Delivery Management, Software Development

Balanced Workforce Strategy (BWS) refers to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) effort to identify the appropriate balance of federal and contractor employees required to achieve the DHS mission.

DHS established the BWS to undertake a thorough, repeatable, risk analysis to make workforce planning decisions. The goal of the BWS system is to ensure an appropriate mix of federal and contractor employees necessary to accomplish and mitigate the risk and the agency’s mission. The BWS Tool analyzes work and provides recommendations on sourcing decisions.  It takes into account the mission risk, level of contractor oversight, and cost. A streamlined BWS business process can ensure that resourcing is accomplished in a balanced, consistent and repeatable manner. DHS’ BWS System is part of an enterprise-wide transformation effort involving improvement of the BWS business processes and new software development.

The BWS process takes DHS Components through a three-step review of existing service contracts as well as functions proposed for contract: (1) Identify the Work (2) Analyze the Work and (3) Implement the Sourcing Decision.

Key Challenge

Karsun is implementing the BWS system using Microsoft technologies comprising SharePoint Server, InfoPath and SQL Server Reporting Services. Karsun designed the BWS system to help users identify the work by allowing them to examine the service contract’s statement of work to isolate and accurately describe each discrete function that requires analysis.

To help analyze the work, the BWS system presents an electronic questionnaire that leads the contracting officers through a series of data points to ensure compliance with law, regulations, and relevant policy. Using business rules such as branching, exception handling, and splitting, the system follows alternative questionnaire paths based on the user’s responses.  It presents only the questions that are most relevant to the function being analyzed.

The system features automated role-based workflows for data entry, editing, review, and electronic signature approvals. Data and reporting forms are incorporated into the logic and workflow of the BWS analysis questionnaire, while ensuring that data is stored and properly referenced/linked in the BWS System data repository. The risk analysis component of the system analyzes the responses to the BWS analysis questionnaire and provides numeric or qualitative ratings on a variety of risk factors.

At the conclusion of the analysis, the system makes recommendations on the mix of the federal and contractor resources, thus helping the agency consider the issue of mission control and how a function should be sourced.


Karsun’s Balanced Workforce Strategy system enables DHS personnel to reach consistently high levels of decision quality. The system enables DHS to take direct action to improve its ability to manage risk and ensure governmental control and accountability for decisions resulting from services that closely support inherently governmental functions. It, helps DHS realize its goal of establishing an advanced decision support system and will serve as the strategic underpinning for the DHS workforce planning model.