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Interact Question #1 – Labor Categories

Information builds knowledge. Knowledge is power for the consumer.

One of the goals of Alliant 2 (A2) and Alliant 2 Small Business (A2SB) is to make these contracts more powerful by improving the information that is gathered on work performed on these GWACs and sharing appropriate information to drive efficiency, effectiveness, consistency, competition and savings.

One of the common questions frequently received is, “What type of Information Technology (IT) work is performed under Alliant and Alliant Small Business (A/ASB)?”.

The challenge of answering that question is that most, if not all, work performed under a single Task Order (TO) awarded on A/ASB is for multi IT disciplines such as data center consolidation, systems integration, cloud computing, cyber security, information assurance, help desk support, etc., making it difficult to subjectively determine the type of IT work being performed in terms of percentages.

Conducting market research by analyzing Product Service Codes (PSCs) in Federal Procurement Data Systems (FPDS) on all TOs awarded under A/ASB also does not accurately portray the type of IT work being performed on A/ASB. The reason being, FPDS is constrained in that only a single PSC code can be entered to try and accurately reflect the predominate IT work being performed.  That process in and of itself is very subjective and negates all the other multi IT disciplines being performed on A/ASB TOs, thereby creating the likelihood that large portions of IT work being performed go unreported.

The most widely used labor categories in terms of dollars are:

• Help Desk/Tech Support/Maintenance
• Network/Infrastructure Support
• Information Assurance/Security
• Systems Engineering
• Applications/Systems Analysis/Support

This information is useful, yet we believe that greater granularity can be gathered with respect to the IT work being performed through the actual usage of labor categories.

In an effort to normalize and standardize the labor categories consumed across the federal government and apply it to A2/A2SB, heavy consideration is given to referencing the labor categories from the Department of Labor (DOL) Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Standard Occupational Classification (SOC).  The 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system is used by Federal statistical agencies to classify workers into occupational categories for the purpose of collecting, calculating, or disseminating data. All workers are classified into one of 840 detailed occupations according to their occupational definition. To facilitate classification, detailed occupations are combined to form 461 broad occupations, 97 minor groups, and 23 major groups. Detailed occupations in the SOC with similar job duties, and in some cases skills, education, and/or training, are grouped together.

Attached is a PDF file that shows the first draft of new labor categories that are under serious consideration with A2/A2SB.  The attractiveness of using these labor categories are as follows:

• Credibility – DOL as the source has significant data, validating actual work performed against these labor categories in the IT market
• Standardization – DOL identifies other analogous labor categories that are equivalent to each respective labor category, thereby reducing duplication/redundancy
• Scope Alignment - In reviewing these labor categories, they are consistent with the broad scope of A/ASB, which is aligned to Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA)
• Mapping – These labor categories map to actual work that has been performed on existing TOs under A/ASB

We would like to know your thoughts on this approach and get your feedback. 

Specifically:

1. What are the pros and cons to using these labor categories identified in the attached PDF file?
2. With respect to the entire IT spectrum, what labor categories from the DOL BLS SOC are missing and/or which of the ones that have been selected should be removed and why?
 

