Business Development: Always Going

Posted in Business Development on September 30, 2010
Networking dinner at ACT-IAC General Meeting

Networking Dinner at Chima after ACT-IAC General Membership Meeting, Sept. 22. Aaron Vicknair, Barrister Global Services Network; Brenda Maynor, M Powered Strategies; Steve Olshefski, PCPC Direct; & Carmine Taglialatela, Oakhill Farm Group.

Autumn ushers in a flurry of Business Development activities, starting with volunteer committee work for the ACT-IAC Executive Leadership Council (ELC) Outreach Committee, the AFFIRM Sustaining Partners Membership Drive and AFFIRM Turkey Shoot Golf Tournament Sponsorship Committees. Active participation in organizations like ACT-IAC and AFFIRM not only allows M Powered Strategies to give back to the organizations through our time and services, but also enables us the opportunity to work side-by-side and network with some of the beltway’s top Federal Government executives and industry members.

This year the ELC 2010 Outreach Committee is co-chaired by Pete Tseronis, Acting Associate Chief Information Officer for Advanced Technology & Systems Integration at Department of Energy and Rosemarie Franz, Business Development Manager for RCG. Our Outreach Committee goal this year is to set a conference record for Government attendees that will include representatives from all agencies.

The 2010 ELC scheduled for October 24-26 in Williamsburg, VA, will focus on Delivering Transformation, with agenda highlights that include: Cloud Computing, Sustainability, Cyber Security, Health IT, Transparency and Web 2.0.

ELC Outreach Committee

ELC Outreach Committee Meeting members, September 22, 2010 – David Hull, EMC2; David Yang, Sapient Government Services; and Ellen Kuhn, Sapient Government Solutions

The 2010 AFFIRM Sustaining Partner Membership Drive and Turkey Shoot Golf Tournament Sponsorship Committees are both Chaired by Tom Ragland, Vice President of Business Development for CACI. By serving on both AFFIRM committees, we are able to connect with industry leaders who also share in M Powered Strategies’ commitment to public service.

Proceeds from Turkey Shoot Golf Tournament will go directly to the AFFIRM Scholarship Fund. AFFIRM maintains partnerships with six Universities to provide scholarships to undergraduate students studying some aspect of information technology. These Universities are also partnered with the Federal CIO Council to deliver Federal Executive IT Competencies through the CIO University.

Conferences and events where you will find M Powered Strategies this Fall:

  • October 24-26 ACT-IAC Executive Leadership Conference
  • November 4 INPUT 8th Annual FedFocus Conference
  • November 22 AFCEA Luncheon- DHS Panel
  • December 7 AFCEA Winter Gala 2010


We’re on the Move: A Clean, Well-Lighted Place…

Posted in Corporate Updates on September 30, 2010

M Powered Strategies is levitating… OK, just to the tenth floor of the Grange Building at 1616 H Street, but after negotiations with Grange Building Managers and former tenants of the space, M Powered Strategies has now laid claim to the expansive suite 1030 directly across the hall from our front office in suite 1010.

M Powered Strategies – Suite 1030

Not only can the newly outfitted Staff Room fit all of the form and function of both rooms of the Annex, but suite 1030 will also include a Service Line Room to house our growing service offerings, an IT Services Room for inventory and tinkering, and a Board Room for M Powered Strategies Management, and client focused meetings. All of the rooms are furnished according to function ranging from counter space, couch and fridge to a long cherry stained wood board room table with executive level chairs. Each of the rooms offers natural light and all day sun exposure. The Staff Room is the largest room featuring a stunning view of Lafayette Park and glimpses of the White House with the best set of windows, and with keyless entry biometric locks, the space is open to all employees (see Andrew to set up access). This room will be a collaborative working space for all employ use featuring two large white boards, ample counter space, a center working table, wireless internet, a conference phone, projection, and a book nook where you can reference SharePoint, or catch up on Malcolm Gladwell’s latest observations about how spaghetti sauce changed the world we live in.

Andrew Slawter, our Director of IT Services assumed the role of Project Manager for the move, and created a project plan detailing the scope, schedule, budget, paint proposal, and furniture proposal. After several stakeholder interviews, the final list of requirements was gathered and incorporated into the plan. Whereas initial planning and scheduling began in August the project entered the execution phase during the month of September. Suite 1030 is scheduled to be inhabitable by October 1. Stop in and have lunch, collaborate with your team, or take a conference call while you print off some materials for your next client meeting. Either way, we are excited about the new space and we are confident that the change of scenery along with the larger more functional space will encourage elevated collaboration and communication.

Gone, But Not Forgotten…

Posted in AMP Program on September 30, 2010

AMP trophiesAnother summer has come and gone, and with it, another successful Applied Management Professional (AMP) Program has concluded. This year, the AMP Program doubled in size as we introduced eight (8) AMPs from four (4) different universities, and two (2) Project Managers (PMs) to the world of government consulting. Not only did the program see significant growth in the number of participants, but we also added an additional client and took on eight (8) projects between the two Departments. Our clients at the Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of Transportation (DOT) were very pleased with the efforts and work products of our AMPs, which led to an extension with DOT to continue building upon the foundation that was developed by our program.

