Writing Effective Contractor Performance Assessments

In September, BPC, LLC was awarded a purchase order (PO) from  NASA at the Kennedy Space Center to design, develop, and deliver a two day course focused on writing effective contractor performance assessments. As you can imagine, we were delighted to be the awardee of a topic that we love so much. When I started with Suntiva, this was one of the first courses that I taught in Egypt in 2012. That being said, we traveled from our home to Titusville, FL where we set up camp at a Fairfield Inn and dined at a Cracker Barrel for supper. I tried to sleep, but I was far too excited. I was not a bit nervous, which is odd, but I could hardly contain my excitement.

Wednesday, we woke early in order to get to the badging center by 0600. As required by the PO, we had submitted our information weeks in advance, yet we were told our badges were not in the system. A few phone calls later, and we were all badged up and ready to get into the classroom to set up. We headed off in the darkness  to find the classroom building. What we learned is that the center is very scarcely lit, making it very difficult to see the building numbers, but we finally made it. The classroom was set up, our computers worked, and we waited for class to begin. The center has quite a state of the art training center.

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The building depicted in the photo below is the facility we used in our group exercises and it located on KSC. It is huge. Rumor has it you can drive buses up and down the stripes without touching one another.

 

 

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We then stuck off to see the center a bit more and found ourselves at the observation visitor’s center. There are five distinct launch pads viewable from this location.

 

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Our next visit, was the NASA gift shop…

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First Month at the Defense Acquisition University

2017-10-18_21-20-08Today marks my one month anniversary at the Defense Acquisition University. The first week I spent my time in the necessary on-boarding scenarios. I took on-line classes covering topics such as cyber security, safety, and other topics related to new comers. The second week was a continuation of trying to get into all the electronic databases and systems that I will use later such as time keeping, Blackboard, etc. You know the routine! Now the third week was my first course. I took the FPD 100, which is focused on becoming a better instructor. I was required to present a 10 minute presentation on a topic of my choice. I chose my hobby – Stained Glass. From the video you can tell that I was a bit nervous, but the information was well received by most of the individuals in the audience. I am now the POC for the Ask the Professor. Now, that does not mean that I have to answer all the questions, but instead means I will be responsible for farming the questions to the appropriate SME and giving those gentle reminders when an answer is nearing the deadline.



The second standup show was on Thursday. We were required to present a 20 minute discussion on a topic from one of the courses that we will be facilitating.Both videos are available on my YouTube Channel or by following this link: YouTubeStained Glass and Market Research Videos  The market research material is a very brief part of a module from our CON 170 course, which I will talk about in a later paragraph. The course was very educational and was a great way to refresh everything that my previous employer worked so diligently to instill in me. As always, I learned new techniques to use in the classroom. I just have to remember to implement them and practice the ‘how’ to make it work smoothly while facilitating.  


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I have been assigned to CON 090, which is a four week course that covers the Federal Acquisition Regulation from Chapter 1 to 53. This will be a fun course, because the participants always seem to enjoy learning about the FAR and how it can keep them out of trouble. I made the below GIF to use in the FAR course that we taught in my previous position. I wonder if it will be a good way to start day one…just thinking ahead a bit.

My second class is CON 170, Fundamentals of Cost and Pricing. Now, this class is chalked full of interesting lectures coupled with math and statistics. I am in the process of certifying, so I am primarily watching the other two instructors deliver the course. I did manage to get a three hour block to discuss Cost Accounting Standards (CAS), which is discussed in FAR Part 30. Most of the individuals in both of these courses are working towards their DAWIA Level Certifications. The course is two-weeks long. It has not only provided me with an opportunity to see the class being conducted, but has also provided two new professional relationships for me.



But, while my life has been busy and the changes have been many, I find that it is a welcome sort of disruption to the norm. I find myself turning to the comforts of home to fill that void left by my now lack of travel to foreign lands. I find myself in the glass studio working diligently to make creative pieces of art to share with friends and family. I share a few photos with you. Now, while this has nothing really to do with DAU or YouTube, it has everything to do with that delicate work-life balance that we strive so hard to accomplish. I believe that life in the office should not detract or disrupt life in the home. I feel like I am managing to strike that balance. That simple fact makes me feel content with my life, and I like content.



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