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Comments

chashina
<p>Labor categories imply different skillsets, training and experience, so an Engineer would have different training and skills than an Architect or Administrator.&nbsp; Therefore, we recommend keeping the labor categories broad at the base contract level, such as Engineer, Architect, Administrator, Technician, etc.&nbsp; Then require specific training, experience and expertise to meet the task order level requirements, such as Engineer with experience in telecommunications, storage, systems, migration, virtualization, networks, email, video teleconferencing, etc. This will provide flexibility for Agencies to accommodate new technologies throughout the life of the contract.</p><p>Subject Matter Expert is another broad category for individuals who are experts in their particular field or a given technology.&nbsp; They would provide consulting services and high level architecture and design support to technology initiatives being undertaken by the organization.&nbsp; Additionally, they would be the &ldquo;last stop&rdquo; for problem resolution before going to the vendor for support.</p><p>Thank you,<br />Annette Chashin<br />Information Innovators Inc. (Triple-i)</p>
Alliant 2 Blogger (not verified)
<p>@chashina: Thank you for your feedback. Careful consideration will be given as we continue to move forward with our research.&nbsp;</p>
dceban
<p>We recommend that Program /Project Managers, and Subject Matter Expert labor categories to be considered for inclusion.&nbsp;</p><p>Best regards,&nbsp;</p><p>Diana Ceban, &nbsp;OST, Inc.&nbsp;</p><p>Phone: 202-421-1009</p>
Alliant 2 Blogger (not verified)
<p><span style="font-family: 'trebuchet ms', sans-serif; font-size: small;">@dceban Thank you for your feedback. Careful consideration will be given as we continue to move forward with our research.</span></p>
mraaen
<p>I would like to know about the possibility of&nbsp; BPA under ALLIANT 2 like CIOSP3...</p>
Alliant 2 Blogger (not verified)
<p>@mraaen The GSA GWAC Program met with its GWAC Program counterparts at the National Institute of Health (NIH) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and affirmed that that Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) are not permitted under GWACs. &nbsp;All three programs affirmed that BPAs are not allowed under their respective GWACs: Alliant (GSA), CIO-SP3 (NIH), and SEWP (NASA).</p>
Alliant 2 Blogger (not verified)
<p>@mraaen We will validate with the CIOSP3 program office to validate whether BPAs are permissible under their GWAC. We will review all suggestions and thank you for your feedback.</p>
Mark Youman
<p>We found this overall approach to be effective for the OASIS procurement and would support it for GSA Alliant II.&nbsp;&nbsp; For OASIS it enabled a price proposal approach that made sense for a government-wide contract vehicle that must be useful across projects that vary greatly in terms of location, security clearance level, and complexity.</p><p>While at first glance some may not find their familiar labor categories on your list, when they look deeper they will find them but with slightly different names.&nbsp; For example I was looking for &ldquo;Program Manager&rdquo; but found that role under the SOC title &ldquo;Computer and Information Systems Managers.&rdquo;&nbsp; A commenter on your blog pointed out that &ldquo;Modeling and Simulation Engineer&rdquo; can be found on the SOC list as &ldquo;Video Game Designers.&rdquo;&nbsp; I think that when the community considers the list in detail they will find what they are looking for.</p><p>I would resist the urge to add categories for specific technologies.&nbsp; Technologies change over time and the broad categories on the list can cover them.&nbsp; For example, when you already have categories for &ldquo;Web Developers&rdquo; and &ldquo;Software Developers, Applications&rdquo; you won&rsquo;t need another one for &ldquo;Mobile Application Developers.&rdquo;</p><p>I appreciate that in addition to the core technical categories you included some related categories that are important to the Federal IT mission, for example &ldquo;Sustainability Specialists&rdquo; for green IT.&nbsp; Along those lines you may consider SOC #11-9161 &ldquo;Emergency Management Directors&rdquo; for IT disaster recovery and continuity of operations and SOC # 25-4021 &ldquo;Librarians&rdquo; for content classification and management.</p><p>--Mark Youman</p><p>ICF International</p>
Alliant 2 Blogger (not verified)
<p>@Mark Youman Thank you for your feedback. &nbsp;Careful consideration will be given as we continue to move forward with our research.</p>
Alliant 2 Blogger (not verified)
<div class="gmail_default" style="font-family: arial; font-size: small;"><font face="trebuchet ms, sans-serif">@Nizolak79 @J.Turns &nbsp;@sarful</font></div><div class="gmail_default" style="font-family: arial; font-size: small;"><font face="trebuchet ms, sans-serif">Thank you all for your feedback. &nbsp;Careful consideration will be given as we continue to move forward with our research.</font></div>
sarful
<p>We recommend labor categories&nbsp;for Enterprise Business Architects.&nbsp;&nbsp;The list of&nbsp;labor categories&nbsp;provided includes categories for&nbsp;the design, development, operation and maintenance of systems but does not include labor categorie responsible for analyzing the business through&nbsp;Enterprise Architecture&nbsp;or&nbsp;Business Architecture&nbsp;to improve&nbsp;sortware application development or systems integration.</p>
John.Turns
