6 things you need to know about Agile procurement
Anyone who has been through a government procurement procurement process, knows how grueling it can be.
Government is looking for more Agile approaches to procurement, that speeds up the process and lowers risk, so here are 6 things you should know about Agile procurement.
What is Agile?
Agile procurement is a way of purchasing solutions according to the outcomes you seek, rather than a product specification. It’s about being flexible, you don’t begin by looking for a particular solution, but rather discuss your needs with potential providers and become aware of what solutions exist.
Why do we need it?
What it comes down to is innovation. Unless you have been through a procurement process multiple times before, it is difficult to know exactly what you are looking for. Agile allows you to move away from full-scoped project details, and instead explain your problem and let the providers do the rest.
How this impacts on Government
In an environment where tech changes happen fast, governments may not even be aware of what IT solutions are available. Implementing an Agile procurement process helps to cut to the chase.
How mindsets need to change
Understanding that you run the project, not the vendor
For Agile to succeed you need to drive the project. The provider may take on the lion’s share of project management and development, but is your responsibility to ensure that your business challenges are being addressed. Understanding the vision for your agency, and ensuring this is kept at the centre of the project at all times, is the only way to make sure the final result will meet your needs.
Maintaining your vendor relationships
Agile contracts do not define what solution you are purchasing, they define the expectations of a relationship between you and the vendor. You need to be clear here on what you expect in terms of performance, and also the role of your representatives, as vendors may need access to people who are able to make quick decisions.
Responding to change rather than following a plan
As Agile procurement is outcomes based it offers much more flexibility than requirements-driven procurement, meaning that projects can be adjusted as new needs are discovered. Having the option to respond to these changes results in much more successful outcomes for agencies.
Overall the benefits of an Agile approach are huge: better, more targeted solutions that solve the intended problems whilst enabling a smooth vendor-client relationship.
To learn more about Agile procurement attend Innovating Public Sector ICT Procurement, taking place on 21st & 22nd March 2018 at Mercure Canberra