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Digital Acquisition Accelerator

Accelerating the adoption of digital acquisition practices within your agency

How it works

We provide agencies with the skills, knowledge, and tools they need to succeed with digital acquisitions. We do this by helping agencies establish their own internal group of experts by working together on two real-world acquisitions that deliver valuable, high-quality products that users love.

Expertise is created over a series of training sessions, facilitated workshops, and access to expert coaches through five main phases:

  1. Ignition. Basic training on human-centered design, lean-agile methodologies, open innovation, and modular contracting.
  2. Inception. Developing an effective product and project vision through techniques such as proto-personas, problem deconstruction, and user-story mapping.
  3. Procurement. Planning and executing a procurement plan in alignment with the product and project vision.
  4. Delivery. Applying modern practices when working with vendor(s) to produce a valuable, adaptable, and reliable product.
  5. Landing. Capturing the results, lessons learned, and stories that can be reused by other government agencies.

Key to our approach is a “learn by doing” model, which is why we ask agencies to nominate two acquisitions to go through the Accelerator. For the first acquisition, we provide structured guidance to help scope and procure the required services. For the second acquisition, teams execute it on their own using their new-found knowledge from the first acquisition. We’ll still be around to provide ongoing coaching throughout, of course, because it’s important to us that agencies not only learn, but succeed.

What we teach you draws on the latest experience and guidance from leading practitioners at organizations such as 18F, the U.S. Digital Service, and the Health and Human Services Buyer’s Club.

What you’ll learn

We’ve designed the Accelerator program to help agencies institutionalize key principles and practices in the following areas:

1. Human-centered design

A creative approach to problem solving that starts with the people whom you’re designing for and evolves into a solution that is crafted to suit their needs.

2. Lean-Agile methodologies

An empirical approach to creating products that relies on short, frequent feedback loops, enabling you to make more timely and informed decisions about what features truly satisfy the needs of the business and users.

3. Open innovation

A paradigm shift from closed to open innovation that encourages idea sharing and collaboration between internal and external stakeholders, including members of the public.

4. Modular contracting

Increasing the likelihood of procurement success by breaking contracts into smaller, shorter-duration chunks of work to give you more immediate visibility into vendor performance.

Those who participate in this Accelerator program continue the cycle of learning within their agency by promoting the adoption of digital acquisition practices through teaching, coaching, and knowledge sharing.

Meet the Digital Acquisition Accelerator team

Presidential Innovation Fellows

  • Amy Wilson - Product Strategy
  • Bob Ballance - Engineering
  • Clara Tsao - Communications/Marketing
  • Patrick Koppula - Training
  • Robert Zakon - Training


  • Chris Cairns - Digital Acquisition
  • Philip Harding - Program Strategy
  • Duane Rollins - User Experience
  • Victor Udoewa - Instructional Design
  • Shashank Khandelwal - Agile Coaching