Lean   Government
                        EPA Region 4 Large Procurement Process Review
                    Lean Six Sigma DMAIC (Define Measure Analyze Improve Control) Method
EPA Region 4 conducted a DMAIC event starting with a formal project kickoff meeting on Nov 2, 2012, to reduce the
Regional Acquisition Program processing time for large procurements (Competitive Procurements greater than
$150,000) adhere to Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Contracts Management Manual (CMM), and EPA guidance.
The project team completed the DMAIC method final Tollgate on Jul 1, 2013.
The project team completed the five DMAIC steps to evaluate
solutions to reduce the procurement processing time of 582 days to
the expected Procurement process standard of less than or equal to
360 days. The project team also wanted to reduce the Procurement
Identification Notice (PIN) Processing Time from 232 days to meet the
EPA standard of 90 days. The Team identified cause and effect issues
contributing to  increased processing time, and prioritized critical items
with recommended solutions. The Team recommended the
Acquisition Management Staff and SuperFund staff members acquire
knowledge and experience in drafting, coordinating, and finalizing
procurements documents. By acquiring the knowledge and skills, the
Team felt that staff members would enhance their ability to
coordinate and finalize the procurement documents to reduce
processing time.
During the event, participants developed maps  of the existing process,
"To Be" Value Stream map, and team solutions  to reduce processing
time. The team proposed prioritized solutions were:
  Priority                         Solution
     1         Solution A:    Quick "Win Wins," Best Practice Document
     2         Solution B:    Tech Panel Training/CO provides instructions to
                         Tech Panel/CO involvement with panel/Work
                         Group to improve TEP Report
     3         Solution C:    On-going Training
     4         Solution D:    Employee Experience/EASTraining/Template
     5         Solution E:    Roles & Responsibilities Doc, FAR Policy, CO
                         provides options to PO, CO consults with legal
                         advisory groups, SRMAC, and supervisors & Staff
                         members Mutual Respect
     6         Solution F:    Protocol Resolution, CO get early input from
                         Advisory Groups
The team developed a new request for
Procurement Assistance process that starts
with the Program Office's (customer) email
to the Acquisition Section Chief (Process
Owner) to assigning the Contracting
Officer within 5 days, and scheduling the
Questionnaire meeting within 15 days. The
improved state will achieve the following
•  Support reducing the processing time
•  Improve the preparation of the PIN

The event also helped participants to
communicate and collaborate more on
how to improve the procurement process
from  PIN to contract award and use the
Questionnaire meeting to collaborate,
draft, and complete the PIN document
with less re-writes.

The team recommendation is to review
Quick "Win Wins" process in December
2013. The goal is to evaluate
recommendations based on the "To Be"
Value Stream Map processing times.
The team's Quick "Win Wins" proposal provided opportunities to reduce the PIN processing time therefore reducing
the total processing time for large procurements.

Scope of the Lean  Project

Project Scope: The first step of the process is PIN Package development, and the last step of the process is Award Notifications
(Scope-out: The project did not address non-competitive acquisition or actions under existing contracts).

Goal of the Lean Event: Streamline the process to complete new procurements greater than $150,000 in less than 415 days and
complete and approve Pre-Solicitation packages within 65 days.
Problem statement: The R4 Procurement process is currently operating at an estimated average of 582 days (232 days-
Procurement Initiation Notice (PIN) work; 350 days—acquisition), the expected Procurement process standard is less than 360
days (90 days-PIN work; 360 days-acquisition) for Competitive Procurements greater than $150,000.
Note: Problem statement adjusted to meet EPA Proposed standard.

                                       Figure 1: Quick "Win Wins" PIN Process
          Acquisition Plan
                                   PO Email CO
                                  tor Procurement
         PIN Prep (Scope,
         Calendar Days
         CO Acknowledge
         Receipt/ Lngin Data
         RCO Assigns CO (5
         Calendar Days)
eltfll dft
Requirement Document
(RD) Doc (AMS/

(CLG tamer Prep ares
Draft- 6 Months)

PO Id/Coontact Panel
                                                   AMS Chief
                                                  Assigns CO/
                                                                         Final Acq
                                                                        PIN Receipt
                                                                         PIN Receipt
                                                                       PIN Forwarded
                                                                          to PO for

                                                      Figure 2: Current Process Map

  Process Map - Reduce Procurement Administrative Lead Time (PALT) standard less than 415 days for PRs greater than $150,000.
                 Phase I/II    j Phase III/IV
EstJimtedProcesangllim 4D&7
Acquisition Process (Joint CO/PO Processing)


Process Changes and Improvements
Participants in the Lean event mapped the procurement process from acquisition planning to contract award.
The team identified the following changes (Quick "Win Wins") to improve the process with recommendations:
    Email Request for Procurement Assistance:
       •   Email from Program Office (PO) to Contracting Office (CO) requesting procurement assistance.
       •   Email content/attachments (examples/but not limited to):Statement of work/performance work statements.
           •   Independent Government Cost Estimate (IGCE).
       •   AMS Chief assigns Contracting Officer within 5 days of request for procurement assistance.
       •   Questionnaire Meeting scheduled 15 Days after AMS Chief assigns a Contracting Officer.
           •   Purpose: Contracting Officer/PO complete questionnaire together (collaboration).
           •   PO identifies contact/panel member.
       •   Continue to manage Quick "Win Wins" Procedures.
       •   Review process in 6 months (NLT Dec 14, 2013).