<p>Please see the response below from our program manager on one of our Alliant II task. If I have any more feedback from Avaya Government Solutions, I will definitely pass them along. I hope this provides helpful information. &nbsp;I hope you have a relaxing and safe weekend!</p><p>&ldquo;Since we have a GSA Alliant II task order, I will provide you with my task-specific input:</p><p style="margin-left:.5in;">&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>I think the most obvious deficiency is the lack of differentiation in the Cyber Security field.</strong>&nbsp; They have a single position (Information Security Analysts) for what is, by far, the most rapidly expanding career field in IT.&nbsp; There is no way that this single LCAT can cover the very wide range of cyber security roles, such as vulnerability assessment, security control implementation, incident handling/reporting, malware analysis/forensics, EMSEC, COMSEC, INFOSEC, encryption/cryptography, public key infrastructure, identify management, etc.&nbsp; There are 7 programming positions and 5 data entry positions, yet only a single cyber security position.</p><p style="margin-left:.5in;">&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I am surprised to see the Network and Computer Systems Administrators as a single LCAT instead of separate for network vs system.&nbsp; It seems to me they tried to have a hierarch for the 3 areas (Network, System, Database):</p><p style="margin-left:1.0in;">o&nbsp;&nbsp; <u>Admin</u>: Network and Computer Systems Administrators, Database Administrators</p><p style="margin-left:1.0in;">o&nbsp;&nbsp; <u>Support</u>: Computer Network Support Specialists, Computer Systems Analysts, Data Warehousing Specialists</p><p style="margin-left:1.0in;">o&nbsp;&nbsp; <u>Architect</u>: Computer Network Architects, Computer Systems Engineers/Architects, Database Architects</p><p style="margin-left:.75in;"><em>Note: Why not have this same hierarchy for Cyber Security and Telecommunications?</em></p><p style="margin-left:.5in;">&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; As far as removing LCATs:</p><p style="margin-left:1.0in;">o&nbsp;&nbsp; I am not sure the following need their own category <em>(Seem pretty specific and could fall into existing category)</em>:</p><p style="margin-left:1.5in;">&sect;&nbsp; Search Marketing Strategists</p><p style="margin-left:1.5in;">&sect;&nbsp; Video Game Designers</p><p style="margin-left:1.5in;">&sect;&nbsp; Sustainability Specialists</p><p style="margin-left:1.5in;">&sect;&nbsp; Statistical Assistants</p><p style="margin-left:1.5in;">&sect;&nbsp; Computer Operators</p><p style="margin-left:1.0in;">o&nbsp;&nbsp; It seems like some could be combined:</p><p style="margin-left:1.5in;">&sect;&nbsp; Document Management Specialists, Desktop Publishers</p><p style="margin-left:1.5in;">&sect;&nbsp; Data Entry Keyers, Word Processors and Typists</p><p style="margin-left:.5in;">&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Overall, our program could get by with these LCATs as shown in the mapping below.</strong></p><p>We would most likely utilize the following LCATs:</p><p style="margin-left:.5in;">&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Cyber Systems Engineers</p><p style="margin-left:1.0in;">o&nbsp;&nbsp; Computer Systems Analysts</p><p style="margin-left:1.0in;">o&nbsp;&nbsp; Analyze science, engineering, business, and other data processing problems to implement and improve computer systems. Analyze user requirements, procedures, and problems to automate or improve existing systems and review computer system capabilities, workflow, and scheduling limitations. May analyze or recommend commercially available software.</p><p style="margin-left:.5in;">&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Cyber Network Engineers</p><p style="margin-left:1.0in;">o&nbsp;&nbsp; Computer Network Support Specialists</p><p style="margin-left:1.0in;">o&nbsp;&nbsp; Analyze, test, troubleshoot, and evaluate existing network systems, such as local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), and Internet systems or a segment of a network system. Perform network maintenance to ensure networks operate correctly with minimal interruption.</p><p style="margin-left:.5in;">&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Cyber Security Engineers</p><p style="margin-left:1.0in;">o&nbsp;&nbsp; Information Security Analysts</p><p style="margin-left:1.0in;">o&nbsp;&nbsp; Plan, implement, upgrade, or monitor security measures for the protection of computer networks and information. May ensure appropriate security controls are in place that will safeguard digital files and vital electronic infrastructure. May respond to computer security breaches and viruses.</p><p style="margin-left:.5in;">&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Technical Lead SME</p><p style="margin-left:1.0in;">o&nbsp;&nbsp; Computer and Information Systems Managers</p><p style="margin-left:1.0in;">o&nbsp;&nbsp; Plan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as electronic data processing, information systems, systems analysis, and computer programming.</p><p style="margin-left:.5in;">&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Application Developer</p><p style="margin-left:1.0in;">o&nbsp;&nbsp; Software Developers, Applications</p><p style="margin-left:1.0in;">o&nbsp;&nbsp; Develop, create, and modify general computer applications software or specialized utility programs. Analyze user needs and develop software solutions. Design software or customize software for client use with the aim of optimizing operational efficiency. May analyze and design databases within an application area, working individually or coordinating database development as part of a team. May supervise computer programmers.