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Is it time for a more collaborative approach to specification creation?

Is it time for a more collaborative approach to specification creation?

Friday 3rd May 2019

Is it about time we stopped dancing around our handbags?

The operations expert is charged with writing a specification for an operational activity that is to be carried out by an external provider. This will be provided to procurement.

Procurement will interpret the specification as part of a tender or RFQ, and provide a set of standard contract terms.

Following bid submission, the process of bid evaluation will take place.

The bid evaluation will result in a contract award that forming a legally building contract between the organisation and the provider.

The contract will be handed to the operations expert to manage both operationally and contractually and commercially.

Does this sound familiar?

Now, according to CIPS, a specification is the means of defining the requirement, communicating the requirement; supports standardisation and consistency; minimises risk and cost, and importantly provides a method of evaluating the quality or performance. Has anybody told the operations expert this?

What about critical success factors that ensure delivery of the specification will be achieved through the life of the contract, particularly the obligations of both parties? Has anybody told the operations expert this?

Surely there are clearly defined and agreed KPI's that drive performance, continuous improvement recognises excellent performance but may require compensation in the event of poor performance, compensation that would genuinely reflect the actual losses to either party for non-performance? Has the operations expert considered this?

These measures are not just a nice to have either we use them by capturing data and review them, or we may as well not have them. The specification should inform how this will happen, and who is responsible. The operations expert may have to be aware of this.

Research by IACCM (International Association for Contract & Commercial Management) suggests that 77% of contractual issues related to the scope of work or changes to the scope of work.

Is it time for a more collaborative approach to specification creation?