aspect of that. It's information technology and what that means to us. So it's connecting all the business process with information technology skill sets for us to move forward.

Ms. Marshall: What is your role as the Deputy Director of Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy in e Business?

Mr. Krzysko: My role, as I see it, is to, one, lead and coordinate the services and components with leading the transformation to e-business, because it is about delivering technological solutions to our people, men and women and the field, that support the war fighter. The Army, Navy, Air Force, and the other components do the purchasing for the Department, but they need to find a place to look for, in terms of business processes, what systems we need to employ, how we need to employ them. So we really have that leadership coordination role for the Department as it relates to the acquisition business process.

Ms. Marshall: Can you tell us about your career and the positions prior to your current position?

Mr. Krzysko: My career really came in two segments. I worked in the private industry for about 11 years. I worked in retail. I started at Woodward & Lothrop, the department store that's no longer here in the city, and then I moved to Lord & Taylor. I worked at everything from a dock supervisor through the store comptroller to the operations administrator at Woodies at Chevy Chase, and then I moved on to Lord & Taylor, where I was the assistant managing director, and I was responsible for all the operations aspects of that as well as human resources.

I decided I wanted to move on with my career so I went back to school and I got a job with the government, and that job was with the Naval Air Systems Command, and I started again, my career, in my early 30s at the Naval Air Systems Command as a contracts specialist. I was a contracts specialist for the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Department, then I moved over where most of my career was, as an F18 PCO. I was the foreign military sales PCO for that, moving on to F14, finally leading a BPR effort as it related to partnering with industry before this job, and my position there was the e-commerce solutions manager. My role there was to bring ERP. We were implementing an ERP and standard procurement system together, so I functioned as the business process manager for that effort.

Mr. Lawrence: You began in the private sector and then were drawn to the public sector. I'm curious, what drew you there?

Mr. Krzysko: Well, at that time it was 1990, and, if you realize, that market was pretty flat for middle management, and it was very difficult in the private sector. I thought when I wanted to grow up I was going to be a consultant in fact, and IT was drawing me at that time but I needed to move on with my career, and Naval Air Systems Command offered me an opportunity and I decided I was going pursue graduate school at the same time, so I landed a job in the public sector, didn't think I'd stay here, but loved it ever since.

Mr. Lawrence: Is there any particular experience that best prepared you for your present position?

Mr. Krzysko: I thought about that question for a while when I my answer is every one of them did, because I wouldn't be able to represent myself cross-functionally if I wasn't in a function involved in the Naval Air Systems Command. I wouldn't be able to understand finances and logistics as I did if I didn't work in an operation as a dock supervisor in receipt and acceptance, and I wouldn't understand the business process for reengineering if I didn't lead those efforts. So, bringing them all together I think has lead to the culmination of the skill set I have today, and I think it's important that if I didn't have that I wouldn't be able to function as well in this environment.

Mr. Lawrence: Leaders often have this moment in their careers where they move from being the doers of work to watching over people who do the work. I'm wondering about that point in your career and how you think about that.

Mr. Krzysko: Well, in moving forward with my career, I still believe I am a doer, and I think leadership is a doing position because you can't just talk about it; you have to do it. And you have to operationalize what the vision and what transformation needs to occur, and you have to oversee that in some fashion. I take a lot of pride in empowering the staff and empowering the people that we work with to go make that transformation happen. So, it's not only oversight. You have to participate, because leadership is not a distant position.

Mr. Lawrence: You've been around some, I'm assuming, very strong leaders in your career, and I'm curious, what were the characteristics of good leadership?

Mr. Krzysko: I've had the mantra for quite a long time, "It's vision along with detail." And that's understanding the direction you want to go as well as understanding what you need to do to get there. So often the leaders that have been successful not only had the vision but had an operational background to go make that transformation happen. Detail without vision or vision without detail makes you unsuccessful at both.

Mr. Lawrence: I'm sure as part of vision, one of the key things probably left unspoken is the need to communicate the vision. I'm just curious how you communicate how you communicate your vision in a large organization.

Mr. Krzysko: Communicating a vision at a large organization is you communicate it at a local level as well. You have to participate and build alliances with the members of your community so as you move forward they can help you realize that vision. You have to it's, quite frankly, a lot of selling techniques to ensure what you're doing, because no vision is perfect and execution is always lacking, so as you move forward you have to adjust and be sure that you're pursuing that correct direction. And you do that through partnerships, both organizationally, internally, with industry so as you move forward that vision becomes more real, more crystal every day.