The "To Be" Value Stream Map shows the seven major steps relevant to the Acquisition process for large procurement with
processing times. The processing times are EPA proposed times and will establish the standard to measure future procurement
   Figure 3: "To Be" Value Stream Map—Goal: Total Processing Time standard less than 360 Days for PRs greater than $150,000
                                                Represents Phone Calk, finals, Documents, etc.


During the event, the team identified the following steps that they will take to implement the improvements identified
during the event:
  1.   Implemented PIN Quick "Win Wins." The PIN request process was implemented on February 22, 2013.
  2.   Complete Joint Training Schedule. The Acquisition Management Office and Program Office will schedule and
      complete joint training sessions.
  3.   Complete Dispute Resolution Protocol Document.  The Acquisition Management Office and Program Office agreed to
      complete the protocol document to facilitate communication and resolve differences at the lowest organizational
  4.   Contracts Management Manual (CMM). The Acquisition Management Section will continue to provide input to EPA
      and share informational updates with the Program Offices.
  5.   Coordinate and complete the transition document.

                                                Figure 4: Transition Plan
              Step    DueDate      Action/Task
                     FebMH   Implemented PIN Qui<*
                                 "Win Wins"
Grants & Acquisition
Management Branch
J  n2Q13  Complete Joint Training    AMSChief/PO
             Schedule         Sect ion Chief
                               Re solution Protocol
                     JUNM1J Contract! Marugcflient
                            Transition Document
Grants & Acquisition
Management Branch
 ,/PO Section Chief
                   Aomm table
                                                            AMS/Program Off';.;:
Grant; & Acquisition
Management Bran*
 Chief /Acquisition
Section and SF staff
                Grants £ Acquisition
                Management Brancha
                 Chief/ Acquisition
                   Section  Chief
                                                            Grants Si Acquisition
                                                            Management Branch
                                                            Chief/ Acquisition
                                                           Section andSF Section
Sponsors, AMS, PO
                                   Sponsors, AMS, PO
Sponsors. AMS, and
                 Grants & Acquisition
                 Management Brancha
                  Chief/ Acquisition
                                                                            Grants& Acquisition
                                                                            Management Branch
                                                                             Chief /Acquisition
                                                                             Sect ion and SF naff
                                                                             Sponsors, AMS, PO
The team also concurred with the transition plan and several recommendations to support implementing the process
improvements identified during the event:
  •   Tech Panel Training/CO provides instructions to Tech Panel/CO involvement with panel/Work Group to improve TEP
  •   Develop employee experience and knowledge.
  •   Train staff members on EAS.
  •   Develop and share Procurement Process Template(s) such as presentation for PIN Questionnaire meeting.

Lessons  Learned
After the event, the following lessons were provided:
  •   Future  project teams should include Subject Matter Experts, stakeholders, customers representing Information
      Technology, Budget, Legal, etc.
  •   Plan the project with process owner - process owner take lead on some administrative activities, and assign
      team members specific responsibilities for each step.
        For More
Lean Event Contacts:
Black Belt (Candidate): Abe Morrall, EPA Region 4, (404) 562-9651,
Event Sponsor: Ken Lapierre, EPA Region 4, (404) 562-8570, lapierre.ken@epa.gov
Process Owner: Keith Mills (Raquel Hill), EPA Region 4, (404) 562-8366, mills.keith@epa.gov
Customer: David Keefer, EPA Region 4, (404) 562-8932, keefer.david@epa.gov
                              Team Members:
                                 •   Ed Chu, Franklin Hill, Randall Chaffins, Cory Berish
                                 •   Dorothy Rayfield
                                 •   Gary Wells
                                 •   JohnSpruill
                                 •   Debbie Hoover
                                 •   Kim Washington, Michael Allen & M. Benson
                                 •   David Keefer, Charles Swann, Dora Johnson, Luis Flores

                              EPA Lean Government Initiative:
                              Kimberly Green-Goldsborough, EPA Office of Policy, (202) 566-2355

                                                           MBB, Mentor
                                                           MBB, Mentor
                                                           Resource Manager/
                                                           Subject Matter
                                                           Expert (SME)
                                                           Process SMEs
                                                           Program Office/
United States
Environmental Protection Agency
                   Office of Policy
 September 2013