Really?

Bidders will submit a detailed Transition Plan.

Really? You need that at this stage? How’s about bidders tell you about three transitions they’ve managed? What the work was, what they did, how well it turned out?

Bidders will submit a comprehensive Quality Management Plan.

Really? You need that at this stage? How’s about bidders list their certifications from independent industry organizations explicitly dedicated to assessing quality-management plans and practices?

Bidders will submit a Project Management Plan.

Really? You need that at this stage? How’s about bidders give you an organization chart and explain how it’s going to work?

All human endeavour has a lot of built-in inertia: bureaucratic endeavour, even more. And so RFPs continue to hit the street requiring detailed, long, and largely useless plans.

Let’s go back to first principles:

  • What do you (really) need to know about how the bidder will do the work?
  • What do you (really) need to know about what you’ll get for your money?
  • What do you (really) need to know to distinguish between competing bidders?

Imagine you have only two weeks to make a contracting decision. What can bidders reasonably put together in the first of those weeks that will let you choose wisely in the second one?

Hopelessly oversimplified? Yes. Impossibly impractical? Sure. But it’s still a useful thought-experiment antidote to churning out more-or-less the same questions, time after time.

I mean, really.

 

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