Mr. Lawrence: What's the difference between acquisition and procurement? We'll ask Mark Krzysko, the Department of Defense, when The Business of Government Hour continues.

(Intermission)

Mr. Lawrence: Welcome back to The Business of Government Hour. I'm Paul Lawrence, and this morning's conversation is with Mark Krzysko. Mark is the Deputy Director of Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy e Business in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition Technology and Logistics.

And joining us in our conversation is Linda Marshall.

Well, Mark, let's define some commonly used terms in the defense acquisition and procurement workplace for our listener. How would you differentiate "acquisition" from "procurement"?

Mr. Krzysko: That's a great question, and I think oftentimes we use those terms synonymously. In some cases we can; in some cases we can't.

Acquisition, the way we think of it in the Department of Defense, is a much broader construct for us to deal with. It deals with everything from buying major weapons systems, from concept to development, to the delivery of the systems, to sustaining it, all the way through disposal.

Procurement is a subset of that process. The interesting aspect of that is that at any given point of that process, whether you're in concept development, delivery, or sustainment, you're utilizing procurement to realize what you're trying to acquire, so procurement is much more the transactional, the contractual base where acquisition is a much deeper concept for everything from science and technology to systems engineering all the way through the disposal of those systems in the workplace.

Ms. Marshall: What is meant by the acquisition domain, Mark, and can you tell us about its current transition in the future?

Mr. Krzysko: Well, before I tell you what the acquisition domain is, let me tell you where the acquisition domain fits. The acquisition domain is one fit in the business management modernization program. We have other domains human resources, installation environment, strategic planning and budgeting, logistics, and accounting and finance as well as acquisition. This represents the leadership of those business process owners within the Department to realize the enterprise architecture of what we're trying to achieve. The acquisition domain is a subset of that, but a huge subset nonetheless. It is intended to govern the acquisition enterprise both the systems, the process, the technologies at an enterprise level. It's to enable data interoperability at the Department to realize a data structure for the Department of Defense for the acquisition domain.

Our goals are also to modernize and streamline the acquisition business process, manage our IT portfolio, and build a collaboration workspace for us to move from. And that's not only with us in the Department of Defense but that's at a federal level as well as our industry partners.

And finally, but certainly not least, what it does is that it represents the change management component of how does it touch our people, because with the institution of technology in business process reengineering, what will we do to affect our people and how will we train them in the future and what skill set will we need.

Ms. Marshall: Can you discuss the operating environment and the influences that impact the acquisition domain?

Mr. Krzysko: The operating environment is extremely complex. What we've tried to do, and I'll borrow a common phrase used around here, is connect the dots. The operating is very complex because we have everything from the President's management agenda to the Secretary of Defense's initiative to the business modernization program, balance score card; we have GAO audits. We decided, through our acquisition domain, that many of these things had an awful lot in common and how could we realize the synergy from all of our operating environment to realize what we were trying to achieve a simpler, less redundant IT infrastructure supporting the Acquisition Department. So, what we were doing was bringing this together, and we've aligned all the major initiatives within the federal government as well as the Department, in our view, from the acquisition community, so we could grapple with each one of them or report as efficiently as we possibly could to each one of them.

Ms. Marshall: The Acquisition Governance Board is an important component of what you do and work with. Can you describe the role of the Acquisition Governance Board?

Mr. Krzysko: The Acquisition Governance Board is a critical aspect of what we have been trying to achieve. It is comprised we began this about a year ago, and we began with the senior procurement executives from all the services and components. This past few months, we've changed that to move to the broader acquisition and involved all the component acquisition executives so we can tackle procurement as well as acquisition. We realized we were part of a major community. It is a collaborative body where we have the most senior leaders of the Department of Defense represented and working to establish the strategic vision for us as a department to move forward. It was important for us to have that collaboration environment not only dictate from above but realize where we could have opportunities to move forward.

The Governance Board is really at two levels the AGB, or the Acquisition Governance Board as we call it, is the most senior level, and then we take the next tier down, which we affectionately call the JBOB, the Joint Acquisition Business Oversight Board, one tier down from the senior leaders to make things happen.

We're not naive to believe that we live in a stovepipe in the acquisition community, so we've also invited and we have participated in the CIO, the CFO, as well as other components as necessary to help support our decision making as we try to move forward with the transformation.

