Blog

  • Contract Management Principles

    Principles focus attention and guide you. Effective principles are self-evident, relevant, sticky (memorable) and actionable. They must guide and help us achieve better results. To give them a chance they must be mandatory, otherwise what’s the point? The Crown Commercial Service uses these eleven principles …

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  • National Citizen Service (NCS) 2013 – Evaluation – Main Report – Part 1 of 2

    In a civilsociety.co.uk blog post on 14th August 2014 I read about an evaluation of the NCS 2013, which concluded the service had provided good value for money. It was the comment about good value for money that caught my attention. It’s abstract, meaningless and …

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  • National Citizen Service (NCS) 2013 – Evaluation – Main Report – Part 2 of 2

    In a civilsociety.co.uk blog post on 14th August 2014 I read about an evaluation of the NCS 2013, which concluded the service had provided good value for money. It was the comment about good value for money that caught my attention. It’s abstract, meaningless and …

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  • The truth about value for money

    Every contract achieves some value for money. So I can’t accuse anyone of lying if they say their contract is value for money. However, almost every time they utter value for money the person doing the uttering means something completely different from this literal meaning. …

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  • The best value fallacy

    Best value is the best; it’s better than anything else that is possible and available. This appears, at least superficially, to be sensible, rational and believable. Unfortunately it isn’t possible because best value is abstract nonsense; it’s a fallacy.   Why use misuse best value …

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  • Leading tender questions

    A leading question gives explicit clues to potential suppliers as to what a purchaser expects to see in their answers. Here’s an example from Defra’s “Balanced scorecard for public food procurement”. Supply Chain (applicable to caterers and to the direct supply of products)
Please describe the …

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  • Balanced Scorecard for Public Food Procurement – Part 3 of 3

    This is the third of my blog posts commenting on Defra’s “Balanced scorecard for public food procurement”, published in July 2014. The main point to learn; write what is literally true, if not metaphorically. I mention this because the balanced scorecard declares that most of …

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  • Balanced Scorecard for Public Food Procurement – Part 2 of 3

    This is the second of three posts about Defra’s “Balanced scorecard for public food procurement”, published in July 2014. In their own words it, “describes an evaluation approach where more straightforward criteria, such as cost, are ‘balanced’ against more complex criteria, such as health and …

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  • Performance

    Outcomes, with conditions

    An outcome is a consequence or a result. It’s what the beneficiaries of a contract should experience to satisfy their needs. It should be specific, not abstract, to remove or at least minimise the need for the reader to interpret what the writer means. Outcomes …

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  • Radar

    Foraging under the radar

    Foraging under the radar or how to win business from public sector organisations, but with little or no competition. Most potential suppliers have radars that alert them with automatic email alerts, but only when purchasers advertise contract opportunities. When a purchaser doesn’t advertise the radar …

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