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Overcoming Spend Planning Hurdles from a CIO’s Perspective

Read Time 5 mins | Written by: Lisa Akers

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The Challenge: 

An Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) of a Bureau within a larger Agency needed real-time insight for their spending on new projects as well as funding of ongoing projects.  Their goal of keeping their spend within their approved budget seems obvious (right?) but some of the information they need is in the agency financial management system and contract writing system where they had very limited access. Additionally, there is project management information distributed in spreadsheets, email and shared drive.  

This office does not have view of all upcoming purchases, so it hampers their ability to prioritize spend.  They also need to associate contract actions and their statuses with line items on their spend plan. Their Contracting Officer Representatives (CORs) managing labor contracts cannot easily track burn rates to ensure the contractors do not over-burn for the obligation.  Due to poor record management from previous management, this OCIO lacks the historical purchase data to effectively plan the cost and timing of software license renewals.   

Their triage for this spend planning crisis is to use a spreadsheet to capture upcoming needs with estimated costs and to track obligations of ongoing projects and purchases.  They are making funding decisions in the absence of real-time data on their financial position.  Kind of scary situation – like walking blind-folded in the general area of a cliff where your allocated budget drops off. 

The Ask: 

When giving this OCIO a demo of our Facilitated Intelligent Needs Development® (FIND) app for Program Managers’ acquisition planning and Contractor Performance Intelligence® (CPI) app for contractor performance management, they asked if we could modify the apps to help them with their spend planning challenge.   

The Solution: 

We proposed a pilot with this office to use our two software products, FIND for spend planning of new projects/needs and CPI for spend planning and post-award performance management of ongoing projects/contracts/purchases.   

SSC would tailor FIND and CPI to address the spend planning needs of their office to include: 

  • Real-time insight for their spending on new projects and ongoing projects via a Dashboard that integrates FIND (pre-award spend planning) and CPI (post-award spent management), so their office is confidently operating within their current budget 
  • Ability to manage their budget allocations and track what budget dollars have been allocated, committed, obligated, expended, and remaining 
  • Ability to track and manage interagency agreements  

The Pilot: 

Our pilot kicked off the end of April 2022.  Together we have been performing business analysis and validating customer needs during May 2022.  In June 2022, we moved into iterative design and development. It is so fun to show them how much easier, cleaner, more accurate their spend planning could be.  This bureau has such an important mission so we are happy to help them organize their spend planning so they can concentrate on their mission.  We will keep you posted. 

If you want to learn more about FIND and CPI, please watch our videos on this website and request a demo at demo@ 

Check out our video that provides an overview of FIND and CPI.  Or better yet, request a demo at or contact me at (301) 392-1895 or   

Make it an enlightened day, 

Lisa Akers 


SSC’s FIND is a software product designed to support the requiring offices in developing requirements, market research, acquisition planning and PR package assembly.   

SSC’s CPI software product supports post-award contractor performance management from post-award kick-off to contract closeout and includes invoice tracking for spend management at the contract, period and CLIN level.   

Would You Like to Know More?

Still have questions or would you like to learn more about our software?
Lisa Akers

Ms. Lisa Akers brings 25 years of proven Federal and Industry leadership experience, as well as extensive functional expertise in acquisition, program management, assisted acquisition shared services and business operations management. As Executive Vice President of Solutions at Seventh Sense Consulting (SSC), Ms. Akers is responsible for developing and delivering innovative solutions to meet client requirements and objectives. Prior to joining Seventh Sense Consulting, Ms. Akers served as President (2013- 2016) for ASI Government’s Products and Solutions Division where she was responsible for managing the Virtual Acquisition Office (VAO) used by 25,000 federal acquisition professionals and as President (2010 – 2013) for ASI’s Consulting Division that had a $35M portfolio focused on acquisition and program management support services to federal government agencies. Prior to joining ASI Government, Ms. Akers spent over 16 years in the General Services Administration, Federal Systems Integration and Management Center (GSA FEDSIM) where she was the FEDSIM Director for her last five years and Deputy Director for the previous four years. FEDSIM is an assisted acquisition organization specializing in large information technology and services acquisitions with $1.4B annual obligations on behalf of 100+ other federal agencies. Ms. Akers received the 2011 FED100 award for her work as Industry Lead for the ACT-IAC 25 Points to IT Acquisition Reform and the 2006 FED100 award for industry outreach and stakeholder management for the ALLIANT and ALLIANT SB GWACs. She received the Meritorious Service Award while at GSA. She holds a bachelor's degree in Microbiology from Pennsylvania State University, and a master's degree in Information Technology Systems from George Washington University.