Mr. Lawrence: You've described the governance structure that allows you to work with other parts of the organization, but let me ask you more about the management process. How do you go about collaborating with the folks like the CFO and the CIO?

Mr. Krzysko: We participate with the CFO, the CIO in their forums, as well as inviting them to our forums. I use the technical term of "managing in the middle," because you have to move to the middle of many of these initiatives because they are either technological or they're financial or they're acquisition so you have to bring the bodies together. Frankly, it's about putting yourself in that space to participate, to represent yourself and represent the interests of the Department and your business line as you move forward. If you could do that, you could find the correct balance between financial goals, technical goals, as well as acquisition goals to come out with a workable solution that you can implement very quickly.

Mr. Lawrence: What are some best practices or some lessons learned from actually going about and making that work?

Mr. Krzysko: Participate, participate, participate. It takes a lot of time, it takes a lot of energy to move forward in that. We moved out our business lane into many of those lanes whether it be in CFO forums or CIO forums or logistics forums to help and assist and bring our value from our side and bring our perspective so we could maintain a balance across the Department. Personally, I view that as one of the most critical aspects for success for any initiative. Oftentimes we forget what we need to go do when we become so focused on solutions that without that balance they fall short in many aspects because we failed to consider some of the important things that need to be considered from other viewpoints.

Mr. Lawrence: What are some of the other management challenges in trying to make the collaboration you described work?

Mr. Krzysko: It becomes a function of time. We have a very small staff within the Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy e-Business Group, and they're very hard worked and participating in all those forums. Very early on when we were first standing up the office about a year and a half ago, we listed all the actions and forums and things we needed to participate in, and we listed eight, and the first challenge was what do we take off our plate, what do we go do? And the answer was "nothing," because everything was critically important, and my staff have been critically important in moving forward in each one of those lanes because as best we could you need to participate to make the difference, and we linked that back to it is important for us to execute our jobs in the most reasonable fashion, because we are trying to make a difference and transform the acquisition procurement community, because it is so critical to supporting the war fighter. We see that on the news every day, so that is a backdrop. It becomes our mantra to move forward.

Mr. Lawrence: Are the knowledge and skills of the employees changing? For example, as you're describing the collaboration, you're going through, I imagine sitting in my silo only having to be a specialist in my area. Now at any one moment I'm working with the CIO and the CFO and I'm going to have know a much broader range of information and, you know, capabilities. I'm curious, sir, are the employees changing the way I'm describing?

Mr. Krzysko: Certainly on our team, I think we have. I think we need to permeate that throughout the organization as we move to a more enterprise view of business processes. You have to be sensitive to financial opinions. You have to be sensitive to technological opinions. We get criticized a lot because sometimes we go in too far into those lanes and speak different languages from an IT perspective or from a CFO perspective, but you have to understand that to understand the trades and the points of view of others. And it's critically important that those skill sets are there. With the staff it is difficult for them because we joke, we find few people in those lanes, and they work through that. The come from it from a program management or a contracting background or an acquisition background. They really need to kluge all those skills together and understand the disciplines and why people are so concerned about business processes from their perspective. Bringing all them together is a difficult task, and it represents actually a promise for many of the employees because they love the dynamic because it's a continual learning environment and they can try to make a difference and learn more while they go.

Mr. Lawrence: That's very interesting, especially about the collaboration.

One of the biggest management challenges of any organization is dealing with the functional silos that exist. How are those being addressed in DoD? We'll ask Mark Krzysko for his perspective when The Business of Government Hour continues.

(Intermission)

Mr. Lawrence: Welcome back to The Business of Government Hour. I'm Paul Lawrence, and this morning's conversation is with Mark Krzysko. Mark is the Deputy Director of Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy e Business in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition Technology and Logistics.

And joining us in our conversation is Linda Marshall.

Ms. Marshall: Mark, can you describe the process of developing a solution that was started within the Defense Department and then transferred to the civilian sector?

Mr. Krzysko: We've had a lot of solutions that have been transferred to the civilian sector, and it's principally under the integrated acquisition environment in the lane of procurement. A few of them that come to mind are the Central Contract Registry, CCR; the Past Performance System. We've also had FEDTEDS move up to a federal to provide services to that environment. Mark Foreman, when he was here, initiated the Quick Silver to try to find the low hanging fruit of initiatives that we could deploy federallywide. The Department had a few of them, and we were able to elevate them up and work them in the integrated acquisition environment.

