U.S. Department of Agriculture

The Challenge

The US Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (USDA/FNS) has an initiative to plan, develop, and deploy three State Agency Model systems (SAMs) in support of the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program run by State agencies to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children (WIC) up to age five who are at nutritional risk. One of these systems is called SPIRIT. The FNS required expertise to align and communicate with a complex array of disparate stakeholders and forge a long term strategy for developing and maintaining SPIRIT. The FNS also needed to support the State agencies in creating an RFP for Maintenance and Operations Support for 13 Indian Tribal Organizations and a new enhancement contract for the code itself. SPIRIT was under a strategic pause in additional transfers because of rumors concerning slowness and inaccuracies in calculations.

The Solution

Suntiva provided experienced management consultants with an average of 20 years of experience to support the FNS with IT Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, System Assessment, Strategic Communications, and a Cost/Benefit Analysis.


  • Streamlined end-to-end acquisitions processes were implemented with Suntiva’s guidance to ensure accurate requirements were captured with stringent service levels and a clear path to source selection. 
  • Stakeholder alignment and buy-in around collaboratively established strategic goals for the short and long term. This included transparency into decision making processes to ensure traceability and accountability.
  • Removed doubt about how the SPIRIT system functioned with our independent and transparent infrastructure and code analysis which enabled the stakeholders to focus on moving forward with an unbiased evaluation for opening up the SPIRIT SAM to more State agencies.
  • Established a 12 month communications plan for the SPIRIT SAM. The plan promotes positive and informative exposure of SAMs, through the publication of fact sheets geared to different audiences and new methods for internal SAM stakeholders to more effectively communicate.