ARRA BIP/BTOP Planning & Execution
As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA),
the Federal government is making $7.2B available to expand broadband
access to un-served and underserved communities across the U.S. to
increase jobs, spur investments in technology and infrastructure, and
provide long-term economic benefits.
The Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS)
created the Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) to make
$2.5B available in loans and grants for broadband infrastructure
projects in rural areas. The Department of Commerce's
National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA)
created the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP)
to make $4.7B available for grants to fund broadband infrastructure,
public computer centers, and sustainable broadband adoption projects.
Based on our 20+ years of successfully delivering large, complex
projects, it's our experience that the work effort required for these
projects is frequently underestimated and insufficiently planned.
These failings introduce unnecessary risks, and can seriously jeopardize
the project's overall success. Unfortunately, we expect this to be
especially true for ARRA-funded projects as the government has
established project completion deadlines for the award recipients to
JCS can help organizations prepare or implement these complicated
initiatives in multiple areas such as:
Program and Project Management - Organization and Pro-Activeness
Do you have a clear project plan with deliverables, resources, and
dates identified for ALL aspects of your projects? Do you have an
effective and efficient process to track progress and status on your
critical path activities?
We work with many organizations that deeply understand the
implementation work that needs to be done, but don't have effective
processes to track and manage the project updates, risks and issues,
change requests, and dependencies. Too often we see projects fail
from a thousand minor unmanaged cuts.
Make sure you have a detailed, visible and open process for tracking
your risks and issues, and for recognizing and adjusting potential
delays of any nature. It pays to be organized and proactive.
Please click for
more detailed information regarding our Project and Program Management
Vendor or Solution Selection - Finding the Right Partners
How well have you defined the requirements for what it is you're
trying to accomplish, and have you organized and prioritized these
requirements? Who will be on the selection committee and do you
know which are showstopper requirements for each member of this
committee verses the â€œnice-to-haveâ€ requirements?
Do you have time to organize and coordinate an RFI or RFQ process to
solicit ideas and bids? RFQs in particular need to be well-managed
to accommodate vendor questions, timelines, and demonstrations and to
provide consistent answers against which vendors can be compared.
Do you have a selection criteria and process defined? How
well-defined are the costs for the solution, and are you able to compare
these costs across all vendors? JCS can help you in all of these
for more detailed information regarding our Vendor Evaluation and
Organizational Readiness - Plan for the Impact
Many ARRA projects require quickly ramping up to high levels of work
and introduce the need for additional resources for new locations and
support. How ready are you to ramp up? Have you identified
all the roles and functions you need? How quickly will you be able
to find the right people, hire them, train them, make them productive,
and ensure that their work is to your level of quality? You will
need the right skillsets and bandwidth to help organize and oversee
these changes to your team so you are best positioned for success.
Program Reporting & Controls - Details, Ease of Access, and
Communications are Critical
The ARRA grants and loans come with complicated reporting and
auditing requirements. The Federal Government needs to ensure
their investment is well-managed and accounted for. Proper project
control and status procedures will be critical for timely, unitrusive
and non-distracting update requests from the government. You need
to ensure that you have tight budget management and spending approval
procedures in place to stand up to project and federal inquiries.
Additionally, communications for this program will span project,
government, and public audiences. You need to establish a
communications mechanism which ensures that the appropriate
communication content and level of detail is presented to all of the
multiple stakeholders in your effort.
us to learn more about how JCS can help make your BIP and
BTOP efforts successful.
ARRA BIP/BTOP Brochure (PDF)