Ms. Marshall: Is the federal technical data solution, commonly called FEDTEDS, a good example of this? You mentioned that.

Mr. Krzysko: Yes, FEDTEDS is a great example of that. FEDTEDS was developed out of the Air Force out of the Logistics Center. We found post-9/11 that the solution when we would put solicitations out on the street for bid, that information that we were putting out on the web was sensitive but not unclassified. We would have drawings of the Hoover Dam. We would have drawings of security systems that we wanted industry to provide solutions for. And we realized all of a sudden it was on an protected environment. Very quickly in the Department, what we initiated was to move that forward to protect that information, to control who and when they received that so we would understand who was getting that level of information on security.

The Department of Homeland Security was the first to pickup on this, and they tremendously led the effort in deploying it within the Department of Homeland Security. Since then, we've also extended that all the way through local governments in terms of New York City is employing that solution set. So, there we found a solution that was very small and very home-grown within the Department at the Air Force that could fill a capability gap within the procurement community very quickly and deploy nationally, and we're working on implementing that throughout the federal government now.

Mr. Lawrence: I understand the Department wants to organize the strategic acquisition at enterprise level and not a single system or component. Could you explain to our listeners what you mean by the enterprise level and why this is important?

Mr. Krzysko: Well, I think we need to recognize first that an enterprise level, what that really means, because in many cases in procurement it's what we spend our money on. We talked earlier about the magnitude of the money, and we have a tremendous amount of people that want insight as to what we spend our money on whether it's transparency for the citizen, whether it's transparency for the management of that, whether it's for the oversight communities to understand how and where we spend the money. It's critical information for the individual to understand where they're buying and what they are buying.

I have two good examples at an enterprise level that I think will crystallize this. One is we've initiated a spend analysis pilot within the Department of Defense. Based upon existing infrastructure, we're going to pilot the capability of pulling enterprise spend data from systems that are currently in place. The Army has the lead for us. The Air Force and the Navy are partnering on that to move forward and pull spend data.

Another initiative comes out of the federal solution side, out of the integrated acquisition environment. It's the federal procurement data system next generation. We are required to report all our contractual data to a system. In the past we would report it to the first generation FBDS, but this directly would move all of our business systems at an enterprise level so that a federal level we would understand who and what is spending their money on, and it would all be located in one system. It's critically important for us in the Department to do that. It's important for us in the federal sector to do that. But it's difficult to manage the transition because the technical infrastructure in the systems supporting those. When you establish single points, you have to actively manage the transition to those systems, and it's important for us to remember that it is not easy.

Ms. Marshall: What processes do you have to eliminate silos of information that may have existed, and also how does the department manager cross these processes or systems?

Mr. Krzysko: Well, silos of information we generally find that they come based upon the solutions and the technical infrastructure that's out there. We've created them because of our technological implementations. I really have a three-step process of how to think about that, and the first step of that is understanding what the process is and understanding what the business process, what the data and the information are. The way we're manifesting that in eliminating the silos is developing an enterprise architecture. Once you develop an enterprise architecture you've really managed yourself to the direction of where you want to go because you've settled on a process, you've settled on data; you've settled on the information that's needed. The next step is to assess the infrastructure and see what systems are meeting that architecture, because that will help eliminate the silos.

Eliminating the silos in and of itself is not the answer. You have to have a structure and disciplined approach because from assessing where your infrastructure is, you begin to transition your systems. In transitioning your systems, you decide whether you're going to retain them, retire them, refresh them, fix them. And you need to move forward in that lane.

We can realize, in many cases and that may sound like a long-term project but it doesn't have to be quite as long term as some would like us to believe you can realize quickly where you can implement technologies to homogenize the data, so to speak, now, but ultimately you want to have fewer, more capable systems and develop your transition plan off of that.

Mr. Lawrence: What performance metrics are you using to see how you're doing compared to those steps?

Mr. Krzysko: When I think of performance metrics at the highest level, it's always about saving time and saving money, and if you can't demonstrate that, you really don't have performance metrics. We think of it in three lanes. I think, one, we measure ourselves to see how well we're doing in terms of developing our business process, our data models, our transition plans and are we doing what we said we would do on time. We also need to assess the services and components and help them realize the transitions that they're trying to measure. So, you need to measure their progression to how well they're doing and how fast they are achieving their transformation goals because they are the supporting infrastructure by and large that are transitioning in support of us.

