Case Study

Transforming Enterprise Contract Management Software Development

A federal agency increases efficiency, reduces acquisition time, and improves data quality by leveraging Agile best practices and Low-Code. 


A federal agency was dependent upon the use of 100+ disparate legacy procurement systems that were disconnected, inconsistent, and non-compliant, complicating the contract writing and management processes for a community of over 10,000 users. The processes were becoming arduous and time-consuming, obstructing productivity and efficiency. The end user experience was cumbersome and dated, making onboarding new users extremely difficult.   

The agency required expedient modernization to meet mission needs. They sought to improve agility, automation, interoperability, and efficiency by consolidating these legacy contract management systems (CMS) into a single government cloud-hosted application, with seamless enterprise integrations with multiple systems. However, because of limited exposure to Agile and DevSecOps methodologies, application development was lengthy and too inflexible to meet rapidly evolving business requirements. Additionally, the system required stringent security controls, impacting network, hosting, data, and application development.  



Guidehouse led the design, development and operation of an award-winning next-generation CMS, extending the Appian Business Process Management platform with a comprehensive Application Factory, including containerized microservices, DevSecOps automation/processes, and a low-code Enterprise Integration platform, to support enterprise-scale requirements. The goals included: 

  • Improve user experience (UX) and greater interoperability throughout the user community 
  • Develop data standardization for shorter acquisition lead times and improved data quality  
  • Continuous integration and delivery of new capabilities via the automated CI/CD pipeline. 
  • Ensure compliance with agency mandates applicable to contracting, auditability, and information systems  
  • Enable advanced Business Intelligence (BI) capabilities distilling raw data into actionable insights for stakeholders.  
  • Interface with multiple management information systems  
  • Design for high scalability without impacting end user response time. Support high availability with disaster recovery and resilience 
  • Attain/maintain the system ATO on a continuous basis 

To ensure the system would meet these critical mission objectives, the Guidehouse team involved key business stakeholders early and often working closely with the development team. Retrospectives and corrective actions for every agile sprint iteration ensured feedback was solicited and responded to. The team developed and deployed the initial set of CMS capabilities in under 9 months.  



Guidehouse’s involvement has improved time to value and enabled the agency to standardize and automate its contract process, leading to shorter acquisition times, improved data quality, and improved uptime. 

Since the system went live in 2018, billions of dollars of contracting actions have been processed. As of September 2020, 7,338 awards and 5,819 modifications were processed in a single month. This impressive volume of work is directly tied to increased system uptime, which was 99.5% in FY20 as compared to 98.95% the previous year — all while supporting a record number of concurrent users.  

System stability and increased e-business acumen among users has significantly reduced the number of at-risk unresolved tickets being managed by the agency. The number of tickets decreased from 113 at the end of FY19 to 23 at the end of FY20 — an impressive reduction of nearly 80%.  

In addition, the system was chosen as the best procurement system to use for emergency Covid procurement and received two additional agency awards. 

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