When your project has a contractual Modification (Mod) or Extension
What is the difference between a contract Mod and an Extension?
1/ Contract Modifications (Mods) are required for any change to the project contract or PWS, e.g. adjustments to the following:
A/ Key personnel – Key Personnel are defined as "personnel considered to be essential to the work being performed under a contract." In many cases, Key Personnel are explicitly named in the contract, and whenever this is the case, changes to Key Personnel must be denoted with a Mod.
See this sample language regarding binding Personnel changes: "Prior to diverting any of the specified individuals to other projects, the contractor shall notify the Contracting Officer reasonably in advance and shall submit justification (including proposed substitutions) in sufficient detail to permit evaluation of the impact on the program. No diversion shall be made by the contractor without the written consent of the Contracting Officer."
B/ Scope - The agreement between the government and CivicActions, which specifies the work we are completing for the government. Scopes include deliverables, timelines, milestones, etc, often expressed in the Performance Work Statement, or PWS.
C/ Deliverables - these are the tasks or items that our project team is contractually obligated to deliver, and include tangible action items such as product upgrades, service support, reports, etc.
D/ Contract cost or amount.
2/ Contract Extensions generally involve retaining the contractual language yet adjusting the given dates (e.g., for option terms or option years).
Any and all contractual changes require input from the CivicActions Legal team. If the changes are purely financial, then please raise awareness with Legal. If the changes involve roles, resourcing, etc., Legal must be involved from the inception.
Communicating Receipt of Mod/Extension with Leadership, Legal and Sales
Any legal documentation delivered to CivicActions by the CO/COR must be shared immediately with Legal and Sales - via email - so there is a paper trail. Additionally, we recommend that the Project Manager update the program CORE channel with a clear and concise message regarding the Mod/Extension, and to identify next steps. The five Ws and the H apply here: Who, what, where, when, why and how. Also include the original requester of the Mod/extension (whether it came from CivicActions or a client.
Sample Message for Extension
Jane Doe delivered the Extension on Friday, August 12th. The email contains the extension paperwork for OY2 (June 1, 2023 – May 31, 2024) for a total of $10M. This aligns with our expectations from when we requested the extension, and we forwarded Jane's email to Legal and Sales for further review. This does/does not require a signature. Please let us know if you have questions, comments, or concerns.
Sample Message for Mod
Jane Doe delivered the Mod on Friday, August 12th. The email contains Mod paperwork for OY2 (June 1, 2023 – May 31, 2024) which adds three (3) FTEs and a line item for ODCs for a total of $10M. This aligns with our expectations from when the client requested the Mod, and we forwarded Jane's email to Legal and Sales for further review. This does/does not require a signature. Please let us know if you have questions, comments, or concerns.
Once the message has been posted in the appropriate CORE channel, it's a good idea to communicate a message to the team as well via the appropriate INT channel.
Mods and Extensions are a good time to evaluate project objectives
If your project requires a Mod or Extension, it is prudent to ensure everyone agrees about why the change is being made. Pull in your Project Management colleagues for input, as well as CivicActions leaders, i.e., Sales, and discuss with the Project Team both the motivators for and the effects of any changes.
It is important that the Project Team and Leads review the PWS every time an Option Year/Option Period is extended. The Project Manager will undertake this as part of the team's Wrapper Review.
Any type of contractual change is also a good time to review resourcing, especially as it relates to future time periods or option years. For instance, think ahead for potential professional development advancements within your team, thinking through how resources will be replaced if promotions occur. This allows you to be prepared and thus make people planning requests more swiftly to avoid resourcing gaps.
Preparing for a Mod
- Start with a short summary document which outlines the following:
- Why the change is required
- The current contractual language
- The proposed contractual language (e.g., from old paragraphs, page numbers, etc. to replacement language matched to old paragraphs, page numbers, etc.)
- Schedule an internal call to review
- Work with Legal and Sales to confirm initial strategy (high-level overview of new objectives, staffing proposal, and pricing)
- Work with the Project Team leads to craft a work plan (here is a sample document) that reflects the proposed new objectives, staffing and pricing.