And, finally, you have to measure it at a process level. We need to move faster in terms of how we measure process, but we need to be careful to look at it in an enterprise level, just not at a typical segment of business. A good example of that in the past we used to measure procurement action lead time, and that would be from the moment you had a procurement request generated to the moment you executed. Oftentimes we wouldn't enter into the procurement request till we were ready to execute, so the metric always looked good, but did we really achieve the savings. You have to take a holistic measure and you have to measure as we mature, because we're not all there yet, so you have to keep moving forward and measuring yourself, measuring the process, and ultimately measuring what your technological footprint looks like. Fewer systems are, by and large, better because of the technological footprint and you can save yourself time and money.

We measured this and we had some very quick wins in the acquisition domain within our community because we were the first to step up. We moved FEDTEDS to the federal arena and didn't have a DoDTEDS anymore so we didn't need that capability internally. And we also retired the feeder system to FedBizOps. We had the Department of Defense Federal Business Opportunity system. We took that system down very early on.

I mentioned the Federal Procurement Data System. Moving to that, the measurement there culminates in two things. By our move to passing procurement data from our procurement systems to FBDS, the next generation, we not only will retire five business systems we had five feeder systems within the Department of Defense but we also business process reengineered the process because the contracting officers or the contract specialists would be passing the direct data from their contract award directly to FDBS, thus eliminating all the oversight and all the data movement within the Department. So, there you could see you measured the business process reengineered while we were reducing our technological footprint.

Ms. Marshall: Mark, I'm going to switch gears on you for a minute if you don't mind. I know your office is committed to integrating not just systems and technology but the people in the processes as well. Can you tell us why focusing on the people to achieve this vision of transformation at DoD is an important issue and what the main obstacles of achieving this are?

Mr. Krzysko: The main obstacles of achieving that and I'd like to I think you have to take all three. It's not that we solely focus on the people. You have to focus on technology, the process, the policy, the people all at the same time. Too often in the past we only focused on one, the technological aspects or the process aspects or just the people aspects. Taking as an entity, you can manage change faster if you accommodate for all three because technological solutions are not people and you need all things to change in the same fashion. The obstacles of that are principally communicative.

You need to get the communication out to the people of understanding what's changing from the technology or process perspective so you can lead them and teach them where we're going as a community. Moving as a community, the obstacles generally are that we can't reach everybody fast enough, and as the environment moves faster we will be challenged in the future to getting information out to the people to understand how the transition's occurring, what are we changing in terms of what systems we have providing solutions; how did we reengineer the process; how did we change the policy. Within the Office of Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy, one of the things is that when we change, we get to the people and change them and inform that what we did, why we did it, and how we can help them complete their transformation.

Mr. Lawrence: Interesting, especially the integration.

Rejoin us in a few minutes when we continue our conversation with our guest, Mark Krzysko, of DoD.

(Intermission)

Mr. Lawrence: Welcome back to The Business of Government Hour. I'm Paul Lawrence, and this morning's conversation is with Mark Krzysko. Mark is the Deputy Director of Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy e Business in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition Technology and Logistics.

And joining us in our conversation is Linda Marshall.

Ms. Marshall: Mark, how do you envision the Department conducting business with private contractors, including small companies as well as the large corporations?

Mr. Krzysko: Well, Linda, there's really two parts to that question. There's one, and everybody always wants to know how to do business with the government, and in the Department of Defense, one of the services that is offered is procurement technical assistant centers that help industry understand how to do business with the federal government. It's partially funded by the DoD, and I've participated in many forums where they help very locally of understanding how to do business, what steps you need to do, how you should prepare yourself to do business with federal government. But within the e-business world, there are also solution sets that directly tie to industry. Federal business opportunities, the single point of entry to understand what business opportunities exist in the federal government.

We have the Central Contract Registry where industry can register and must register to do business with the federal government. That's to ensure that they can get paid on time and that they could do business with us.

We have a new initiative out there, online reps and certs. We require representations and certs and a new tool is being stood up that industry can do that once and apply that to all the procurements, and that's being deployed now.

Finally, there's a solution within the Department of Defense that we're trying to permeate throughout the Department of Defense, and it's called Wide Area Workflow Receipt and Acceptance, and it's our intention to have that as the single invoicing point to the Department of Defense and hopefully at some point, maybe at the federal level, as a solution for how to take invoices from both the major contractors as well as small contractors. It's a web-based tool that will allow them to get paid and go through our processes faster and more efficiently.

