PEOs and PMOs

PEO: Program Executive Office; oversees a portfolio of multiple program management offices, with some common theme (e.g., Navy PEO Digital)
PMO: Program/Project Management Office; oversees a portfolio of one or more programs, focused on a specific capability area (e.g., Army Project Manager – Mission Command)

  • Requirements definition is a lengthy, formal process
  • In most cases, PEOs/PMOs cannot readily adapt their requirements based on information about a new technology
  • Ask PEO/PMO staff about the potential to work as a sub-contractor under an existing effort, as well as engagement pathways for future contracts
  • E.g., would they see you as a potential prime contractor, or are you better aligned as part of a team?
  • They may be reluctant to offer specific advice, but working to get as much information as they are willing to share will help inform your business decisions
  • Engage PEO/PMO staff to understand the scope and duration of current and future contracts
  • Recognize that obtaining a position as a prime contractor (i.e., not a subcontractor) on a PEO/PMO contract requires a significant investment in both capture and bid/proposal
    • Capture includes understanding the customer and competition landscape, and engaging the customer to help shape requirements in favor of your company’s strengths
    • Bid/Proposal (B&P) costs can be very high given the often lengthy, in-depth Request for Proposal structure used for most larger Defense systems
  • When engaging PEO/PMOs, be sure you have a solid understanding of them up front
    • Tailor your presentation to the target organization; do NOT use canned cookie-cutter pitches
    • Focus on mission value vs profitability or generic technical performance info; be sure to apply any value statements to the mission of the PEO/PMO
  • Key things to understand about a PEO/PMO:
    • What Engineering Centers they work with
    • Who their end customers are / who is driving their requirements
    • What contracts they use / how they buy (see Contracting 101)
    • What programs are in their portfolio, and basic information about each (status, contractors leading key elements, any public info about pain points, etc)