</p><p style="margin-left:.5in;">&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Computer Configuration Manager</p><p style="margin-left:1.0in;">o&nbsp;&nbsp; Network and Computer Systems Administrators</p><p style="margin-left:1.0in;">o&nbsp;&nbsp; Install, configure, and support an organization&#39;s local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), and Internet systems or a segment of a network system. Monitor network to ensure network availability to all system users and may perform necessary maintenance to support network availability. May monitor and test Web site performance to ensure Web sites operate correctly and without interruption. May assist in network modeling, analysis, planning, and coordination between network and data communications hardware and software. May supervise computer user support specialists and computer network support specialists. May administer network security measures.</p><p style="margin-left:.5in;">&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Program Manager</p><p style="margin-left:1.0in;">o&nbsp;&nbsp; Information Technology Project Managers</p><p style="margin-left:1.0in;">o&nbsp;&nbsp; Plan, initiate, and manage information technology (IT) projects. Lead and guide the work of technical staff. Serve as liaison between business and technical aspects of projects. Plan project stages and assess business implications for each stage. Monitor progress to assure deadlines, standards, and cost targets are met.</p><p style="margin-left:.5in;">&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Technical Content Manager</p><p style="margin-left:1.0in;">o&nbsp;&nbsp; Technical Writer</p><p style="margin-left:1.0in;">o&nbsp;&nbsp; Write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions. May assist in layout work.&rdquo;</p>
Nizolak79
1. Labor category “Software Quality Assurance Engineers and Testers”, SOC# 15-1199.01 appears to be repeated. Is this a typo or should there be an additional Labor Category? 2. We did not find any “Program Manager” labor category. There is a “Information Technology Project Managers” SOC# 15-1199.09, however, there is a significant difference between the skills, certifications, and experience expected for a Program Manager versus a Project Manager. Like under the current Alliant contract, we expect the Government will have projects of significant size, scope, and complexity to require the skills a certified Program Manager will possess. 3. Other than those comments we compliment GSA on the list of labor categories and descriptions provided. Best Regards, Joe Joe Nizolak VP for BD, Federal Sector Teksouth Corporation Mobile: (703) 915-3353
Alliant 2 Blogger (not verified)
<p><span style="font-family: 'trebuchet ms', sans-serif; font-size: small;">Thank you for your feedback. &nbsp;Careful consideration will be given as we continue to move forward with our research.</span></p>
d13albrecht
<p>1.&nbsp;Recommend a labor category that supports Business Process Analyst be incorporated (may already be incorporated wth Computer Sytems Analysts).&nbsp; This sould include process improvemnt, service delvery analysis, cost effectiveness and ensuring business requiements are properly supported by the IT function.</p><p>2. To piggy back on Tom Watts&#39; comment #3: this should include Inside Plant and Outside Plant expertise. The RCDD is one aspect of this career field.</p><p>3. The catgory Software Quality Assurance Engineers and Testers is duplicated.</p><p>4. Recommend adding wireless and satelite communications equipment to Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers.</p><p>5. Recommend adding Trainers to this list.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Dr. Dean Albrecht, IndraSoft</p>
Alliant 2 Blogger (not verified)
<p>@tomwatts:&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 12px;">Thank you for your feedback. &nbsp;Your input was precise and meaningful. The Alliant II team can assure you that all comments and suggestions are carefully considered as we move forward with our research.</span></p><p>@Nizolak79:&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 12px;">Thank you for your question.&nbsp;The Alliant II team is requesting all responses to this question be submitted by close of business (COB)&nbsp;Wednesday, February 5th, 2014. &nbsp;</span></p>
Nizolak79
<p>Is there a suspense date for responses to the questions above?</p><p>Thak you!</p><p>JPN</p>
tomwatts
<p>While we understand that the labor categories for the entire range of IT in federal government can be quiet broad and this list attempts to consolidate requirements we are concerned that some of these chosen categories are not appropriate or not inclusive enough of the real word requirements.</p><p>&nbsp;1. &ldquo;<u>Video Game Designers</u>&rdquo;; while we agree that game simulation is a valid skill we recommend the Labor Category should be categorized as a Modeling and Simulation engineer.&nbsp; The labor category description could include experience with video gaming applications development,&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; that change would provide greater applicability to a number of functional areas; and would be more representative of current federal requirements.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;2. We recommend the labor category &ldquo;<u>Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers, Except Line Installers</u>&rdquo; be amended to include network <strong>cable installers</strong>,</p><p>3. We recommend the Government add a labor category for Cable Plant Designers &ndash; this would include personnel like Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD). Adding this labor category would balance labor categories with <strong><em>Computer Hardware Engineers</em></strong> and <strong><em>Electronics Technicians</em></strong> and include the other infrastructure labor categories such as computer <strong>network cable plant designers </strong>and <strong>installers</strong>.</p><p>We would recommend that the catch all labor category &ldquo;Computer Occupations, All other&rdquo; be eliminated.&nbsp; We feel based on our review of the labor categories there is sufficient flexibility in the list for all potential labor categories are covered.&nbsp;</p><p>Tom Watts, Ventech Solutions<br />&nbsp;</p>
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