Ms. Marshall: Can you tell us about your current relationship and future plans with the Defense Acquisition University?

Mr. Krzysko: Our current relationship with DAU is actually a great relationship. My former deputy for a year, Dr. Jim McMichael, has moved back to DAU and we have a great relationship working together, and I talked earlier about how people are so important. In our training, we need to realize that we need to train for the future here, and training is not just a component of how to do something but how we need to strategically think, how we need to move forward as a community. So, we need to train different skills. Any business that's not only training them on the system solutions but how to do business. Our goal is to become strategic acquirers or business brokers. So, what do you need to train individuals to do in the acquisition profession?

We're working with DAU to influence the curricula as it's developed. I participate monthly in one of our senior contract courses and go down and talk about e-business in everything we're doing. We really need to touch the people and tell them why and where we're going and what's going to affect them. So, we've had a great relationship with DAU and that will mature as we move on.

Ms. Marshall: What will the modernization of the DoD's acquisition process look like 5 to 10 years from now?

Mr. Krzysko: I think as technology solutions become more evident and we realize web-based services, we will be interconnected to work through the environment. Our acquisition process will be perfectly transparent to the entire community from the citizens all the way through the people doing the business. We'll be able to do business anywhere in the world. We will be able to connect with industry in a very efficient fashion. Not all the services of the technologies will be based within our home-grown organization. We will rely in a service-based architecture of others that provide those services, whether it's industry or whether it's someone else that interconnects, because as we realize the acquisition process and the data and what we need, we can better interconnect to cross that environment. The contracting officers will be able to work from their homes and supply the goods and services in the future.

Ms. Marshall: You mentioned strategic acquirers a few minutes ago. Can you explain to us what you mean by that?

Mr. Krzysko: Yeah, that's another great question. The strategic acquiring we sat down at one point and analyzed the skill sets of what a strategic acquirer would be and what that is. Much of that is found in data. We've realized that our environment is changing very rapidly. We're no longer local. We're global. We're no longer buying for someone down the hall, we're buying for someone across the world. We've realized that technology systems are not our own local systems. It's someplace else. We've realized that we need to work across teams and with teams. There's a variety of skill sets and services we provide, whether we buy them from GSA or get our goods and services through their instruments or contracting instruments or whether we buy them through ourselves. It is a global environment, but the real core of strategic acquiring is in realizing the information, and that's information at our desktop level which will help us make better decisions, that ultimately flow up to management decisions where they can, too, in turn make better decisions.

Mr. Lawrence: You had a significant career in the private sector, then you came to the public sector and you've been there ever since, and I'm curious, what advice would you have for somebody interested in a career or joining the public sector?

Mr. Krzysko: I have found I have been with the public sector for 13 years now. I have found it the most exciting place that I have ever worked, and I wouldn't have traded it for the world. It's given me the opportunity to make a difference, not only for myself but for the federal government to move forward. I've found that I have been empowered and working in cross-discipline opportunities, which I may have not otherwise had in the private sector. It's a very exciting time, and you can feel like you contribute very early on in your career. The training has been great, the environment, the people have been great. It is just a tremendous place to work and drive change home. The advice is to manage what you do. Do it well. Get good grades. Be sure you come with skill sets, and we can help make you better and apply those skills very quickly within the federal government to make a difference in a large scale.

Mr. Lawrence: Well, that'll have to be our last question, Mark. Linda and I want to thank you for being with us this morning.

Mr. Krzysko: Okay, thank you. It's been a pleasure to be here. One of the things I'd like to mention is we are up on the web in all of our information. We try to connect, so those who want to understand what systems are out there, what we're trying to achieve, our website is www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/ebiz/. It's the e business single point of entry and we're working on connecting it so everyone can understand what we're trying to achieve.

Mr. Lawrence: Thank you, Mark.

Mr. Krzysko: Thank you.

Mr. Lawrence: This has been The Business of Government Hour, featuring a conversation with Mark Krzysko, Deputy Director of Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy e-Business in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition Technology and Logistics.

Be sure and visit us on the web at businesofgovernment.org. There, you can learn more about our programs and research into new approaches to improving government effectiveness, and you can also get a transcript of today's very interesting conversation. Once again, that's businessofgovernment.org.

This is Paul Lawrence. Thank you for listening.

Mark E. Krzysko interview
08/14/2004
"E-business is about delivering technological solutions to our people to support the war fighter."

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