Veterans Affairs: Secure, Performant, Reliable, and User-Centered Experiences (SPRUCE)
SPRUCE supports VA’s digital modernization initiatives by ensuring VA has streamlined access to the modern commercial services required to deliver excellent products to VA’s internal and
external users. Successfully delivering such products often requires VA to obtain commercial delivery services supported by teams with capabilities in: Software development and operation;
Technical advising and architecture planning; Service design and user research studies; Data science and data analytics; Product support operations.The objective of this effort is to provide VA with a method to obtain such delivery services.
Specifically, SPRUCE will meet the following goals:
1. Give VA streamlined access to exceptional companies that specialize in the development of digital services using modern technologies.
2. Create a contract mechanism that promotes rapid delivery, applying private sector best practices, and measurable outcomes.
3. Scale the success accomplished in the current Customer Experience, DevOps and Agile Releases (CEDAR) IDIQ while expanding access to exceptional vendors with more diverse skillsets and enabling larger contracts as appropriate.
4. Ensure VA can rapidly adopt commercial technology and design-industry best practicessuch as those described in the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB’s) Digital Services Playbook
1. Software development and operation. Build, improve, innovate, and run custom, opensource products across the OIT ecosystem. Leverage existing VA infrastructure and platforms including VA Enterprise Cloud, VA.gov, Clinical Decision Support, Lighthouse Application Programming Interfaces (API) Gateway, and others. May include (but not limited to): responsive web applications; API; prototypes and SaaS pilots; mobile applications; and internal claims processing and health applications.
2. Technical advising and architecture planning. Provide expert technical guidance and IT operations support to OIT personnel in the execution of their portfolio or product line priorities. Provide architecture planning services and stand-up operational frameworks for delivery. May include (but not limited to) supporting innovation from commercial practices, engineering operations, analysis of alternatives, and systems and boundaries disambiguation.
3. Service design and user research studies. Measure and define the service delivery landscape and create plans for implementing VA digital services. May include (but not limited to) problem definition, ethnographic studies, and qualitative and quantitative research.
4. Data science and data analytics. Define and implement data access, integration, and organization systems to exchange critical data between VA systems and enable new applications. May include (but not limited to) data modeling, machine learning, and natural language processing.
5. Product support operations. Provide product and program level support for VA systems, primarily for internal user applications. May include (but not limited to): program planning; business case analysis; user management and permissions; onboarding and training; and internal helpdesk support
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