Why "The New Normal" In Government Contracting Is A Myth

People in our industry are wondering to what extent today’s government contracting market conditions represent a “new normal.” And, if not how soon can we expect a return to the “good old days?”

If you define normal as a static condition, there is no new normal and there never will be. There will always be change- sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. Survivors adapt.

I understand why people have a craving to know what the new normal is – most people even need a so-called normal to organize their thinking, but true market leaders reject the concept of normal and thrive on roller coasters of change.  It   gives them a chance to excel and make things better.

It is clear that for the past two years the government has used extensions and sole source awards where they could to avoid the extra work of competition.  However, one thing history has taught us is that the government will increase spending again. It is just a matter of when and where.

So where are we heading?

  • On the one hand the rate at which technology is changing is offering up new opportunities to do things differently. Faster, cheaper, and with better outcomes
  • On the other hand, institutions and the people in them are reluctant to change because it is threatening and scary
  • So unless someone forces revolutionary change, which I doubt, we will see a slow rate of change, hopefully for the better.
  • As we left Afghanistan and Iraq we planned for a decrease in defense spending, but that was before ISIL, Syria, Libya, the Ukraine, and myriad other trouble spots. I suspect that the peace dividend we expected will not be forthcoming.

As we move into 2015, I think the market will become more robust, but will focus in new areas. Companies need to adapt quickly. Now more than ever business development, capture planning, and proposal expertise will help firms increase their win rate.

Where do you think the Government market is headed? How is your business adjusting? 

Written by Dr. Richard Nathan

Dr. Richard Nathan is the President of KeyStone Solutions, our parent company. He has 40 years of federal proposal and business development experience. He is particularly noted for his abilities in developing cohesive orals teams that present well and develop rapport with audiences.
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