In addition to client delivery, the AMPs also produced a comprehensive report detailing which organizations of the Federal Departments M Powered Strategies should focus their business development efforts on to obtain work in the desired areas of Natural Resources / Energy, Environment, Health, and Transportation. This information will provide greater clarity and focus as we work to develop our pipeline for growth.

Keeping with Kendall’s vision of exposing our AMPs to different facets of consulting, the company provided the participants with training in a number of different subjects: Business Process Reengineering, Project Management, Strategic Planning, Government Contracting / Career Training, and Federal Employment Training.

But, the AMP Program was not all work – we also played. This year we went on three (3) excursions: a lunch cruise along the monuments, the Spy Museum, and a tour of Monticello followed by a trip to the winery next door. There were definitely good times this summer for the AMPs, but more importantly, they left with a better sense of what consulting life is all about.

A Project Manager Reflects

Candice Wang with AMPs Kerry and Vickyby Candice Wang, 2010 AMPP Project Manager

Kerry and Vicky are two of the most dedicated individuals I have ever worked with. They excelled in their assignment at DOE and I am grateful to have the opportunity to play a part in their growth and success. Since their first day at DOE, Vicky and Kerry were committed to creating valuable deliverables for our client, even when our assignment was not fully defined. Because of their unwavering dedication and diligence, our team was able to successfully produce valuable analysis and recommendations for our client.

From a Mentor’s Perspective…

by Mark Antoniewicz, 2010 AMPP Mentor

Mark Antoniewicz with AMP KaitlinThis summer I mentored Kaitlin Welborn as she participated in the M Powered Strategies AMP Program. Kaitlin recently finished her first year in the Masters of Public Administration Program at the George Washington University (GW) here in Washington D.C. Initially after meeting Kaitlin, who is an engaging and energetic young woman, I felt as though I might learn as much from her as she would from me. This turned out to be true. I was very interested in hearing about her experience in the Masters degree she is pursuing at GW, a program that I have looked into attending myself. As much as she told me all about the program and the type of school work that she has been doing, I told her about my nearly 5 years of professional work and life in Washington. She was intrigued about my work in the legislative branch and now in the federal government consulting world. In June we both participated and learned a great deal in Business Process Reengineering and Project Management Corporate Trainings that we took along with the other AMPs. During break time at these sessions, I learned another thing about Kaitlin; she loves sports, and I was blown away by her knowledge on World Cup soccer. What I most liked about being an AMPP mentor was that it felt great being able to share my knowledge and experience with someone who will utilize it in the future. And, in return, she shared her graduate school experience and knowledge with me. In the end, I was very impressed with what I learned and the work that the AMP group provided to M Powered Strategies and our clients. I look forward to being involved with next year’s AMP class and being a AMP mentor again.

AMPs Deliver Value to the DOE OCFO

Posted in AMP Program on September 30, 2010

Department of Energy sealMicheala Brown, the AMPs government sponsor, commented that both Kaitlin Welborn and Angie Schiano produced valuable work products that were well received. Micheala especially appreciated that M Powered Strategies was able to provide the AMP support a full two weeks earlier (June 1, 2010) than the time the AMP program officially started and the enthusiasm of the AMPs to help support her efforts. Kaitlin supported the office’s Enterprise Architecture (EA) program by updating several documents and developing a Wiki for the EA groups to share ideas which ultimately resulted in enhanced communication. Angie’s primary focus was strategic communication for iPortal, the Department’s data and dashboard system. She helped develop marketing and training materials and provided information at two “outreach” tables. While they will certainly be missed, we want to thank them, again, for a job well done!

AMPs Improve SLA Reporting

Posted in AMP Program on September 30, 2010

Department of Energy sealAs a Project Manager at the Department of Energy this summer, Candice Wang had the pleasure of working with two amazing AMPs, Vicky Chiao and Kerry Kooi, on a project related to IT performance reporting. The team was tasked to improve the service-level agreement (SLA) performance reporting between their client, Energy IT Services and its customers. After conducting numerous stakeholder interviews and a thorough gap analysis, the team developed strategic recommendations and supplemental products for their client to implement. Their work received appreciation and praise from their client as well as two DOE program offices at the team’s final presentation.

AMPs Earn Contract Extension

Posted in AMP Program on September 30, 2010

Department of Transportation sealThe AMPs at the Department of Transportation had a rewarding and successful summer. All four of the interns demonstrated their ability to quickly come up to speed in a complex and chaotic environment. Jamie McAllister, Tiffany Slayton, Katie Willoughby, Erin Farr, and Project Lead Jeremy Nurse worked together to support the DOT Chief Information Officer and his IT operations staff and contractors.

The work performed by the teams aligned well to M Powered Strategies’ newly defined Service Lines. Tiffany Slayton worked in the area of Facilitation by supporting meetings and processes around a major system software upgrade. Erin Farr developed a comprehensive portfolio of marketing materials supporting the organization’s identity and branding efforts with internal customers. Jamie McAllister and Katie Willoughby provided critical Marketing support by developing Communications Plans for major changes to the Infrastructure impacting all users, as well as proposing and designing a major overhaul to the organization’s website.

