Contract Award: CMS ADELE QPP Front-End

Today Ad Hoc was awarded contract HHSM500B0001 under the ADELE BPA to provide support for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Payment Program (QPP).

I managed the response process for Ad Hoc— helping draft documents, recruit partners, build the team, and price the contract for the program.

Here’s a copy of the award as retrieved from the Federal Procurement Data System – Next Generation website.

 

Article: “UX testing that works” in GCN

Today I was referenced in “UX testing that works“, a story about the success of the CUTGroup, a user testing methodology I invented in February 2013. Here’s a snip:

The CUTGroup meets both to look for errors in the performance of an app and  to check “classic human interface design in term of the presentation of information and workflows,” said Daniel X. O’Neil, a founder of Smart Chicago and author of a bookabout the CUTGroup project.

The CUTGroup program has become part of a trend in digital systems toward user-centered design and development, according to O’Neil, now director of product development and business strategy at Ad Hoc, LLC, a software development firm with a focus on government apps.

“The move toward user-centered design, user-centered systems and the increase in the number of user researchers in government contracts is profound,” said O’Neil, adding that the “CUTGroup has provided concrete ways for designers to listen to real people for whom they are creating.”

The trend also fits the focus of the General Services Administration’s 18F and U.S Web Design Standards initiatives, which gives developers plug-and-play design and code that GSA claims set “a new bar for simplicity and consistency across government services.”

To support demand for the data and testing necessary to support a user-oriented approach to programming, developers are turning to methods like the CUTGroup.  The group aims to find people whose characteristics make them target users for a particular project. For example, testers can be sorted by the devices they use to access the internet, their familiarity with 311 services, whether they’re veterans, of whether they’re about to lose health insurance benefits.

“That kind of specificity is actually very difficult to get, and the CUTGroup allows for a really good method for recruiting regular people so they can be contacted and segmented on a moment’s notice,” O’Neil said.

ux-testing-that-works-gcn

Contract Award: DHS Flash BPA

Today I helped Ad Hoc, LLC win a spot on the DHS Flash Agile Blanket Purchase Agreement, Award #HSHQDC17DFL012. Here’s a snip from the award notice:

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the Chief Procurement Officer (OCPO) and Office of the Chief Information Officer would like to thank the 114 Offerors that participated in the Flexible Agile Support for the Homeland (FLASH) procurement FLASH was an innovative and unique procurement conducted under the auspices of the OCPO Procurement Innovative Lab (PIL).

This innovative approach allowed the Offerors an opportunity to demonstrate their Agile expertise in a Technical Challenge Exercise as well as provide streamlined staffing, past performance and pricing information. This highly competitive best value award resulted in the selection of thirteen (13) awardees.

The FLASH Contract is for a one (1) year base ordering period with an option for an additional two (2) one (1) year ordering periods. FLASH is estimated to have a maximum contract value of $1.54 billion over the three (3) year period of performance. FLASH is one of several initiatives that enable DHS to implement solutions using advanced technologies and techniques.

I helped manage the bid, including the Technical Challenge Exercise, held onsite at DHS in early September 2016. I built and managed the team for the challenge, performed onsite at DHS, and managed all response materials.

Here’s the original document as posted on FedBizOpps.gov:  DHS FLASH Notice of Awardees, November 28, 2016 and here’s a copy of the award as posted to the  website.

Update: the entire DHS Flash BPA was cancelled on May 26, 2017. Here’s the related Motion to Dismiss.

CUTGroup Named one of 15 “bold urban policies with a proven record of success”

Today the Center for an Urban Future published a report, Innovation and the City, that lists the Civic User Testing Group, a community-based UX test ing methodology I invented in February 2013, as  one of 15 “bold urban policies with a proven record of success”. Here’s a snip:

What most civic tech projects have lacked, how- ever, is an active role for city residents. Dan O’Neil is one of the founders of the civic tech movement. As founder and executive director of Smart Chicago Collaborative, an innovation incubator sponsored through a public-private partnership, he has played an instru- mental role in Chicago’s tech endeavors. But at a certain point, O’Neil became disillusioned with the lack of public engagement in the ingenious parade of apps and special-purpose websites that have garnered so much attention and praise. He observed a lack of interest in meeting the needs of ordinary people, or even finding out what they considered their own needs to be.

Smart Chicago addressed the participation gap by shifting their focus from software development to software testing. Applications can be written by a small group of coders in a windowless room, but that’s only the beginning. In the private sector, companies convene user-experience (UX) groups to try out appli- cations or websites and report their experiences. UX groups are less common in the public sector, and O’Neil had the idea of creating one that would also empower and connect its participants.

Here’s the CUTGroup section of the report:

 

Article: The Hidden Workers of Civic Tech

Today I published this article in Civicist: The Real Heart of Civic Tech Isn’t Code. Here’s a snip:

In our Civic User Testing Group (CUTGroup), which is run by Sonja Marziano, we publish all of our methods for recruiting testers and developers, and we’ve compiled it into a book as well.

They’re hiding in your city—find them.

Civic tech that doesn’t include people like Akya, Angel, and Farhad leads to a distorted vision of the field. A vision that leads with technical solutions rather than human capacity. A vision that glorifies the power of the developer rather than the collective strengths of a city.

So as the 1,200 Summit attendees get on planes, go back to their jobs, and log in to Github, I urge you to find the Akya, Angel, and Farhad in your communities. Build them into your lives and your work. The field of civic tech won’t thrive without them.

Remarks at the White House Open Data Innovation Summit

Today I gave keynote remarks, “Open Data: Roots, Impact, and Promise” at The White House Open Data Innovation Summit. Here’s the morning agenda:

agenda-dxo

Here’s the slides:

Here’s some images:
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dxo-sunlight
Here’s video:

Daniel O’Neil of Ad Hoc LLC, an organization that has enabled a number of federal government agencies to scale new technologies faster, said the federal government and the public at large are at a unique point in history wherein the full potential of open data is just being realized.

“We are on the front lines of how to use open data to make real change,” said O’Neil, stressing that efforts must be made to continue moving forward “no matter what comes next.”