Jeremy Nurse provided Strategic Executive Support consulting to government staff in the department by analyzing existing Cost Center and Service Catalog methodologies, and proposing alternatives that will advance the CIO’s agenda of streamlining and simplifying the services and billing for customers.

The on-site team was asked to remain through the end of the fiscal year (September 30). Because the team had successfully ensconced themselves in critical projects, the prime contractor, ActioNet, requested the team stay on to continue the projects they are working on.
The team’s work has been lauded by both ActioNet and the government. Congratulations to the DOT team for forging new ground for M Powered Strategies at the Department of Transportation!

VA Contract Renewal

Posted in Contracting / Department of Veterans Affairs on September 30, 2010

Department of Veterans Affairs sealThe VA contract was renewed for another fiscal year. This is the final stretch for the VA Team and we will need to recompete in FY 2011 for the continued business supporting Information, Technology and Resource Management (ITRM) and Architecture, Strategy and Design (ASD). The reorganization within the Office of Information and Technology has the team officially split supporting both ITRM and ASD organizations. Both organizations have different lines of business and scopes of work.

Marketing Labor Categories are Growing

Posted in Contracting / Corporate Updates / Marketing on September 30, 2010

GSA logoWe have added 14 additional marketing labor categories. This is valuable to M Powered Strategies because it expands our availability to the market and provides clients with another method of getting our services. These labor categories can be used to expand on our existing GSA schedule (MOBIS) labor categories under SIN-7 and will help when we prepare our second GSA schedule (AIMS) submission.

Branding Efforts Get Noticed

Posted in Corporate Updates / Marketing on September 30, 2010

The corporate marketing ‘to-do’ list is continually growing, but we are excited to have checked a few things off the list. In addition to this new newsletter format, we have also rolled out a corporate capabilities statement, some service line collateral, and a new business card design that have all received rave reviews. You may have also noticed (or will soon) new suite signs outside our corporate offices. To help raise brand awareness, we have provided you with new pens and portfolios, and notebooks are on the way. We are diligently working on the new website and hope to have a debut party before the end of the year.

Our our professional quality glossies have already generated complimentary words from partners, potential clients and other participants in our market. The overwhelmingly positive feedback is evidence that we have captured some attention. Our brand has been well received and evoked a high level of respect with our employees, partners and clients alike. Branding matters. Our brand is our identity, our personality, if you will—it tells who we are as a company. Consistent branding lets people know that we, too, are consistent. When they recognize consistent professionalism in our brand, they grow to expect that our delivery will be consistently professional as well.

To help maintain consistency across the board, we have developed corporate templates that are posted to the SharePoint site for you to use for all of your corporate documents and presentations.

VA Electronic Health Record Enterprise Architecture Summit in Cleveland

Posted in Department of Veterans Affairs on September 30, 2010

VA Electronic Health Record Enterprise Architecture Summit in ClevelandOn September 7-10, thought leaders from the Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Health Administration and the Office of Information and Technology as well as limited representation from the Department of Defense, Interagency Program Office, and Indian Health Services met in Cleveland, Ohio to: Develop consensus on the future architecture of Electronic Health Record (EHR) (VistA) and pathway forward among key government thought leaders in health informatics and information technology. The Summit opened with two guest speakers from Red Hat and Apple to discuss Open Source Development and Technology Innovation, and then Summit participants met for two and a half days at the VA Cleveland Learning Xchange to discuss and plan the future enterprise architecture for EHR. In addition to the work completed in the room, was used for polling and surveys that measured the level of agreement with and perceived significance of assertions about VistA made during the summit planning phase as well as prioritization of the important attributes of architecture. We recommend that you become a member of this up-and-coming intergovernmental collaboration site and check it out for useful information and potential incorporation into your delivery in the future.

Katie, Sarah and Kendall supported Dr. Paul Tibbits, DCIO, Office of Architecture, Strategy and Design, in two months of extensive and organizationally inclusive planning and pre-work, with over 25 stakeholder interviews and four planning meetings with the VA Chief Information Officer, Roger Baker. M Powered Strategies was instrumental in shaping the content leading up to the meeting, and during the meeting stepped in when called by the meeting sponsors to ensure that the meeting goals were achieved and outputs delivered.

All in all the summit was an exhausting amount of work, but well worth it! The engagement provided a unique opportunity for M Powered Strategies to strengthen its relationships with senior VA leadership such as Roger Baker, Dr. Tibbits and many other key VA thought leaders–from the Office of the Secretary to doctors in the field treating patients–at the forefront of innovation for improved ways to provide care. The summit also offered us a unique opportunity to gain insight into the dynamics between the doctors in the field and their interaction with the bureaucracy and politics of VA’s central office and leadership. We look forward to leveraging our experiences and relationships from this effort as well as our previous related work in future engagements in the Health IT arena and supporting senior executives at VA.

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